Application Submission Process


Notification and Awards

YoungArts Student List Service

YoungArts Programs


Application Submission Process

What is my deadline to apply to YoungArts?

The 2016 YoungArts program application opens on April 21, 2015 and closes on October 16, 2015. You must submit all of your materials (audition, portfolio, other required materials according to the discipline for which you are applying) by the stated deadline in order to be considered for the 2016 program. 

How do I apply?

Application to YoungArts is made through the completion of an on-line application and submission of an audition or portfolio on Acceptd, an online application platform. Clicking the “Apply Now” button on our website (apply.youngarts.org) will take you straight to our Acceptd page. You will be prompted to open an account in order to complete and submit your application. No references or academic transcripts are required. There is a $35 (non-refundable) application fee per category. Fee waivers are available for qualifying applicants. Applicants may submit in more than one discipline or category within a discipline. Please refer to the discipline and category guidelines for details. The deadline for applications is October 16, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST (New York Time). No application will be reviewed unless a complete set of materials is submitted by the deadline.

Do I have to submit my portfolio or audition as soon as I apply?

No, you are able to begin an application and come back to it at a late date. The information you have entered will be saved and your application will be available to you until you complete the submission process. Just make sure your application is complete by October 16, 2015.

What are the YoungArts age eligibility requirements? 

Young artists in grades 10-12 or ages 15-18 on December 1, 2015 may apply.   International students who are studying in the U.S. on a student visa are eligible to apply.  YoungArts reserves the right to extend eligibility on a case by case basis provided the applicant’s 19th birthday falls within 90 days before the designated guideline.

If I have already graduated high school, may I still apply to the YoungArts program?

Yes, as long as you meet either of the eligibility requirements: on December 1, 2015, you must be between the ages of 15-18 OR in high school grades 10-12.  YoungArts reserves the right to extend eligibility on a case by case basis provided the applicant’s birthdate falls within 90 days before or after the designated guideline.

What type of high school programs qualify?

You may be enrolled in a public, private or parochial school, or be in a home school program.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to apply to the YoungArts program?

No, permanent residents and international students who are studying in the U.S. on a student visa are also eligible to apply.  Students must meet the eligibility guidelines listed above.

Can I apply to YoungArts if I was a previous winner?

Finalists who attended YoungArts Week may not reapply in the same discipline they participated in but are welcome to apply to a different one. Finalists who were unable to attend YoungArts Week may apply again.  Honorable Mention and Merit Award Winners are eligible to re-apply in any discipline and category provided they meet all other eligibility requirements.

What artistic disciplines does YoungArts accept?

The YoungArts application consists of ten disciplines across the visual, literary, design and performing arts. They are: Cinematic Arts, Dance, Design Arts, Jazz, Music, Photography, Theater, Visual Arts, Voice, and Writing.

Can I apply in more than one discipline?

Yes, you may apply in more than one discipline or category.  There is an application fee for each category within a discipline that you select.

What is the fee for applying to YoungArts?

The application fee for applying to YoungArts is $35 per category within a discipline that you selected.

How do I pay my application fee?

You may pay your application fee online with a credit card. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards are accepted.

What if I cannot afford the application fee?

Fee waivers are available to qualified applicants. To be eligible for a fee waiver, you must meet at least one of the following indicators of economic need:

  • You have received or are eligible to receive an ACT or SAT testing fee waiver.
  • You are enrolled in or eligible to participate in the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch program (FRPL).
  • You are enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
  • You can provide a supporting statement from a school official, indicating that you qualify for and receive financial aid.

Documented proof is required. Your fee waiver documentation should be sent to the attention of the Artistic Programs Department. It can be faxed to (305) 377-1149, emailed to [email protected], or mailed to 2100 Biscayne Boulevard Miami, FL 33137. Document(s) must be received in our office no later than end of business day on October 16, 2015.

Can I get a refund after I pay the application fee?

No, your application fee is non-refundable.

How do I submit my portfolio, audition or other submission materials?

The submission process is entirely online as part of the on-line application process.

What are the application requirements?

The application asks for basic contact information, school and arts education and experience.  Each discipline and category has its own requirements. Please visit the Application Requirements page on our website for your particular discipline (i.e., Cinematic Arts, Dance, Design Arts, Jazz, Music, Photography, Theater, Visual Arts, Voice, and Writing) for specific submission requirements.  



How will my work be judged?

Your submission is evaluated on its own merit in a blind adjudication process by an independent panel of judges. No identifying information on submitted audition portfolio materials is permitted. The panel consists of highly accomplished master artists within each of the ten disciplines in the visual, literary, performing and design arts. Panelists adjudicate all submissions and identify the National Winners in each discipline.  Select members of the adjudication panel also work with the Finalists during YoungArts Week and in the Regional Programs.

How many applications does YoungArts receive and how many winners are there?

Last year alone there were 786 Winners chosen from over 11,000 applications from across the nation.  All YoungArts Winners join the ranks of our 20,000+ YoungArts alumni and go on to the top universities and conservatories across the country to become leading professionals in their fields.


Notification and Awards

What types of awards can I win?

National Winners

Every year the country’s most promising young artists are selected from across the country as National Winners.   Last year alone there were 786 Winners chosen from over 11,000 applications from across the nation. These Winners have the opportunity to attend YoungArts programs which include master classes with internationally renowned artists, workshops, interdisciplinary activities, performances and exhibitions.  In addition, all YoungArts Winners join the ranks of our 20,000+ YoungArts alumni and go on to the top universities and conservatories across the country to become leading professionals in their fields. 

Recognition Levels

Merit: Receive a Certificate of Achievement, a medallion, a Recommendation Letter and are invited to participate in regional programs.  The winner’s high school also receives an engraved plaque with the names of every winner from that school.

Honorable Mention:  Receives the same benefits as a Merit winner plus a $250 monetary award.

Finalist:  Receives the same benefits as a Merit winner plus an invitation to National YoungArts Week held in January for final adjudication to determine award designation (Level 3 $1000, Level 2 $1500, Level 1 $3000, Silver $5000, Gold $10,000).

Is my school recognized as well?

All high schools of winners at all levels will receive a congratulatory letter and award, engraved with winners’ names, for display in the school. These school awards are sent out during the month of May.

What is PSA (U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and how does it relate to YoungArts?

U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts (PSA) is the arts portion of the U.S. Presidential Scholars program*. Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Scholars program celebrates 141 outstanding high school seniors each June in Washington, DC during National Recognition Week, which includes a Medallion Ceremony and visit to the White House.

YoungArts is the exclusive pathway to the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistically talented high school seniors. Each year, up to 60 YoungArts Winners who attend National YoungArts Week (in January) are nominated to the Presidential Scholars Commission. From that pool, as many as 20 of those YoungArts Winners are selected as arts scholars. The performing arts winners create a performance-based salute to all of the Scholars at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the visual and literary artists exhibit their work at one of the Smithsonian art museums.

If you are chosen to participate in National YoungArts Week before you meet the grade level requirement for nomination, you will have the opportunity for consideration in the year you become a graduating high school senior. At that time, you will present updated portfolio/audition materials to and be interviewed by the current year’s panel. Performance disciplines will present their updated materials live during the adjudication process for the panel. To be considered for nomination by the panel in the year that you are eligible, you must also meet the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program GPA and citizenship requirements.

*For further information on the U.S. Presidential Scholar Program including application guidelines, academic requirements, etc., please visit their website (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/psp).

Is it possible to be a winner in more than one discipline or more than one category? 

Yes. The panel of judges may select Winners to be awarded for multiple levels in multiple disciplines and categories.  

If you are chosen as a National Winner in more than one discipline or category, and you are invited to a YoungArts Program, you will be asked to choose one to participate in during that program. YoungArts will however recognize you in all disciplines and categories for which you were selected as a National Winner.

Once you have selected the discipline or category that you will be participating in for YoungArts Week, you will be honored in the other discipline or category with a “Finalist Award” and will receive a monetary award in the amount of $500.

When are award checks mailed?

All checks will be mailed in May of 2016.  

Anyone receiving monetary award from the National YoungArts Foundation must complete and submit a W-9 to the YoungArts office.  No monies can be issued without this completed document.  The W-9 form must be filled out with the winner’s information in order for the award(s) to be issued. There are no exceptions to this. 

YoungArts Student List Service

All applicants can choose to be placed on the Student List Service (SLS) which provides colleges, universities, conservatories, summer arts programs and outside scholarship awarding organizations discipline specific student contact information as well as the ability to view submitted audition portfolio materials.  As a result of participation in the SLS, YoungArts applicants and winners have received more than $150,000,000 in scholarships awards from the top colleges, universities and conservatories across the United States.


YoungArts Programs

What are the programs that YoungArts offers to its Winners?

YoungArts Winners have the opportunity to participate in YoungArts Week (Finalists) and YoungArts Regional Programs (All Winners). YoungArts Program participants enjoy the rare opportunity to take master classes and interdisciplinary workshops from world-renowned artists, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bill T. Jones, Marina Abramović, Frank Gehry, Wynton Marsalis, Plácido Domingo, James Rosenquist and other masters in a variety of artistic disciplines. They are also given the opportunity to perform and exhibit their works at cultural venues in each program city.

What is YoungArts Week?

Our National YoungArts Finalists, spanning ten disciplines, converge in Miami for YoungArts Week held each January.  Finalists continue to be adjudicated during YoungArts Week by participating in master classes, performances, exhibitions, and interdisciplinary sessions.  Finalists who are graduating high school seniors also have the opportunity to be nominated by YoungArts to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Commission.

What is a YoungArts Regional Program and where are they located?

Each YoungArts program is truly a life changing experience. These programs are a time for young artists to share in the creative energy of their peers; perform/exhibit their work; and to learn from renowned master artists.

Inspired by the transformative experiences offered during National YoungArts Week, Regional Programs are designed to offer the YoungArts experience to as many Winners as possible from an ever-growing list of locations.  Presently, our Regional Programs are YoungArts MiamiYoungArts New York, and YoungArts Los Angeles. Winners receive detailed information about these programs in their award notification email.



What is a YoungArts Alumnus/a?

Since 1981, YoungArts Alumni are the gifted young artists who have applied and been chosen as National Winners.   YoungArts Alumni go on to the top colleges, universities and conservatories across the country and become leading professionals in their fields. From Juilliard to Harvard, New York City Ballet and Alvin Ailey Dance Company to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, YoungArts Alumni are a strong presence in the arts world and are creative thinkers in the business and technology sectors.   Alumni become principal dancers in major companies, members of prominent orchestras, recognizable faces on stage and screen, accomplished authors and respected visual artists. They hold leadership positions across the nation, and bring the same dedication and enthusiastic work ethic to their careers that they invested with YoungArts.

What is the YoungArts Alumni Association?

The YoungArts Alumni Association creates a community for the 20,000+ YoungArts Alumni in order to assist and support them in their educational, artistic and professional development.  

All Winners automatically become YoungArts Alumni and therefore members of the Alumni Association.

What are the benefits of being a YoungArts Alumnus/a?

YoungArts always looks for new and different ways to maintain a relationship with our Alumni by integrating them into our national and regional programs and events. We also support Alumni projects and seek ways to promote their artistic ideas.

Benefits of being a YoungArts Alumnus/a include access to the top colleges, universities and conservatories and scholarships. YoungArts has facilitated more than $150 million in scholarships for our winners at the nation’s leading colleges, universities and conservatories. In fact, a recent survey shows that in the class of 2012, a total of $12.4 million in scholarship dollars were awarded to alumni because of their YoungArts designation.

YoungArts utilizes Alumni in events, performances and exhibitions across the nation. Alumni are also privy to special partnerships that include an ever-growing list of internship positions and fellowships including those at Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Ballet Theater and Hunter College Art Galleries (NYC). For more information, see our full list of alumni opportunities, here

If you have questions, please email [email protected] or call (800) 970-2787.