With more students than ever applying for college, you could face some stiff competition when it comes to getting accepted into your top choice art school. Even with a lot of talent to recommend you, the sheer number of applicants vying for spots means that you need a lot more than some skill with a pencil or paint brush to gain admittance. And if your dream is to have a career in the arts, you need to do whatever you can to start off on the right foot – with a degree from a top-notch art school. So here are just a few helpful tips to get you on track for acceptance into your art school of choice.
- Maintain a high GPA. Art schools are still colleges, and they have academic standards to uphold. So don’t fool yourself into thinking your talent trumps a decent grade point average. In fact, if you want the best chances to get accepted into the schools at the top of your list you need to have more than just middling grades. You need a stellar GPA. This is something to keep in mind as you complete your high school education. If you’re not sure you can make the cut, look into requirements for admission into your favorite schools. And if you’ve fallen short, hire tutors, retake classes, sign up for AP courses, and do whatever you have to in order to bump up your GPA.
- Bulk up your portfolio. Although your GPA will help you to qualify for entry into art school, your portfolio is what will help you to stand out from the pack. So you need to do whatever you can to make sure it cuts the mustard and has an impact on viewers. You’ll likely fill it with projects from various art classes, but you can do more. In addition to working on personal projects in your spare time you should try to get paying gigs around town. Whether you’re painting storefront windows, creating graphic art for local websites, or working on flyers for your uncle’s hardware store, you should be looking for ways to build your portfolio and make a few extra bucks for your college fund in the process.
- Research schools and have backups. There are probably one or two schools that you’re most interested in for a variety of reasons (location, friends who attend, the school’s academic record, industry prestige, rate of job placement after graduation, etc.). But it’s important to apply to backup schools rather than putting all your eggs in one basket.
- Spend time on essays and prep for interviews. There are many components included in the art school admissions process. In addition to a suitable GPA and an awe-inspiring portfolio, you’ll need to fill out an application that includes questions and essays. These often play a major role in acceptance, so you cannot afford to phone it in. If possible, find a teacher, counselor, or even a tutor to help you with your essays. And don’t forget to prep for interviews, especially if you’re nervous. Making a good first impression can go a long way toward keeping you in the running for admission.
- Don’t miss deadlines. Whether you’re applying at Nossi College of Art or an equally prestigious institution, one thing you cannot afford to do is miss application deadlines. Nothing will squash your chance for admission faster than proving that you can’t even meet a simple deadline.