Awards Program Eligibility Policies & Submission FAQs
In addition to eligibility requirements specific to each program, below are some policies and definitions used in our awards programs to determine eligibility for awards based on aspects or characteristics of the performing group/artist.
Group Type Definitions
Groups that submit to the middle school category should consist of students who are full-time middle school students at any middle school or homeschool. This may include groups that are affiliated with a middle school, as well as groups that are not affiliated with a school where all participants are otherwise full-time students at any middle school or homeschool.
Groups that submit to the high school category should consist of students who are full-time high school students at any high school or homeschool. This may include groups that are affiliated with a high school, as well as groups that are not affiliated with a school where all participants are otherwise full-time students at any high school or homeschool.
Groups that submit to the collegiate category should consist of students who are enrolled at your school or university. However, if your school or university allows outside members to participate, you can include them in your submission materials.
Semi-Professional / Post-Collegiate category
Any group that submits to the semi-professional / post-collegiate group category should consist of members who are in your group on a part-time basis (i.e., actively engaged and receiving regular payment, but at a lower rate or frequency than a full-time professional).
Professional group category
Any group that submits to the professional group category should consist of members who are in your group on a full-time basis (i.e., actively engaged and receiving regular payment, as a primary source of income).
Any group that sings in an upper vocal range, such as SSAA (previously “Best Female Collegiate Category”)
Any group that sings in a mix of upper and lower vocal ranges, such as SATB (previously “Best Mixed Collegiate Category”)
Any group that sings in a lower vocal range, such as TTBB (previously “Best Male Collegiate Category”)
Group Performs Regularly
Any group that performs together regularly in a live setting. This classification will apply to most groups.
Collaborative or Studio Project
Usually used to describe a short-term project that is a collaborative work between multiple artists or individuals, where the specific configuration does not perform together regularly in a live setting.
This is used to indicate that the all audio in the work submitted for consideration is provided by a single individual.
Albums, EPs, Singles and Compilations
Submissions for any given awards season are specific to a calendar year. Release dates for albums or singles must be between January 1 and December 31 of the calendar year in order to be eligible. However, there are some scenarios where you may be submitting a collection of singles from the year in a single submission, or perhaps have a track that is being re-released on an album that has been on a previous album or was a single released in a previous year. Please review the various types of information we request below to make sure we categorize each submission correctly.
Album "Release Type"
When creating a submission to the CARAs, you will see the "release type" field. Please review these definitions to choose the most appropriate option:
- Released As Album: Choose this option if the submission represents a full Album released during the calendar year, either as an album from a single artist or a compilation album of various artists.
- Collection of Singles Released Separately: Choose this option if the submission contains multiple individual tracks that were released as singles on various dates throughout the calendar year.