Well, now what? Navigating college auditions during a pandemic.

Well, guys, this is strange, right? 

The world changed so quickly and took with it a lot of important moments, celebrations and normalcy for us all. We are adjusting to online learning, making the most of quarantine and wondering how this is going to affect the next year.

So, on the count of three, let’s take a collective inhale and exhale together. 1… 2… 3. Okay, now let’s get real, together.

Things are going to be different. We know this. But how deeply will this impact college auditions? Should you be preparing now? Will Unifieds happen? You’ve waited for this for a long time and I know you are probably feeling anxious. Let’s start by saying that the information I am going to be providing during this post is purely speculation at this point. As of now, I am going to continue to hold the faith that new systems will be in place by the time college auditions roll around for this next season so that you can have the normal, stressful, crazy whirlwind college audition season you’ve always imagined

If – again, speculation! – things change drastically for this process in the Fall/Winter, this is what you should be prepared for:

1. More Prescreens

If it turns out to be a necessity to have fewer people at a live audition/dance call, etc. the schools are going to need a way to control the live audition numbers. I could see more schools jumping on the prescreen bandwagon than ever before. Frankly, beyond the benefit of knowing right away if you have a shot at a school, this is good for everyone to avoid any unnecessary travel this year.

2. Recorded Auditions

There are a good number of schools that already allow students to send in audition videos in place of a live audition if a family is unable to get to campus. I could see this becoming an option for many more programs.

3. “Live” Digital Recorded Auditions

I could see a reality in which a student goes online, performs their audition rep, and gets interviewed all while being recorded live. Camera turns off – and poof! All done with your audition. Then the panel can review the auditions afterward.

4. Actual Live Digital Auditions

Similar to the above, but with a faculty member tuned in live virtually. Same format as a standard live audition, but online. Don’t shoot the messenger! 🙂 I know what you are thinking or maybe yelling at your computer screen: “how will they get to know me if I can’t be in the audition room with them?” Or, “I’m definitely better live than I am while being recorded, how can I be prepared for these scenarios?” Good questions. And I think it requires you to switch your mindset a bit. If this is the reality for college auditions, now, more than ever, you need to:

  • Create a functional, gorgeous Digital Audition Set-Up at home. Create a set-up filled with great lighting, an appropriate back-drop, and a solid tripod to eliminate shaky hands.  Feel confident in this set-up so you can do your best work.

  • Start getting comfortable with Interview Prep now. While you may think you’ll get asked fewer questions in the above scenarios, I just simply don’t think that will be the case. At Unifieds and busy on-campus auditions  – a good majority of the time, they don’t have enough time to ask any questions to those auditioning. You are in and out of the audition room sometimes in less than 5 minutes. In the digital scenarios, I could see you given much more time/space to chat. If this freaks you out, start to build interview Prep into your training schedule.

In summary, don’t delay your training and preparation! I know this can feel immobilizing and difficult to be motivated to prepare. However: while the processes could change surrounding the auditions, we do not anticipate the timeline for college auditions changing. Which means: prescreens deadlines will still very much be a thing, the necessity to get your applications in early will be crucial and there will still be early auditions happening as soon as October.

If it’s any consolation, much like everything else with this virus, everyone will be on the same page. No one has the upper hand in any of these potential audition scenarios. It will be a learning curve that everyone undergoes together.

So, guys? Instead of dreading this Fall, let’s get ahead of it. Stay motivated, stay focused, and keep your ear to the ground to stay in the loop with any changes. Procedures might shift, but you can only control what you can control: your 5 minute (amazing, powerful, prepared) audition. Along with our coaching, we have a full suite of ways you can train with us this summer.

PS: I will be addressing and updating everyone on this topic in every webinar I do this season, please join me! Starting this Monday, May 11th for our first (and FREE!) webinar of the year!

Summer Plans for High School Students during COVID-19

COVID-19 has turned most students’ summers upside down. How can they still leverage their summer to improve their chances of college admission? Join us to discuss these options and much more. These are some of the questions we will answer:

-What can a student do?

-How do they find that opportunity they enjoy?

-Do colleges care about summers?

Watch this 30-minute video to get some ideas  https://youtu.be/pQWEGLOvRQI .


College Admissions and the impact of Coronavirus

We present a weekly 30-minute webinar on the college admissions process and the impact that the coronavirus has on higher education. You can subscribe to the webinar and our newsletter on our main web page: https://www.collegesolutions.com/

Below are links to the webinars:




March Madness is Choosing a College

March is a month for nail-biters – fans on edge with basketball madness and high school seniors anxiously waiting to hear from colleges. Choosing a college is a big decision, one that impacts the next four years of a student’s life and a lot of money, typically $120,000 for an in-state public college or close to $270,000 for an out-of-state or private college.

When researching colleges, families may not ask one of the most important questions – what percentage of students graduate in four years? If it takes longer than four years to graduate, that’s more than four years of tuition. One college that lost early in the tournament has a great four-year graduation rate – University of Virginia with a four-year graduation rate of 86%. Compare that with Georgia State’s rate at 21%.

Another important question is what percentage of students return for the second year? This statistic is called retention rate, and there’s a 20-point difference this year in retention rates of the colleges in the tournament! University of Virginia, University of Michigan and Duke all boast retention rates of 98% versus UNC-Greensboro’s lower 77% retention rate.

Nationwide 27% of students do not return for year two. When students transfer, not all their credits are likely to transfer, thus adding to the cost of that college diploma. No one wants to pay for an extra semester or year of college at these prices.

So, remember choosing a college to attend is not the same as choosing your favorite March Madness pick.

2018 March Madness PDF

4 Year Graduation Rates?

The 12 Most Prestigious Competitions for High School Students

See the student that won the Intel Science Competition

High school students here are the 12 most prestigious and well-respected competitions. These offer significant financial prizes and will make you more desirable to the most selective and prestigious universities.  More importantly by competing you will develop the skills in research, learning, diverse thought, critical thinking and communication that all colleges and employers desire.


NANCY GRIESEMER is the sole author of the content and Admissions.Blog as the sole publisher of the original content.

See College Solutions founder, Larry Dannenberg, on Fox 25 News.