Students and parents alike put a great deal of thought and concern into deciding what the best school for the student is.
While many opt for public education and others are drawn to private day schools, many students and their families feel that the best option for them is a college preparatory boarding school.
For students interested in the arts and want an enriching secondary education, the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan offers an outstanding arts education combined with excellent college preparatory academics.
Joseph E. Maddy established what would later come to be known as the Interlochen Arts Camp in 1928 as a summer retreat for some of the most talented and promising high school musicians in the country.
From this grew many arts-focused educational and promotional organizations, including the Interlochen Arts Festival, Interlochen Public Radio, and the Interlochen Arts Academy.
The Interlochen Arts Academy was founded in 1962 as the first arts-centered boarding school in the United States. From these beginnings, the academy and the umbrella organization under which it operates, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, have grown into one of the nation’s leading and prestigious institutions for arts education.
With its storied history and tradition of excellence in arts education, students are drawn to apply for acceptance into the Interlochen Arts Academy and study within its beautiful 1,200-acre campus.
Interlochen Arts Academy Acceptance Rate
While Interlochen does not publish its acceptance rate, the school is likely competitive for admission.
The school reports that its admission officers are not looking for perfection, but for potential within each student.
Students and families interested in the Interlochen Arts Academy begin the application process by completing and submitting the school’s online application form.
The most important part of the application is the submission of a portfolio of work or an audition, depending on the major the student wishes to pursue at the school.
The portfolio or audition requirements vary according to the major a student wishes to pursue, and the school’s admissions website instructs applicants to review the requirements for each major carefully.
The school prefers students to submit their auditions online out of safety concerns, but it will help applicants plan and coordinate live auditions when it deems it is safe to do so.
Students required to submit a portfolio are provided specific guidance for the types of art they are submitting and are also instructed to upload a video introducing and describing themselves as an artist.
Those who are required to audition will need to upload a series of videos of themselves performing selected works demonstrating their capabilities in their area of interest in addition to a video introducing and describing themselves as a performer.
Interlochen Arts Academy Alumni
Alumni from the Interlochen Arts Academy have gone on to successful careers in a variety of fields such as orchestral performance, theatre, ballet, film, pop music, and television.
The Interlochen alumni community is made up of nearly 100,000 alumni who represent 110 nations and territories.
Whether a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy or affiliated with one of the many other organizations and institutions that comprise the Interlochen Center for the Arts, alumni and members of the Interlochen community have made substantial impacts in arts and entertainment.
These graduates and affiliates have amassed an impressive list of awards and accomplishments including MacArthur Genius Grants, Emmys, Tonys, and Pulitzer Prizes.
The Emmy-winning producer of Breaking Bad and many other works in television and film, Vince Gilligan, attended the Interlochen Arts Academy as part of his educational journey.
Golden Globe winner Dan Goor, who has written for many comedy television series and produced Parks & Recreation, is another noteworthy alumnus in the film and television industry.
Major figures in popular music who attended Interlochen include Grammy-winners Norah Jones, Daya, and Damian Kulash, the lead singer of OK Go.
Interlochen alumni in classical music have prominent roles in the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Philadelphia Orchestra, among many others.
Interlochen Arts Academy Tuition
Tuition for the Interlochen Arts Academy for the 2022 to 2023 academic year is $70,950 for students who will board at the school and $40,175 for those who will attend the academy as a day school.
Attendees and their families may face additional fees such as for books, supplies, laptops, and the school’s first-year 12th-grade fee.
While the cost of tuition and fees may be daunting for some families, the Interlochen Center for the Arts offers a number of options for students and families to help offset the potential burden of the cost of education.
Among these options are the school’s payment options divided into plans of one, two, or ten payments over the year.
Whether applying for need or merit-based financial assistance, students and their families are instructed to complete and submit the Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) form online.
Furthermore, Interlochen offers a number of need and merit-based scholarship opportunities to its students. Students receiving a merit-based scholarship receive awards ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 per year.
The school reports that it provided some form of financial assistance to 80% of its students for the 2020 to 2021 school year.
Interlochen Arts Academy Ranking
The Interlochen Arts Academy is known as an excellent and prestigious institution offering a wide range of opportunities for any student interested in the arts.
Whether boarding at the school or attending the institution for the day and returning home in the evening, students at Interlochen receive some of the best arts education possible at the junior and high school levels.
Niche.com places the school at number 3 in its list of top high schools for the arts in the United States. The site also views the school’s boarding experience quite favorably, placing it at number 117 out of 418 ranked boarding schools in America.
Further lauding the arts academy, Niche.com places the school at number 327 out of 4,159 private college preparatory schools in the nation and considers the school the best arts high school in all of Michigan.
The Interlochen Center for the Arts has also been recognized by the president of the United States and by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The institution received the National Medal of Arts in 2006 from President George W. Bush in recognition of its work in advancing the arts in the United States.
The institution is also known for producing more Presidential Scholars than any other high school in the country, with the current number of students recognized with the honor at 50.
What Artistic Disciplines Are Offered at Interlochen Arts Academy?
Interlochen Arts Academy provides its students with a range of opportunities for studying the arts.
With seven majors available, aspiring artists are sure to find all of the resources they could need as they develop themselves as artists.
Students accepted into the arts academy choose to major in dance, theatre, music, creative writing, film & new media, visual arts, or interdisciplinary arts while receiving a college preparatory education, no matter their major.
Students majoring in dance will study contemporary dance and classical ballet along with other genres as they develop physical and emotional resilience and participate in tours and performances.
Areas of focus offered to theatre students at the academy include musical theatre, design and production, and acting. Acting students will develop an acting process while gaining skills that prepare them for a variety of performances.
Those studying design and production will develop an understanding of theatre design and its impact on the overall production, while students of musical theatre will develop an acting process adaptable to a range of performances while strengthening their vocal and physical performance skills.
Music students can specialize in performance with a specific instrument while studying classical performance, composition, jazz performance, music production & engineering, popular performance, and singer-songwriting.
The creative writing major helps students construct a diverse portfolio through a workshop-based curriculum while developing their own writing styles.
Film & new media students can concentrate in either animation or filmmaking while they develop their voice and media skills.
Visual artists will study a variety of artistic media while developing an understanding of the principles and elements of design.
Students interested in interdisciplinary arts will work with instructors in a variety of artistic fields in order to develop skills and techniques that enable them to express ideas and themselves through multiple artforms.
Should You Apply to Interlochen Arts Academy?
Given that the Interlochen Arts Academy is highly ranked among the nation’s arts high schools and has produced so many prize-winning artists across a variety of fields, many students will be drawn to apply for acceptance and submit their portfolios or auditions to the boarding school.
The opportunity to develop one’s artistic knowledge and skills among a residential community of like-minded peers is a wonderful opportunity for young aspiring artists.
While students and their families will need to consider the costs associated with attending the arts academy, they can take heart knowing that Interlochen believes in enabling students to attend the school despite potential financial challenges.
The school provides a number of options for families to pay for the school’s cost of tuition as well as need and merit-based financial aid opportunities that can help to significantly offset the costs of attending the academy.
Choosing to attend the Interlochen Arts Academy has been a major milestone in many successful artists’ lives, and potential students will find the chance to attend the same institution as their role models, potentially joining the ranks of highly acclaimed artists.