Keeping it Reel

Why Should I Go to College for Acting?

You’ve been acting since middle school. You’ve done every show possible at your high school, you’ve participated in community theater, you’ve even been the star of a few short films produced by friends and local filmmakers. With the courses you’ve taken, the books you’ve read, and the experience you’ve gained, you feel pretty prepared for a career in acting. So lately you’ve been wondering: “Just why should I go to college for acting?”

It is a fair question. In fact, you might even ask the broader question: why should I go to college for anything? You have access to pretty much any knowledge you could ever want via the internet, and there are too many YouTube tutorials out there to count. Even if there weren’t, acting is something you learn by doing, right? Why do you need to go to school?

                                                                                              via GIPHY

Well, we are glad you asked…


Gain industry connections

One of the biggest benefits to going to college is that it can provide you with the opportunity to make professional contacts in your industry. Acting is no different. When you go to school for acting you have the opportunity to make connections in three ways:


  1. Students
  2. Faculty
  3. Professionals

Other students can provide you with recommendations on where and how they have found success, your professors will almost certainly notify you of area auditions and other opportunities, and through showcases and film festivals, you’ll have the chance to meet professionals, and show them your work (for more info on making connections visit our post: Film School: Networking Your Way to a Better Future).

All in all, the connections you make in college can’t be beat. Sure, you can network on your own, and you’ll make connections with every new job you get, but college makes it easy. You are put in front of all the right people; you just have to show them what you can do.

Get hands-on training from experienced professionals

Regardless of how you learn, there is a huge benefit to having an experienced individual watching you work. Your professors should be able to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and help you improve overall. They will know tips, tricks, and secrets of the trade. They will walk you through brilliant acting techniques and methods. Most of all, the right teacher will help you work towards achieving whatever goal you may have. No book or YouTube video is going to be able to provide you with the same individualized experience.


Be a part of a disciplined training program

When deciding whether or not the college path is right for you, one of the main questions you should ask yourself is how determined and self-disciplined you are. If you know you can wake up every single day, work on your acting skills, network, and search for your next acting gig, that’s fantastic. But for a lot of people, that level of self-discipline is hard to achieve.

When you a go to college for acting, you still need to be determined and self-disciplined, but you will be a part of a program that is constantly pushing you forward. Your teachers will be instructing you on what to learn or practice next. You will be given homework assignments, projects, and opportunities to perform. If you decide that college isn’t for you, these are all things you will have to do on your own.


Earn your degree

You might not want to act forever. You might decide acting isn’t for you. You might choose to pursue something other than acting. If at any point, you decide to do something other than acting, it is a lot better to have a degree than to not have one. A degree shows dedication, persistence, and a love for the craft. It demonstrates that you have a particular set of knowledge and skills. Regardless of if you are going for a job in acting or not, it is not a bad thing to have at all.


Need a few more reasons?

College can help you in more ways than just the four listed above. If you are weighing your options, consider downloading our guide, Acting: From College to Career. It will fill you in on all of the things a great college acting program can do for you and provide you with insights into the acting profession. Just click below to get started.

Acting From College to Career


This blog is a collaborative effort by CCH staff and administration who want to share their knowledge with the film school community and prospective students.

Columbia College Hollywood is excited to announce TWO new scholarships! Receive awards of up to $5,000 for the 2021 Summer Scholarship for Storytellers and up to $18,950 for the CCH Career Accelerator Scholarship.

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