Attending college is a part of every high schooler’s future and getting all the requirements can be difficult when it comes to all the math, science, English and history credits needed. But what about the visual or performing arts like theater, or 2D and 3D art?
Colleges don’t value the arts nearly as much as the core classes. Schools like the University of Florida (UF), University of South Florida (USF), Florida State University (FSU), and plenty of other Florida colleges don’t require or even recommend an arts credit in order to be accepted. While colleges specifically for the arts such as the Fashion Institiute of Technology (FIT) can require as many as twenty-four credits to be accepted.
This is interesting because every Florida high school follows a twenty-four-credit program for graduation, which includes one fine arts credit. So why not have colleges require an arts credit, when students already need one to graduate? Additionally, taking an arts class can encourage students to explore new horizons or discover a hidden passion.
Yet what happens to the students who spend their four years of high school participating in these fine arts classes, when colleges don’t even look at them? Students that are enrolled in theatre, like junior Julia Hoffman, or 2D art, like sophomore Carina Delavan share their take on colleges and the arts programs they are enrolled in.
You can accomplish many things by contributing your time to one of these classes and there’s even benefits! “Benefits of a performing arts class are, friendships, working together as a team, friendly competition, [and] bonding like a family,” Hoffman said.
Such ideals as friendly competition could appeal to athletes as well and give them that extra adrenaline rush.
An important thing needed for a university is the diversity of their students, and they can easily accomplish this by looking more into performing and visual arts, but you can’t forget about those students that do not need an arts credit to graduate, like students from out of state. So, is it fair that high school requires the credit and colleges don’t even look at it?
“I do think it’s fair, it brings people on opposite sides of the school together under one roof,” Hoffman said. In addition to that, the debate comes up when thinking about if an arts credit is even necessary to even apply for college.
“Yes [an arts credit should be needed]. High school is the time when you’re trying new things before you go to college, because college is when you actually choose something, so high school is like a trial,” Delavan said.
Hoffman also gives a great point in the same sense of needing it saying, “This credit shows you can work with other people as well [as] work with yourself and your personal performance skills.”
But for most, the whole point of taking an arts class in high school is to graduate and go to a college, even though colleges usually tend to work much more on the sports aspect of the campus and don’t prioritize the arts enough.
“There are specific schools for performing arts [and] art schools that you go to that are specifically for that. All colleges prioritize different things, or are better for certain [degrees],” Delavan said.
It just depends on what you’re looking to accomplish in life and what colleges do for the fine arts department. Hopefully in the future colleges worldwide will focus more on the arts, not mattering whether it is an arts school or not.
Olivia Montgomery//Staff Writer