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If you are looking at continuing your education in the visual and performing arts, it means you have a passion. This passion has driven you to develop your innate talent and pursue a career doing the things you love to do. Your passion has lead you to career options that are highly competitive, and so it behooves you to find the absolute best program for you. The best program will allow you to refine your talent, add skill and knowledge so that you'll have a competitive edge when it comes to finding employment after college. Finding the right school for you might take some time. You'll need to find the one that fits your personality, can develop your talent and add important skills and know how, and that will give you other skills needed to be successful. There are many factors to consider.

Cost of attendance:

The best school does not always mean the most expensive school. It's important to remember that, at the end of your college journey, you'll likely have loans to pay back. Cost should definitely not be the only factor, but it should be a consideration as you look at colleges. There is a balance to maintain between finances and quality. The best thing you can do is find that balance, find the best program for you at the best price.

Diversity of programs:

It's very likely that you have an advantage over some of your other high school classmates in that you have a pretty clear picture of what you want to do after school. While other students might still be deciding their college and future career path, you know what you want to do. You want to be an actor, a musician, a visual artist, or a dancer. This narrows down your college search, and allows you to really examine specific programs that fit your goals. Still, it's a fact that many students change their major at some point in their college career. While you may want to be a dancer, or a musician, your particular focus or discipline might change over time. It's good to pick a school that has a very diverse program in your focus area, so that you can make tweaks to your degree as you go through your college experience.

Pick a program with some marketing and business classes:

Regardless of your talent and your class focus - be it dancing, graphic design, painting, music, or acting - at the end of the day you'll have a product to sell. That product is not really the art you produce, it is you. In order to be successful in your chosen field, you will need to know how to market yourself. This may include building a portfolio of your work or creating a performing arts resume. Having some marketing skills will help you get your name and your work out there in front of the right people. Many visual and performing artists are in business for themselves, and will need to have some knowledge of business in order to manage their own finances. While business and marketing might not be you passion, these are skills you will probably need in order to be successful doing what you love to do.

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