Am I Reaching Too Much? (Art/Design Schools)

<p>I know that I want a BFA in Graphic Arts/Communication Design at a school with a strong program that will expose me to other artistic fields as well.</p>

<p>My stats are decent: 4.1+ GPA, 2000 SAT, 4s on AP exams so far, leadership roles, etc.
And my portfolio isn't particularly outstanding, but I would say it shows potential and a variety of mediums.</p>

<p>However, I am thoroughly concerned about paying for a good school's tuition (who isn't?) let alone getting accepted. </p>

<p>As far as financial aid might go, my dad is in the military, <$50,000 a year, and I have four siblings.</p>

<p>I am planning on applying to RISD, Pratt, MICA, Parsons, and MCAD.
They are all private schools, and they are not cheap.
Am I crazy to consider MCAD as my "safety" school? Are the others a too far reach?</p>


<p>Art schools take students that are outside the norm, after all they are artists. This means often the academic requirements differ from entry into the non-fine arts fields. Short story, your grades are fantastic for any art school. But there is a catch...</p>

<p>You're targeting pure art and design schools. Here, with the exception of mixed engineering or business and art majors, your portfolio is king. Don't get me wrong, they will look at your scores with awe, and immediately put you down as "serious," a quality sometimes murky in the art world. All good, but the portfolio rules. </p>

<p>If your portfolio does not receive the attention you want, make it better (cheap answer but it is the first step). You can also opt to go to an academic university with a great art department. Here your grades will count more for entry, and often you enter these schools as a BA student and then spend your first two years creating a portfolio for entrance into their BFA program, or for transfer. So your portfolio can be a bit weaker.</p>

<p>For tuition, I just don't know about the pure art schools. They are almost always willing to do loans but be very careful going this route. Lots of folks go deep in debt, and art is not know to pay very well short-term upon exit. </p>

<p>On the academic university side your scores, your financial background, and your father's military history should pay dividends when looking for aid. Also ask your father to see if the military has any programs that can help. Then start researching schools with strong art programs. Your background should get aid at most schools.</p>

<p>You are in good shape here just start your search early, and by all means, contact the schools directly and ask these questions. They have whole departments waiting to help you.</p>

<p>From another post with a similar question, a responder recommended QuestBridge</a> Home Page</p>

<p>Never tried it, but looks like it's worth a once over.</p>

<p>My observation is that the best advice for the performance and creative disciplines are within the dedicated subforums (although Lou Costello by no means offered bad advice... it was spot on.)</p>

<p>You may want to repost here: Visual</a> Arts and Film Majors - College Confidential</p>

<p>Be aware of the Financial Aid/Scholarship forum as well. There are a number of folks there with exceptional knowledge and are super helpful. This <a href=""&gt;;/a> may be relevant to you. Thank your dad for his service.</p>

<p>If the scholarship parameters are similar to what you find in the conservatory programs for music, most scholarship monies tend to be talent rather than stats or grade based. In the case of music, it's largely rank within the audition pool. For the creative arts, I'd imagine a good deal would be based on strength of portfolio submissions. Do check the specifics with each of the schools you apply to.\D</p>

<p>Good luck to you.</p>

<p>Thank you so much for the responses!
I've reposted the thread, per violadad's suggestion:
<a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>