I already have a performance coach. Can I still use CALA’s certified college counselor?

Absolutely. CALA’s packages are tailor made for you. Conversely, if you already have a college counselor, CALA can help you solely with audition preparation and recording.

What is the difference between a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), and Bachelor of Music (BM)?

The BA and BFA programs are typically housed within the College or University’s Theater School whereas the BM falls within the School of Music. The BM is more heavily weighted in classical training in both music and repertoire. The difference between a BA and a BFA has to do with the concentration on your major in relationship to general education studies. A Bachelor of Fine Arts will be 60-80 percent concentration on your major in a university or college setting and as much as 95 percent in a conservatory. A Bachelor of Arts will typically dedicate 30-40 percent of studies to your major. CALA will help you determine what kind of program best suits your needs.

How soon should I start testing?

We recommend taking the PSAT during your sophomore year. Although the PSAT score does not go to colleges, it gives you a feel of the standardized tests (ACT, SAT) and it also can qualify you for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.

We advise taking the SAT or ACT standardized tests near the end of your first semester of your junior year. This will allow you plenty of time to study for and take the tests needed for applications.

Should I take the ACT or the SAT?

Schools do not have a preference; however, we can work together to determine which test is better suited for you. The biggest differences between the tests are that the ACT has a Science Test and there is one SAT Math Section for which you cannot use a calculator. To explore your options further, check out these sites to do some preliminary investigation and take sample tests: http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act.html and https://www.collegeboard.org/.

How many schools should I apply to?

Given the extremely competitive nature of todays performing arts programs, it is not unusual for students to apply to anywhere from 15-20 programs nationwide. Our goal is to ultimately put together a personalized list containing “likely,” “possible,” and “reach” schools for each student. We will help you explore your options and determine which programs best suit your needs.

Do I need to fill out the FAFSA?

Yes. FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, should be filled out each year when applying to or attending college. This form is required to establish eligibility for need-based loans, merit-based loans and/or scholarships. CALA will provide you with guidance and assistance with all necessary forms.

What is the difference between applying Early Action (EA) and Early Decision (ED)?

Applying to a school with Early Action (EA) means you will receive an early response to your application. When applying EA, you will typically need to apply by November 1 or 15 and you will receive a response from the school no later than the end of December or beginning of January. For EA, you will have until May 1 to commit.

Applying to a school with Early Decision (ED) means that you are entering into a binding agreement. If you choose to apply with ED, you are telling the school that if you are accepted, you will commit to that school. ED applications are typically due by November 1 or 15 and sometimes, as late as January 1. If you are accepted ED, you must withdraw all outstanding applications.