Any SCAD hopefuls dismayed by negative press?

Is the latest negative press surrounding SCAD causing you to have second thoughts about applying or attending?

Yup. Off my list for sure. It seems way too sketchy. Kinda regret applying.

Can you please tell me what the negative press is about?

Could someone please pm me about the negative press? Scad is a top choice at the price, I’m concerned. If there is something going on, I would like to know before any commitments are made.

I found it. I"m not surprised by any of it. It’s apparent by all of their beautiful campuses where the tuition money goes. I have long thought that a school that doesn’t require a portfolio will take anyone, just as long as the check clears. There is no way that every graduate goes on to work at FB, Google, Pixar, etc. Sure their top students will, but those who aren’t will struggle to make it. Most will be saddled in debit. I don’t think this article revealed anything that I hadn’t already considered, but it did confirm my suspicions.

So a little clarification on this topic. I am an ex SCAD student and employee.

Paula Wallace makes a crazy crazy amount of money. Unlike other school presidents she started the school with her ex-husband. They borrowed money from family and banks to kick start it in the late 1970s. She is certainly entitled to a return on her investment. It never bothered me when she was making $1 million/year since she built the school from nothing into something big, but anything above $1m makes my skin crawl considering the costs students incur.

Controversy is not new to SCAD. Controversy goes way back to the early 1990s. You can look it up and read about it. Think whatever you want of it, but as a student in the 1990s it never affected me nor does controversy affect students today. What does affect students is the cost and the debt. You need to think twice about the price. There are many quality state colleges offering similar degree programs for a lot less. Why go to a private art college for twice the money? Because everyone around you is immersed in art and design. Is it worth it? That’s up to you. SCAD has excellent facilities and excellent faculty. Some programs are stronger than others. At a school with 25+ degree programs that’s normal. You can say that about any type of school.

As for not requiring a portfolio, SCAD does not. What people don’t understand is that many of the disciplines - historic preservation, graphic design, architecture, photography, etc, can be learned without prior experience. Many students come from schools that do not have strong art programs, should they be penalized? No. Actually the BEST predictor of success is NOT a portfolio. It’s GPA. Students with higher incoming GPAs are more likely to graduate than incredibly gifted students with low GPAs. Why? Because students with higher GPAs are typically better students - they do the work, they submit it on time, they listen to feedback from faculty, and they learn. They also graduate. If you’re incredibly talented but a lazy student, you’ll washout by the second year. You’re not the kind of student any school wants.

SCAD does let a lot of students in. Typically by the end of the second year the ones that can’t make it are gone – probably bitter they wasted the money, but that’s on them. You’ll get a solid education at SCAD. Overall the facilities and faculty are good. Savannah is a quirky and cool city, but it’s too little for some and sometimes a little dangerous. Savannah has a crime problem at the moment.

No one is guaranteed a job in their field after graduation. If you think a diploma opens doors in art and design fields, you’re nuts. Your portfolio opens doors. No one cares where you went to school, they only care about the quality of work you can produce as demonstrated by your portfolio. You can build a great portfolio at a small state school or at a big private and expensive art school – but keep this in mind. You are responsible for your portfolio. If you slack through your assignments and get a diploma, you’re not going to find work.

All schools “fudge” employment rates. First, employment rates are self-reported by the graduates. Some report. Some do not. Schools cannot and do not collect data on all students. Students most likely to report what they are doing are probably doing pretty well versus students who may feel shamed to share they are delivering pizzas. Second, what qualifies as bring employed in a field? You could be running the copy machines at Office Max and technically you would be employed in a design production field. I’ve been at four institutions, post-graduation employment rates at all schools are suspect.

Comicdude My child is looking into SCAD Atlanta for film. Do you have any insight? Also, are they accredited? I read mixed information. I need to know my child’s degree won’t be useless if he doesn’t make it in film and needs it for a different job. Any information would help. Thanks!

SCAD is accredited by SACS-COC, a major accreditation organization. Many highly respected institutions are accredited through SACS-COC. Here is a list. Would you hesitate to send your child to Wake Forest, University of Georgia, North Carolina State? Probably not.

SACS-COC accreditation will ensure that credits are transferable to other schools. That’s the most important thing about accreditation and it’s really the only thing you need to worry about as a parent.

SCAD is not NASAD accredited. NASAD is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Most art and design schools have this accreditation. Is it necessary? No. Not in the least. Why doesn’t SCAD have it? I don’t know. Someone pissed someone off at the top levels a long time ago perhaps or maybe it could have had something to do with the credentials of some faculty? For example, a 55-year old department chair with 30 years of industry experience with a BFA degree could be considered less credentialed to teach by NASAD than a 24-year old MFA graduate with no industry experience. That’s the reality of accreditation.

I don’t know much about SCAD - Atlanta. Sorry.

Talk about bad press. This place sounds like a disaster. Look at the AJC article, “How SCAD Sells a Dream”. How this place hasn’t lost its nonprofit tax status yet really boggles the mind. My daughter applied for a summer program there and even the admissions department was horrible, inept, anyone you talked to always just said that answering questions was not their job (so what is their job?). Then I started Googling. Now I’m glad I did:

My son is at SCAD and is thriving. It is a very highly ranked school in many of the Art fields. He is going into Animation. We partly chose SCAD because of its proximity to our home. However, after looking at a few Art colleges, his first choice was SCAD.

His roommate from last year got a job immediately at The Mill after graduation, and a couple of friends have had various internships this past summer. My son has been working in a game company as a part time intern as well. He is hoping for a full time internship next summer.

As for the cost, it is commiserate with most private Art schools. The only ranked Animation school we found that was cheaper was BYU, but we didn’t feel comfortable with that option, but maybe others will. I think the cost was something like $17,000 with room, board, tuition, etc…