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BFA in Animation/Illustration for talented and ambitious student with IEP/ADHD and in the spectrum..

Sparkle8Sparkle8 58 replies12 threads Junior Member
Hello There,

Our daughter (now a junior in HS) is looking to get her BFA in Animation/Illustration. She has some disabilities and an IEP. She is very talented, well rounded and has been in art shows. She also participates in leadership roles, volunteering and has a magnetic personality. She benefits from a slower pace at school, she struggles in math and chemistry but excels in art and has a great imagination with the passion and ambition to match. She has a hard time with transitions (getting from place to place quickly) and isn't always able to form lasting bonds so we're thinking smaller might be better. We're also on a 529 type of financial program and we know art schools are not cheap. Her team at school has expressed that there is no reason why she can't attend a four year school and succeed. She will have great recommendations from her teachers, an impressive portfolio and is working hard on her essay. I have always known deep down that she will find her way. We are open to a Liberal Arts college with a great animation department. Since her GPA and PSAT's do not match how hard she works, she will probably not get into the more selective schools, so we are looking for something on the eastern seaboard (up from VT and down to Florida) and as far west as Illinois. We have looked at Lesley, NVU Lyndon and will look at MassArt, Ringling, MECA, Montclaire, Fairleigh Dickenson, UMass Lowell, Westfield State, Edinboro and whatever else you suggest. Thanks in advance.
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Replies to: BFA in Animation/Illustration for talented and ambitious student with IEP/ADHD and in the spectrum..

  • blossomblossom 9911 replies9 threads Senior Member
    What exactly can you afford per year? Let's start there. Your D sounds fabulous.... but to have posters suggesting 65K per year type schools when you can pay a maximum of 40K doesn't help you, does it???
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  • Sparkle8Sparkle8 58 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Thanks, we have the average of about $600 a credit hour (maybe a little bit more than that as it goes up a little each year) and then we'll get the fees and room and board on top of that. Our home state is Connecticut but she was born in IL where we bought a plan for her at birth. So, the plan will pay the average tuition of an instate IL school. UConn has her exact major but we're not sure she'll be able to get in.
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  • VeryapparentVeryapparent 882 replies16 threads Member
    edited March 20
    following....similar kiddo. We went to comicon last weekend and I asked every single artist where they went. It might be worth trying that angle..
    edited March 20
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  • blossomblossom 9911 replies9 threads Senior Member
    Sparkle, I'm not familiar with the IL plan.... exactly how much money do you have, and what does "well get the fees and room and board on top of that"- you'll be able to pay all of that out of current income, or you have that saved in a different college savings account? I'd love to help but I have no idea how much money per year you are talking about!
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  • Sparkle8Sparkle8 58 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Thanks so much, what were the answers you got? Where are you looking? Thanks in advance.
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  • Sparkle8Sparkle8 58 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Our plan covers about 14k for tuition alone. We will use our incomes to cover her room and board and fees as it comes. She also has a job.
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  • astute12astute12 674 replies9 threads Member
    Art schools tend to downplay the GPA/Test scores and focus on the portfolio. Does your D have a strong portfolio?
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23267 replies17 threads Senior Member
    The IEP will end when she graduates, Many schools will grant accommodations based on it but others will require new documentation of disabilities. You should ask what is required for accommodations when touring schools.

    SCAD, Ringling and other art schools are usually very expensive.

    Do any of the Vt or Mass schools you listed have tuition programs because the animation program is not offered in CT?

    You might look at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL. It has some Art majors and is very affordable for a private school.
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  • Sparkle8Sparkle8 58 replies12 threads Junior Member
    She does, thanks for asking. She's also making a website and she's taken classes outside of school. She's made outside art shows and every college art director that we've visited complimented her on her work and told her she would do well there. She interviews well, hits it off with people, says hi to everyone on campus...very friendly and warm. And she has an altruistic side, she truly wants to contribute to the world and is working on a volunteer mural. She went to portfolio day and got very good feedback. One of the big art schools said she really has something special.
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  • Sparkle8Sparkle8 58 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Thank you so much, unfortunately since UConn has the exact major- she is not eligible for the New England exchange at NVU or MassArt...was hoping to get inside scoop on that here though, not sure how rigid that is, I'm guessing it is. She definitely wants to look at UConn and since they are listed as a spectrum friendly school that is a huge plus. But, with no AP courses, languages or high GPA etc. who knows. But she has a disability and has overcome a lot. And, has taken all mainstream courses (not AP) but mainstream.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1491 replies12 threads Senior Member
    There are people who specialize in getting art portfolios ready. What you need is someone to review her portfolio and make suggestions. You need someone who is going to be able to tell level of skill and suggest schools. Not all of these schools are equal. Also, if she is hyper talented, it's likely she'll get scholarships and aid which work differently for art schools than academic programs. Have you considered RISD? What about FIT? Parsons? ( Don't know about illustration there). These schools can really help open doors.
    If she is going to pursue art, an art school will be best for making contacts and learning art. However, some have programs which cross register with academic schools as well ( School of MFA/Tufts or RISD/Brown) these can be excellent choices as well. It would really depend on skill, and other factors. She might do very well in a program she enjoys.
    Art schools often let you bring in a portfolio and will give you feedback. Listen carefully and they will make great suggestions.
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  • blossomblossom 9911 replies9 threads Senior Member
    It sometimes helps to start with the rock bottom safety (both admissions and financially) and go from there.

    Based on where you live- can you draw a 45 minute or so ring around your house and figure out if there are any state colleges which have the program she wants? Living at home and commuting- maybe not what she wants as Plan A, but it will sure help you to have a Plan B in the pocket before you start getting too far ahead of yourselves. Or- any of the community colleges where she could knock off some of the required courses in an inexpensive way before transferring for junior and senior years?
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  • Sparkle8Sparkle8 58 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Thank you. She's been to portfolio day and a portfolio workshop and taking a portfolio class soon. RISD is like the Harvard of art schools and they do consider the SAT's of upmost importance. Her GPA is 2.8 and this certainly doesn't reflect how hard she works. She gets B's in all other core courses but struggles with Math and Chem, she stays after school, seeks out tutors, uses tutors and really applies herself. The teachers at our school know this. She's no slacker here. But a school like RISD or Tufts...I'm guessing they're not going to accept her. And while she has an SAT tutor...her combined score was 800 on her PSAT. She dreams of Ringling, really hit it off with them at portfolio day as well as MECA...but the money may get in the way...
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  • Sparkle8Sparkle8 58 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Thanks, we're looking at that. She would love to go to UConn but not a safety school. It's a huge stretch. But, she'd be interested in graphic arts as well which is at Eastern and Western Conn I believe...and those would easily be in our price range with breathing room. We're definitely considering everything. She's actually ok with that. It's me that doesn't love the idea of her living at home, only because a lot comes down to us keeping on top of her with time management and we really want her to spread her wings and be in a place where she's doing that. She's been to camp, she's been on chorus trips, religious youth trips, she can live on her own in the right place. And, we have another student who will be a Junior in HS when she starts college...yay us.
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  • astute12astute12 674 replies9 threads Member
    CalArts would be a great place for her (I am biased!), but it is very expensive and far away from where she is looking.
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  • Sparkle8Sparkle8 58 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Is that where you want? That's always been her dream school...she talks about getting her masters there after she completes her BFA.
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  • astute12astute12 674 replies9 threads Member
    University of the Arts may be a place to look at. No test score or GPA requirements.
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  • Sparkle8Sparkle8 58 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Actually that's on the list as of late...along with Drexel...and Mica...going to plan a trip south...and I think they have some Merit scholarships...
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  • AmkngkAmkngk 189 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Take a look at Columbia College Chicago. I don’t know if it work with the IL college savings plan, or if you want her in a city, but my D looked at the school (for a different major) and we were pretty impressed. In many ways it’s not a “traditional” college, and more of an art school, but they have a broader range of programs, and thus types of students, than most straight art schools.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4150 replies89 threads Senior Member
    DePaul has one of the top rankings for Animation majors in the country.
    https://www.cdm.depaul.edu/academics/Pages/BFAinAnimation.aspx
    DePaul is around $40K/yr for tuition alone for a full-time student.
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