Information about Art and Music Supplements
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Reuben Stern in a CollegeVine Livestream. You can watch the full Livestream for more info.
- How to Submit an Arts Supplement
- Should You Submit an Arts Supplement?
- Preparing Art and Music Supplements for Elite Colleges
- Elite Schools that Don’t Take Arts Supplements
How to Submit an Arts Supplement
Most schools use an online platform called SlideRoom that allows you to upload your supplements, whether they be videos, PDFs, scores, photos of your art, etc. Once you upload to SlideRoom you should look into each school process for reviewing supplements because it will vary.
Should You Submit an Arts Supplement?
First of all, not all colleges accept art supplements, so you should research on the school’s website if it’s an option. If it is, you shouldn’t necessarily submit one. It depends how talented you are and how competitive the school is.
If you think that you are very talented in relation to the other students who are applying to this college, then submitting an art supplement will help you. But, if you think your talent is average compared to the other students who are applying to this school, it will not help.
If you aren’t sure how you stack up, keep in mind that generally lesser known and more local colleges will have lower average talent level than at elite colleges.
Preparing Art and Music Supplements for Elite Colleges
Before submitting an arts application to an elite school, you should be confident that you are exceptionally talented. This is important because the supplement will be sent directly to the faculty at that university. If they really like your video of you playing the piano, for example, then this can help you quite a lot. The professor will report back to the admissions officers that they would love to have you join the department.
However, if your supplement is underwhelming, that professor will come back to the admissions committee and give negative feedback, which can actually actively hurt your application chances.
So keep in mind that not everyone should submit an arts supplement, especially not to an elite college. There are other ways to communicate your extracurriculars throughout the rest of your application like through your resume, your extracurriculars list, your personal statement and supplemental essays. Here you can emphasize the time you devote to the activity and the passion you feel for the art form.
Elite Schools that Don’t Take Arts Supplements
Some elite schools do not accept arts supplements. For example, the University of Southern California, Boston University and Northwestern University all don’t accept supplements.
This is partly because they have separate schools for different arts. Boston University has the College of Fine Arts, and USC has the Thornton School of Music. A lot of these schools offer dual degree programs in which case you could apply to both the main institution and also the music school to receive a music degree. For some of these schools you have to apply to the main school, and then you submit a separate application to the music school.
So remember, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t submit an art supplement. In many ways, it’s safer not too. You won’t have that extra edge from submitting a really excellent art supplement, but it also won’t hurt you whatsoever.