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Art School admission 2017

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Replies to: Art School admission 2017

  • moonpiemoonpie Registered User Posts: 469 Member
    @JBStillFlying of her accepted schools.... SVA is at the top of her list. I liked Pratt the best. Laguna is still in the mix somewhere, but we won't visit unless she gets into USC (which is honestly probably not going to happen). I welcome ANY thoughts and opinions about SVA, Pratt, RISD, SCAD, etc. Just to reiterate... my daughter cares NOTHING about the "college" experience, she's not a partier, hates sports, is the type that prefers a few close friends and not a big group kind of person. She can sit for hours and hours doing work on the computer (she gets commissions regularly for work- both digital and by hand). She likes to work and work hard. She will graduate with a 4.4 GPA, 5 AP classes, and is a very dedicated student and musician, along with her art. She had said over and over to me (because college was the most fun time of my life) that she is not going to have fun, she is going to get the best education to work in the field, and ultimately will make her decision on who can help her get internships that will lead to the next step. I have been talking with a recent SCAD grad (who I have known since childhood) and she loved SCAD and is employed as a graphic designer. She said that SCAD has lost some of it's top animation professors and her friends who graduated with her have not found jobs, and that the scope of animation compared to other schools is not good. She absolutely LOVED it there, but based on recent events, would not recommend it for my daughter for animation. This was just this morning. JB... do you have any information on this?
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 1,755 Senior Member
    @moonpie - I don't but can ask my D16 if she's heard anything and post the results of that. She's definitely going for animation and storyboarding (declared her major in winter quarter) and will be taking her first animation course this spring. As SCAD is one of the few schools that offers specific training in storyboarding, not really sure that any news about profs changing over would sway her. Just for comparison, my D15 at Pratt has continually lost profs for various reasons ranging from illness to job change. At last count it was about one per semester. Art schools are a bit different from the conventional university in that many are hired for a spell and/or have contracts renewed yearly. Really no tenured faculty (except for a coveted few positions at some institutions). Not sure SCAD has ANY tenured faculty because those guys are in and out of their industries all the time - to me that's a great sign! (I say this as someone who is very used to academia).

    You can contact SCAD for information concerning job placement etc. or they will let you know at the accepted student event(s) in your area. Very possible to ask about animation specifically as that is their most popular major (I think). SCAD has had a pretty good reputation for graduating employable artists and designers but animation is a tricky field because EVERYONE wants to be in that industry! No amount of training or connections or resources guarantees you a job, unfortunately.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 1,755 Senior Member
    edited March 19
    @gouf78 my D16 has been able to get all her courses but some parents on the FB page have complained about their kid(s) being waitlisted for courses. Not sure if it's a problem with the system or with procrastinators. I do think it's harder for the underclassmen to get electives just because the upper classmen have priority, but that's not unique to SCAD!

    We'll know more as D16 progresses through her major. Animation, so one of the most popular and, presumably, one that's going to have a LOT of waitlisting. She did get one animation class for the spring no problem.

    Edit to add: sorry - you asked about required courses. Not sure at this point but will know more in a year!
  • CAShirlCAShirl Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    edited March 19
    A lot of interesting conversation here. I don't see any of you mentioning Ringling. Any reason? My daughter worked on a journal cover for a new non-profit focusing on girl empowerment and was just put in touch with two animators. We are not sure where the second one works, but the one that she has had a few conversations with works for a very nice studio on a current Netflix program and when she listed where she had gotten into so far, he said he would recommend Ringling (he also Cal Arts, but as we know that is not an option.)

    There are some big choices to be made and lots of variables to consider. I think my daughter is a lot like your daughter moonpie where she is not so much looking for the traditional college experience but to be immersed in her art work. (Coincidentally we found her prom dress yesterday too although not at a thrift shop -- would definitely have preferred that. :)
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,306 Senior Member
    CA Shirl--I always mention Ringling!

    Ringling is # 1 for 3D animation, #3 2017 ( behind Cal Arts and USC). Top 1% of schools for animation.
    It is a very intense program--it's hard to get into and not easy to get out of. It's a tough program to be sure.
    It is stressful, very stressful especially senior year.

    It's expensive and Ringling doesn't give a ton of merit money. The acceptance rate (last time I figured it out was about 10% into the CA program. It may be even less now but they have added more spots. The overall acceptance rate is higher for the other majors. I know they have steadily been building the game, film and motion design degrees.
    If a student doesn't make the cut for the CA major they may be offered game design or illustration as an alternative.
    Those aren't easy either. Anyone who is successful will be working art 24/7.

    My D graduated from Ringling a few years ago. Her goal was Pixar movies at the time (just like every kid at the time!) and though she didn't land at Pixar, she is at a top 5 studio making movies just like she dreamed of. She does have friends from her own class (only 60 students at the time) working at Pixar, Sony, Dreamworks, Rhythm and Hues etc.Super successful class. She has an amazing network of job contacts (and she is one also). And she runs into Ringling grads continuously at her studio. I don't think she'd be there except for Ringllng. Most if not all top studios interview (and hire) at Ringling (and visit) on a regular basis.

    Ringling CA program is 3D focused because that is where they believe the industry is headed (or landed by now).

    It's a structured program without much wiggle room. It is a closed off major for the most part--if you sign up for Illustration don't expect to be taking any CA classes as an elective--they are full. Don't expect to transfer in from another university--no room.

    Being 3D focused does not mean a student doesn't learn 2D, story boarding, concept art etc. My D learned the entire pipeline of animation (and she mentions that all the time as a HUGE plus). At some point students will tend to focus on an aspect they like best--lighting, visual effects etc.which they incorporate into their senior thesis (reel).

    I don't always push Ringling for CA for everyone because it's expensive, not a lot of merit money and because
    it's so intense. (From what I know it hasn't gotten easier). It's a 24/7 art push, tons of very hard critiques which not everyone can handle, You just gotta WANT it!!

    Also many students think CA is drawing at a desk Disney-style from the old days. Some parents do also.
    It is COMPUTER animation at Ringling--you will be in a lab (after a semester or two) with "monitor" tan. Forget the weather outside--you won't see it.
    If you want to draw in the park that's great! Sign up for Illustration (which is another avenue into the industry by the way).

    At Ringling you do core foundation (although they pull you into the labs earlier now) so you become an artist first (which studios love), 2D animation projects (your own shorts) and by Junior year you are prepariing for your senior thesis--the reel that will be your resume for the industry. And it is your resume. That's what gets you a job. The faculty will do their best to make you the best--but you gotta want it.

    Since Ringling wants you to have a job (talking CA still but it does apply to other majors)...they want you to do things their way more often than not. You can be a "free spirit" but you may hit a wall. Deadlines are very real.
    The critiques get harder, not easier. The goal is a career--you can play all you want afterwards on your own time.

    The upside is companies know a CA Ringling grad "knows the ropes" and is already used to real world deadlines and stress. They are prepared to work and the companies who come to interview know it. The program is meant to teach you to be the best and then launch you.

    Asides:
    When my D was there she often had critique sessions where Pixar, Dreamwork execs would be present to take part in the actual classroom critiques unannounced. She laughs that "glad I was prepared!" Certainly kept her on her toes!

    Overall there is way too much to recommend Ringling for CA. The CA program isn't for anyone who doesn't know what they want or where they want to go. There may be better options than CA depending on your talents and your inclinations.
    It's hard work. And stressful. But D loved it all totally.





  • CAShirlCAShirl Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    @gouf78 Thank you so much for that. I will print it out for my daughter to read. She got into CA and they gave her $10K but that still leaves a lot of money to figure out. There is very little doubt that she wants it just a matter of what Mom and Dad can figure out.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 1,755 Senior Member
    edited March 19
    @gouf78 do you have any current stats on job placement for the CA program? IMHO, the more selective the program, the higher the job placement rate.

    With SCAD they have no restriction on who can declare a major and I'm sure many animation students switch to something less grueling or transfer out of SCAD altogether. According to Pres. Schutte at Pratt's family weekend last October, they tend to accept a lot of SCAD kids! I asked my D15 (sophomore at Pratt) about that and she rolled her eyes and confirmed that SCAD has a reputation for brutal grading. So we'll see what happens with D16. She can always do illustration and storyboarding, but she has her heart set on animation and is delighted to be taking her first animation course next week.

    I did just ask my D16 if she knew any kids who had trouble getting into their required classes and she said "not really". The parent FB page had several posts regarding waitlisting for spring courses; however, many of those seemed to get cleared up well before the end of 2nd quarter once spring course schedules were finalized - so maybe it's just an allocation issue. My D was waitlisted on her academic course, then substituted another, then her first choice opened up so she's taking that. SCAD's a very large school (8,500+ kids in Savannah) so there's going to be some "big university" issues with courses. My daughter also told me that her animation course "Action Analysis" is a lower div. animation course so there shouldn't be a lot of upper divs taking spots. It's certainly possible to do so, however, as upper div students have priority.

    From all of this, I tend to revert to my usual advice: Meet with your advisor often!! Many of these majors - perhaps all - rely on a strict sequence of course work and you need to get those pre-reqs out of the way. I remember looking at D16's prospective course sequence assuming an animation major and storyboarding minor, and there wasn't much wiggle room to finish everything in 4 years; however, it is doable and her admissions counselor (who basically becomes their pre-foundation advisor till they matriculate) told me that it was definitely doable. So we'll see. It helps that she entered with 20 hours from her four AP tests (SCAD accepted everything which was great news).

    Scheduling problems aren't unique to SCAD because my older daughter at Pratt had difficulty with her 1st semester studio elective last fall. Couldn't get her first choice of sculpture which was very disappointing. She had registered well in advance but the course time changed and conflicted with another, required, course. Her freshman advisor wasn't even aware of the issue so less than helpful. Fortunately, she only seemed to have that happen one time and with an elective - no problems (so far) getting into her major or required academic courses. And next semester she's upper division so will have more priority - hopefully will be able to take sculpture at some point! (was really hoping she could do so as a sophomore but oh well).

    @moonpie - I also asked my D16 about the animation profs leaving and she's heard nothing about it (yet). So not sure what's going on there.
  • veeheeveehee Registered User Posts: 218 Junior Member
    @CAShirl the 10k merit seems to be their most generous offer (which turned Ringling into the highest priced of all the schools she got into.) It was too much for us and since she was interested in Illustration and hated the warm weather, it didn't make sense for her, since there were better options.

    But, it was the school with the greatest confidence that their graduates would be working artists soon after graduation. Pratt was a close second but it seemed like Ringling definitely had a focus on getting employment for its graduates.

    Decisions are so hard! But attend accepted student days if possible (that helped my D's decision) and that may help make up her mind.
  • moonpiemoonpie Registered User Posts: 469 Member
    @CAShirl We visited Ringling, and my daughter felt the focus was (correctly) geared toward 3D. She judges a lot about a school by what they put on the walls, in their galleries, and displays. She met with an advisor who recommended a combination of illustration and another major instead of 2D. That turned my daughter off. Also... the heat, she hates the beach. She did love the lizards and snakes poking their heads out of the bushes, LOL. My husband and I think she should have given it more of a shot, however, with other good options, it wasn't worth the fight! My inlaws live 30 minutes down the road... and the WHOLE FAMILY TOURED. It was a bit overwhelming. @gouf78 your comments are very strong for those considering Ringling, for sure!!! I love to hear success stories! @JBStillFlying maybe my family friend has disgruntled friends? Who knows.... seems like there are horror stories and success stories everywhere. My girl is sitting in the other room trying to finish up a commission right now so she can have some money. She's learning about deadlines even when life happens LOL... her sweet pup has been sick and required a lot of care over the past week, and we had a quick college tour, so her "I'll have it finished in a week" means the last day of her spring break is work, work, work! But it's turning out beautifully! I'm feeling a little more anxious as the week moves on towards D day. The last decisions should be here within the week, and I feel so much pressure with the financial part, her moving away (she has some medical issues that she manages very well, but can be so scary at times) and I'm trying not to let that show. I'm TRULY hoping that SVA or Pratt are the best fit, and check all her boxes because my best friend (and someone my daughter refers to as her "aunt") lives in Manhattan. I would feel 1000 times better if she was close by!
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,306 Senior Member
    JB--No, unfortunately I don't have stats. Wish I did. I've looked.
    Ringling does have a great career services department. That's the only thing I can honestly attest to.

    I only know where a bunch of my D's class ended up (because I still look them up!) I still keep up on current student forums. It remains positive.

    Here's what I do know.

    1) Jim McCampbell is head of CA at Ringling. He's amazing and strives to have the top program. I can't say enough good things about him, his ethics, his knowledge and his direction of the program. He's been there for years (including for D) and is a super mentor and director.

    2) The faculty is top notch and industry people.
    They are people with different views, top company backgrounds and standards.
    Their individual opinions may differ from another faculty member. Often. So learn and grow!
    And great teachers!

    3) CA at Ringling is a very structured curriculum. Everybody starts as a freshman. Transferring into the program has been done in the past but not recently that I can tell. You start in CA and follow it through. Nobody will be vying for classes. As a CA student--you are taking what you need, when you need it.
    The goal is four years. Not five or six. Don't fall behind.

    The CA program is focused on 3D. Other options for different interests.

    4) The school keeps growing in highly recognized programs for game, film, video.

    5) It's a lot of work--not easy and often stressful.
    . My kid loved every minute. Thrived on it. Her classmates loved it. And she's working in a job she loves.

  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,306 Senior Member
    Moonpie-- (Ringling) "She met with an adviser who recommended a combination of illustration and another major instead of 2D"

    I'm sure your D will do well no matter where she lands! She has great options!

    But for future readers-- I do think the suggestion of illustration plus another major was really a good one knowing Ringling advisors and their program. There are many entrances to animation and illus!ration with a specific concentration can land you where you want to be within the industry.

    I won't comment on snakes poking their heads out of bushes--but that doesn't happen. Maybe lizards:)

  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 1,755 Senior Member
    @moonpie SCAD slipped to 7th place in the current animation rankings - when you are near the top, it's easier to go down than up. Pretty much all of those ahead of SCAD would have been out of reach for my kid, given her limited experience in the visual arts and/or the selectivity of the school. SVA was discussed but for some reason I can't remember, my D16 didn't pursue. She had a lot of respect of the animation program there, for sure.

    Your daughter's choices are all excellent so she won't go wrong in terms of training and opportunities. She should choose which is the best fit, subject to finances. Can't wait to read what she decides!

    Regarding the medical issues, make sure to check out the resources at each place. Unlike a conventional university, a school of art might not have everything you need and not every school is near a quality hospital (in case an ER visit might be anticipated). Obviously, if she ends up in Manhattan there are plenty of options; while Brooklyn might be a bit more out of the way, Pratt is near several community hospitals and Manhattan is not far away. Both my kiddos need access to medication for a chronic condition - D15 has opted to have her 'scripts filled by the Pratt nurse, while D16 comes home often enough to be able to visit her provider, grab another 90 day supply and head back to school (one definite advantage of the quarter system!). We've found that NY is a bit restrictive compared to MN about prescription meds - for instance, the nurse isn't allowed to send an e-script to an OOS pharmacy nor will a NY pharmacy accept a prescription from an OOS provider. Also we use CVS locally but the CVS in Brooklyn isn't even on our prescription plan! Totally a hassle. I've spent a good amount of time coordinating how my kids get their medication. Always an item on the "to do" list when they head off to college.

    Both my kids are a lot like your D in terms of what they are looking for during the college years. My older daughter, however, definitely also wanted a dedicated campus because she feels that the physical space is more conducive to a true community. She loves living in NYC but she didn't want to live in the noise of Manhattan. She can see herself staying in Brooklyn for a long time - let's hope she earns enough to get her wish! LOL.
  • moonpiemoonpie Registered User Posts: 469 Member
    I have a picture of a cute green snake poking it's head out of a bush, with my daughter right beside it! I promise! My daughter LOVES critters... has her own bearded dragon. That was a PLUS to the school LOL! And again... I completely agree with you @gouf78 I think it's a great idea! But.... my hard-headed girl has some lessons still to learn, right?
  • moonpiemoonpie Registered User Posts: 469 Member
    @JBStillFlying I have 2 older daughters who went to Vanderbilt... one has the same autoimmune disease as my youngest - my youngest has 2 : (
    The best thing about Vanderbilt was literally being on a medical campus. They were amazing. I haven't thought about scripts, but we do mail order, so I think I can just ship there? But we use CVS for some things. I'm so glad you mentioned checking into that! I do think proximity to a hospital is something I didn't consider. Just figured out some GOOD NEWS.... I can fly have enough points to fly one of us free to NYC for admitted students day, so I only have to pay for one ticket! Yippeeeee! Sorry to derail thread.... back on track. THANK YOU parents of art students who have paved the way before the rest of us!!! You cannot imagine how (hmmmmm probs you can) how helpful your advice is
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 1,755 Senior Member
    edited March 19
    Those extra points come in handy! I remember that a free companion ticket funded our first visit to Pratt when D15 was a junior.

    Mail order should be fine and then you don't have to find a local provider. As long as she gets back home to see her regular person and keep the prescription active, she should be fine with that.

    @moonpie
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