Most colleges and universities, and many college theatre departments, have websites that can substantially speed up your college research process. You can reach them through links at the College Board site listed below, or do a web search for the school’s name. A search on “college entrance” will yield other related sites, with more links and information on everything from ordering college guidebooks to taking the SATs.
Every December we publish a special issue devoted to college theatre programs, containing information on degrees, disciplines, cost, department size, selectivity, admission requirements, scholarships, application deadlines, and how to contact the school. The directory is available by mail order.
The College Board
Brought to you by the same folks responsible for the SAT, the College Board website
is a valuable resource for various aspects of your college quest (and a lot less strenuous than a three-hour standardized test). It includes guides for planning to go to college, exploring career options, paying tuition, and searching for information on thousands of schools. Base your college search on a school name, your preferences, or a comparison feature.
provides over 1,500 customized online admissions applications to college and university programs. The site includes a scholarship database with over 600,000 awards. CollegeNET does not sell student data to third parties; user information remains private.
Loans, scholarships, military aid, and financial aid applications are all explained on the FinAid site
. Find out about interest rates, repayment plans, loan consolidation, common scholarship scams, and other types of aid. There’s also a link to their partner FastWeb, which offers a customized scholarship search service.
U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education’s website
offers information about federal student aid programs and a version of the FAFSA, the basic government student aid application form, that you can download or complete online.
Run by the U.S. Department of Education, Students.gov
provides students with resources for everything from the college search to financial aid to filing your taxes in the spring. A more specialized site than the Department of Education’s main site, Students.gov focuses on the college and postgraduate experience.
The college guide publishing company Peterson’s
provides resources for selecting, financing, applying to, and preparing for college. One search section focuses on visual and performing arts programs and offers either overviews or detailed descriptions of theatre departments. An online bookstore offers Peterson’s guides at a discount.
The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review’s website
includes a college search engine, articles about choosing a school, scholarship information, and online applications. Of course, there’s also access to the company’s test preparation courses, books, software, and related discussions.
Founded in 2001 by two admissions counselors and a concerned parent who took an active role in his children’s college searches, College Confidential
offers advice on many topics including selecting a major and obtaining financial aid. A discussion forum is also available for aspiring musical theatre majors.
, launched by two independent college advisors from New Jersey, offers DVD walking tours of more than 350 college campuses in the United States, Canada, and Europe. DVDS are available for $15 each and are meant to help students narrow their choices before visiting their top choices in person.
Group searches on social networking sites like Facebook
can give you an insider’s look, albeit a highly selective and idiosyncratic one, into a college theatre department you’re thinking about adding your face to. You might find, among your future upperclassmen, a student from your hometown or one who shares your specific theatre interests, and can even send them a message asking for an honest take on the school and any other advice they might have.