Applications Must Be Postmarked by Monday, December 16 , 2019

Applying to GSA’s summer program is not difficult, but it does require special attention to deadlines and the details of your art form. The window for applying is November 14-December 16. Review this portion of the website carefully, and be sure to closely read the pages for your discipline in How to Plan for Your Audition.

To apply to GSA, you must do the following:

  • Be sure you meet the proper qualifications to apply.
  • Submit your application and letters of recommendation by December 16, 2019.
  • Apply in only one art form.  Instrumentalists may audition with two instruments; however, the time allowed for the audition will not be increased.
  • Complete BOTH parts of the application.  The application itself is two-pronged. Part I must be submitted on line, and it must be completed before submitting the check-off list to the counselor for Part II. Paper clip the Confirmation of Submission form to the front of your application. There is an item to be checked by the counselor that verifies you have the Confirmation attached.,
  • Supply a current email account/address for both yourself and a parent. Check your typing!   Directions for communicating with the teacher in your field will be sent by email, so it is imperative that the address you send is correct.

We look forward to receiving your application!  If you have questions, contact Sherry Keffer, director of Governor’s Schools, by email or by telephone at 304-640-0988.

Qualifications for successful application to GSA

  • 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 or home schools within West Virginia are included;
  • Have a 2.5 average during freshman year--or have first grading period grades that indicate you can bring the average up to 2.5 by the end of the first semester of 10th grade. Students in this position may be invited to audition conditionally, but their cumulative GPA after three semesters must be at least 2.5.
  • Have an acceptable attendance and discipline record;
  • Be recommended by the school principal;
  • Exhibit a strong commitment to  personal artistic development;
  • Be a sophomore at time of application.

Completing the Application and Getting References

  • 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. Computers are also accessible at most public libraries.
  • Part I of the application is to be submitted on line. Before submitting the online form, right click, select “print,” or "CTRL-P"  (COMMAND-P on the Mac) and print a copy for your records. In addition, after submitting the form, right click and print the “Thank You” message that appears on the screen.  Save the printed copy and attach it to Part II. This will serve as verification that you have completed Part I. If, after clicking "submit," the confirmation page does not appear, you should review the application to see your error. 
  • The remainder (Part II) is to be completed and submitted by traditional mail, postmarked on or before December 16, 2019. It is not a good idea to mail your application from school December 16 because it might end up in the school's outgoing mail until the next day.  Applications postmarked after the deadline will be rejected.
  • The application, which is a fillable pdf, should be saved to your computer as a pdf and then re-opened before  attempting to complete it.
  • Your letters of recommendation must be typed and attached to the back of your application, just before the transcript.
  • Write the essay. This applies to all applicants. See page 5 of the application for topic as well as the space for submitting it.
  • 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. The other should come from a teacher in your school, a minister, or  a civic leader who is familiar with the kind of student/person you are. Letters should clearly state the capacity in which the writer knows you, and the writer’s professional position. They should be submitted on professional letterhead and must 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.
  • 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
  • Type the rest of the application, print it and take it to your counselor at least 10 days before the deadline. The counselor will complete page 3 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 your counselor that your Social Security number is NOT to be sent with your transcript. If it is on there, you can mark through it before mailing the application.
  • DO NOT STAPLE. Fasten with paper clips.
  • It is your responsibility to go to the Audition Schedule and Guidelines section to determine the audition requirements in your area of expertise. Start preparing NOW. Do not wait until the audition itself nears. If you have questions, contact Mrs. Keffer immediately. Note: Audition procedures are already posted.  Although the posted deadline is February 2, it is actually January 24, 2020.
  • Your counselor may offer to mail your application; however, you are the one who is ultimately responsible for mailing the entire packet to the West Virginia Department of Education:


Cheryl "Sherry" Keffer
State Coordinator of Governor’s Schools
Building 6, Room 221
West Department of Education
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East

Charleston, WV 25305 

Have you ready everything?  Ready to start the application?  Click here

All of West Virginia's Governor's Schools are provided at no cost to the students or their parents.