Hey guys! I remember I was exactly in your place last year...well maybe not exactly, I was putting off my essay for a few more...weeks, but that's not the point. Ultimately, I ended up being accepted into the incoming class of 2010 under the major of Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design. I knew I had a lot of questions about the school before I applied, so I figured I'd help some of you out.
Ask anything you'd like to know about the school. Of course some things I can't really help you with, like your chances of getting in to program X, but I'll do my best to answer everything I know.
Just to start out, it's really important to know that FIT is not like other colleges. You're giving up the campus life and most parts of the college experience so you can wholly concentrate on your major, and in that regard, it's one of the best educations money can buy. It really comes down to how much you want to sacrifice, and how much you love what you want to do. Once you start, there's no turning back, if you want to change majors, do it fast, because you'll be lucky if you get credit for any of your courses.
Campus, campus life, academics, other students, ask away!
Thanks HungryStudent! I have several questions regarding my child. She is very interested in FIT for Fashion Merchandising, but is concerned about giving up the typical college experience. She is very passionate about her major and loves New York City! What types of activities are you involved in at FIT? What types of things do you and most students do in their free time? What is dorm life like (if you live in the dorm). How easy is it to make friends and feel a part of the campus? Although we have not yet gone on an official campus tour, we have been there and know what it looks like. While the campus itself seems safe, what about the surrounding neighborhoods?
Any information is greatly appreciated!
Hi Hungry Student, I am a junior interested in attending FIT. I would also like to know about the social life. Do you ever attend parties at other schools like NYU? Do students get together on weekends or does everyone go home? Tell me about a typical weekend for you and your friends. Also, how intense is the workload? Do you or your friends have internships? Thanks!
It's so nice of you to make this thread!
Anyway I've already applied to FIT for the spring semester. I've been reading a lot of reviews on FIT and there were many complaints about the admission process and how the school is very unorganized when it comes to keeping track of admission supplements sent by students and getting results out to students in a correct and timely manner.
The whole process is very long and complicated, I'm just hoping they would at least inform me if I still have missing documents or had sent any wrong materials.
I was wondering if you had any problems regarding your application at all?
We have been trying to get more info about the school also. Specifically, if a student is looking at the business side of fashion, and thus they do not have a portfolio, what is a determining factor in admissions? Can you put a minimum SAT/GPA for admissions (without a portfolio)? What about ec's, dos FIT look at only fashion experience or do they want more diverse ec's?
Sorry guys! I've been a bit caught up in some big projects and the holiday retail season but I'm still here!
I'll try my best to answer everything:
(I just wrote a nice long post but the awesome forum interface decided it was just going to burp and delete it)
Activities: To be blunt, look elsewhere. We have the typical student government, Christian Club, and Anime Club. Most other clubs are related to business, like the Merchandising Society. I work part time in nearby Times Square, and there's a lot of other kids like me who work X amount of hours a week at the local H&M, American Apparel or Urban Outfitters for some going-out money, because honestly, that's where the fun's at.
Campus life: Again, pretty dead. School spirit is lacking. Although we're all very grateful to be here, it's more of an "end justifies the means" type of thing. The campus is surprisingly dead on the weekends because FIT is a huge commuter school. About 70% of the dorm residents are from the surrounding areas(read: Jersey and Long Island) and tend to go home often. Inside the halls, most doors are closed because sadly, that's just kind of how things are done here. FIT students also have a reputation of being cold, but we're all just very focused, stressed, and passionate. Honestly, we're just as lonely and looking for someone to have a good time with too. It takes a few weeks, but you usually find your clique. Dorming and the people on your floor are especially valuable resources to find friends.
Dorms: Like above, they're pretty quiet. Parties do not happen. At least not in the dorms, usually over at NYU or the bars down the block. I live in Alumni Hall right now, the all-suite Freshmen dorm across from the school. By NYC standards, it's pretty nice. Cockroaches/rats/bedbugs are rare and things like water and electricity don't go out very often. Any problems are very quickly taken care of, but the residence halls really lack venues for socialization besides the workrooms, which are obviously full of working students. Another thing, the rooms are made to be "efficient." Your futon will not fit and is prohibited. I learned that the hard way. Another-another thing, Try and find a roommate through facebook or other resources, if only because FIT tends to attract "distinguished" personalities. Most students end up with problems their first semester and lots of switching around happens.
Safety: A nonissue. FIT is right on 7th ave, aka:The Middle of Everything. I occasionally walk home 20 blocks from work at 4 in the morning by myself, to the horror of my parents, and never once have I felt threatened. There is police presence every 2 blocks or so, and if I'm ever feeling below my best, I can hail a cab literally anywhere and be back to school in under 10 minutes. Downtown from FIT is just as safe, and we never hear of any type of incidents happening at night.
Admissions: Yes, they are unorganized, yes you will rip your hair out and cry. Its the schools's way of weeding out the weak. Business majors without a portfolio: GPA(85+) and essay are important, extracurrics are valuable outside of fashion, and SATs have some, but marginal pull. They are not looking for the top of the class, but the most prepared for the field and who looks like they can put out decent work. Check your ***** acct. at LEAST every 2 days for updates and call about a month after submission if you still see the status as unprocessed, you may be missing something important. Also, in-person portfolio reviews raise your chances of getting in, as least from what I've seen, so if you're able, do it.
Schoolwork: This is the tricky one: FIT is technically two schools; Art&Design and the Business School.
If you end up an A&D major(anything that requires a portfolio), You have my sympathies. Get ready to sleep 2 hours a night, spend every cent you have on supplies, and have multiple emotional breakdowns. Every Art&Design student can remember their first, including me haha. You don't have midterms or finals in most classes just because the 3 or so projects you do count for close to everything attendance doesn't. Over 3 absences and you fail. Period. The work you do will amazing, and it's what gives FIT such prestige in the fashion world. Make sure you LOVE what you do because you will otherwise go insane. It's unfortunate because you kind of miss out on living in New York but again, the end hopefully justifies the means.
The Business school is much different, and honestly again, significantly less effort required for the work. Most classes revolve around a textbook, and it's a lot of reading and papers. Fashion Merchandising majors, hereon referred to as FMMs, are the biggest makeup of the school's population are often stereotyped as ditzy party girls. A running joke is that you are graded on your shopping receipts and hours of partying done every week. Those who work their asses off will land good jobs, but a good crock of them are destined to be mall store managers or unemployed unfortunately.
The workload issue has created a bit of an unspoken spat between the two schools: A&D majors know their workload is unfathomable to most Business(read:FMM) majors, however the Business school students try to defend their workload as just as hard and "more boring." As someone who's seen both sides of the fence, The previous statement is just untrue. A&D students can be outspoken about how some of the easier majors leech off of the "FIT effect" and the prestige associated with the school, and how the easy majors hurt the school's reputation in the creative fields. If you ever see an Art & Design major, recognized by their ratty studio clothes, give them a hug, buy them a sandwich, and tell them it will be okay in the end.
Internships are not sanctioned by the school until your final two semesters, they will NOT accept it as college credit before then, however the ones offered are pretty cool. I have friends who've partnered with Russ-Berry for toy design, Vogue, Harper's, Elle, Marie Clare for advertising and publishing, Gucci, Prada, Nike, Saks, Bloomingdales, Macy's and a million other places for design and for merchandising. It's definitely a cool experience.
...I think that's everything? If anyone needs more info just lemme know!
HungryStudent, Thank you for your reply. It was detailed and brutally honest. Although I am not a big party person I did want some semblance of a college social life on the weekends. Thanks for the heads up.
HungryStudent, I'm happy how honest you are about the school. I think people may get the wrong idea about fashion schools. Anyway, I'm interested in fashion but not fashion design. However, I've been involved with graphic design since I was 8 (long story). I want to continue this as a career. Is FITs program good? Better than Parsons?
I'd say go for it! If you want to get more in-depth in a certain field, the Communication Design and Illustration majors are both world-class, and our entire graphics department is very highly regarded. The technology is refreshed every year, and there's a whole printing lab too. If you want to become involved in any sort of fashion industry, FIT's connections will find you a graphics job. That's one of the greatest things about the school. Top companies cherry-pick students from the graduating class and amazing job offers essentially fall into their laps. This isn't true for everyone, but if you have the talent and the motivation, you're set. Parson's may have an equitable program, but their connections aren't as well-done. If anything, I'd say look at Pratt in addition to FIT and maybe SVA.
Hi, Hungry Student! I'm a senior applying to FIT 2011 fall semester! The major you are in is exactly the one I want to get in! I haven't sent my online application yet, but am going to before the end of this month. I'm wondering what are the portfolio requirements for this major? Is there anything that I need to watch out while preparing my portfolio? From the above comments I've seen, I'm kind of worried to be honest. I am a very sociable person, but I heard the students in FIT keep to themselves more. Is that true?
Hi HungryStudent! I'm very interested in FIT's graphic design and advertising design programs. I was wondering how competitive the environment is? I don't have a lot of experience in either fields seeing as I just finished my first computer graphics course at my current school. But I love both fields and my goal is to complete at least 2 design projects every week.
Also, what does the admissions committee look for in a portfolio?
FMM vs. Advertising & marketing communications major. HELP!
Hello FIT student !
I am in a small dilemma and thought you may be able to help. So I applied for fall 2011 admission as a fashion merchandising major. I am awaere that FMM is the most applied to major and the most difficult to get in for. I saw in my ***** account that I am able to request to switch my major. Do you think it us a good idea if I switch my major to marketing/advertising being that it is less competitive and ups my chances of getting in? Please tell me your thoughts!!! Thank you so much