I finally got my daughter to take a tour of Pratt. She REALLY didn't like the school to both my and my wife's dismay. MY Daughter is a "sheltered" southern girl. Thus, her perspective maybe different from other prospective students. What turned her off was as follows:
1. The area: She really felt unsafe in the area. The iron gates that surrounded the school also didn't give her any warm furries of safety. We also were able to drive right into the campus without anyone checking on us or seeing if we were terrorists.
2. The plant maintenance: My daughter hated the amount of deferred maintenance that seemed to permeate every building. There were a lot of deteriorated buildings and facilities. She didn't like the small bathrooms with broken tiles and peeling paint. She found the dorms to be acceptable except they were old and decrepit, and needed the same maintenance. Even the student center,which had lots of treadmills and other equipment, was dismal and not airconditioned.
3. Stand alone art school thing: She really didn't want a stand alone art school She likes the idea of associating with non-artsy types. She might make an exception for RISD because of their tight Brown assocation and nicer facilites,but Pratt was just to much of a turnoff for her.
Despite our emphasizing Pratt's great programs and choices of majors, she definitely was too turned off to Pratt. Thus, I guess that is one less application to be filed.
My daughter attended Pratt's precollege the summer before her senior year. I must say I had the same feelings as your daughter. My daughter enjoyed her stay in Brooklyn for one month, but she fell in love with RISD...and I'm a much happier Mom! Pratt would benefit from taking some of they money they award to almost every student accepted and put it into campus improvements.
My son is attending Pratt as a Freshman. During orientation we noticed many improvements made to many of the building exteriors in the year since we first visited. The campus was beautiful! Had it been a year ago, I would not have been able to make that statement.
From what I can tell, Pratt is continuing to make improvements inside and out. We were in a small hall that was beautiful restored.
As RISD was my sons first choice also, I know just how you feel. You have the best of both worlds there. A beautiful campus bordering Browns' and a fantastic school. Unfortunately, the decision came down to the huge scholarship Pratt offered vs. $0 from RISD. He is happy at Pratt and like everyone says, NYC has become his backyard. Today he called excited to tell me one of his teachers held class in the Four Seasons in NY. It was his design and form class and he said we just followed the teacher around while he pointed to designs of interest.
My sister hated Pratt and SVA- the esthetics are not exactly what you would expect for top art schools...
University of Hartford, despite its overall lower ranking, has one of the top art schools in the country, and has fantastic funding and connections.
These are very old posts (three years old). Since 2005, Pratt has created brick walkways, built its new Design Center, home to many design programs (and designed by School of Architecture Dean Tom Hanrahan), is building a new green building for Student Services and Admissions, has replaced windows, repaired the historic buildings, landscaped, maintains a contemporary sculpture garden, is renovating and expanding the gym's weight room. Pratt has taken an aggressive approach to its campus renovations, and it is one of the more beautiful campuses in the country.
The neighborhood has also changed over the years with many upscale restaurants and cafes one block away and many more services available as Pratt's immediate neighborhood has become a college town with over 4700 students. Pratt is the only East Coast school with an enclosed campus, and it's an ideal choice you're looking for a traditional college residential experience in one of the best art schools in the country and want to be close but not in Manhattan.