Applications Must Be Postmarked by December 2

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

To apply to GSA, you must do the following:

  • Be sure you meet the proper qualifications to apply. Apply in only one art form. Instrumentalists may audition with two instruments; however, the time allowed for the audition will not be increased.
  • Submit your application and letters of recommendation by December 2, 2016.
  • 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. (See counselor's page on Part II)
  • Supply a current email account/address and check your typing!  Audition notices will be sent by email on December 15 & 16. If you have not received an email by December 17, contact to determine the problem.


We look forward to receiving your application!  If you have questions, contact Sherry Keffer, director of Governor’s Schools, by email or by telephone on Monday or Tuesday at 304-558-2440.

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.
  • 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.
  • Part I of the application is to be submitted on line and will not be accepted after December 2.  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.  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 2. It is not a good idea to mail your application from school when the weekend is nearing because it might end up in the school's outgoing mail until after the deadline. Remember:  it must be postmarked by December 2, so taking it to the post office after the last mail pickup will not work. Applications sent later will be rejected.
  • The application, which is a pdf, should be saved to your computer  as a pdf and then re-opened.
  • Your letters of recommendation must be typed.
  • 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 well 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 2, 2016, and mailed to the address below.

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

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