Applicant's Responsibilities

What do I need to do to apply to GSA?

Applying to GSA is like working a puzzle. You have to do it one piece at a time, and the first piece is reading the following detailed instructions before beginning the application process to GSA.

The first step to applying to GSA is to be sure you meet the proper qualifications. You must have the qualifying grades to apply. You may apply for one and only one arts area; however, instrumentalists my audition on up to two instruments. The qualifications follow.
  1. Be a resident of West Virginia and attend school within the state this year with plans to do so next year as well. Students who attend public or private schools and home-schooled students are included.
  2. Have a 2.5 average during freshman year. Students not having a 2.5 but who rank in the top half of their class academically are also eligible. Students who are on the cusp of meeting the requirement may qualify by bringing the cumulative GPA up to 2.5 after three semesters, provided that the grades can be provided by January 20, 2013. If you fall into this category, contact Mrs. Sherry Keffer for the procedure to submit the grades. If your ninth-grade GPA is 2.5 or higher, please do not send an additional transcript.
  3. Have an acceptable attendance and discipline record.
  4. Be recommended by the school principal.
  5. Exhibit a strong commitment to their personal development as artists.
  6. Be a sophomore at time of application
  7. If you meet the qualifications, the next step is to fill out the Student Application which consists of both an online portion and a paper application. They are described as Parts I and II. If you do not have access to a computer and the Internet, your guidance counselor or another teacher in your school should allow you to use a school computer.
    The entire application must be submitted by December 22.Part I   is to be submitted online by that date, and the remainder (Part II) must be postmarked  no later than December 22 as well.. It is not a good idea to mail your application from school when the holiday vacation is nearing because it might end up in the school's outgoing mail until after the deadline.
  8. The application, which is a pdf should be saved to your computer as a Microsoft Word document. You can then type directly on it. Please note that all applications are to be typed. The only exception is the counselor's check-off page.
  9. Write the essay. This applies to all applicants. See page 1 of the application for topic.
  10. Provide two letters of recommendation. One of the letters must come from a teacher who has worked with you in your arts area (may be a private arts teacher) or who is familiar with your work. Letters should clearly state the capacity in which the writer knows you, and the writer’s professional position. Letters should be submitted on professional letterhead and are to be typed using a 12-point Roman or Arial font. The use of fancy, italicized fonts is strongly discouraged. Writers should speak candidly about your work, talent, desire, strengths and weaknesses.
  11. Pay careful attention to the parent/student signature page. If you have questions about the residency and no-visitation requirements, you may direct them to
  12. Type the rest of the application, print it and take it to your counselorwell before the deadline.
  13. The counselor will complete page 2 of the application and give it to your principal for his/her signature. The counselor will also attach the necessary school records and arrange the application in the correct order. Please remind him or her that your Social Security number is NOT to be sent with your transcript.
  14. It is your responsibility to go to the "How to plan for your audition" section to determine the audition requirements in your area of expertise. Start preparing NOW. Do not wait until the audition itself nears.
  15. Your counselor may offer to mail your application; however, you are the one who is ultimately responsible for mailing the entire packet to the Office of the Secretary of Education and the Arts. It must be postmarked by December 22, 2012, and mailed to
  16. Sherry Keffer
    State Director of Governor’s Schools
    Office of Education and the Arts
    Building 5, Room 205
    1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
    Charleston, WV 25305