Art School admission 2020

I noticed there wasn’t a thread for 2020 students yet, and since it’s getting so close to EA deadline, I decided to make it! This thread is for prospective art school applicants for 2020

Good luck to everyone! Where has everyone applied or plan to apply to?

My D is a HS senior and has applied to SCAD (accepted), Ringling (got the acceptance today), MICA, Pratt, SAIC and VCU Arts. Money will matter so praying she gets some scholarship info soon. She got a small merit scholarship for Ringling but hoping she will get more need based aid. She has visited them all but VCU Arts but has a friend there. SCAD was her top choice after the visit, but she also loved MICA and Pratt.

My daughter applied to Pratt, MICA (loved their Pre college) VCUArts, Tyler (accepted in honors with nice merit) SVA, RIT, SCAD. Also intends to apply to WUSTL soon. Cut RISD after visiting and also seeing them at a National Portfolio Day. Visited all but SCAD and WUSTL. Illustration/Communication Design major depending on the school. She also wants to double or minor in English/Creative writing so probably will tend to choose somewhere with an academic environment that supports that. Hoping for merit from anywhere. 4.0 gpa and 32 ACT. Good feedback on portfolio at NPD so we will see. She would be happy with any of the schools listed except RIT. The program looks good but the campus is awful in our opinion.

Good luck to your daughter mommek!! How did you guys like SVA?

Can you elaborate on what you didn’t like about the RIT campus? That program is high on my son’s list. Also, what did you think of the Tyler and VCU campuses? I went to Temple for law school and the campus was very sketchy but I didn’t live there so it didn’t matter. I have heard it is much better but interested in hearing opinions. I know the Tyler building is brand new and state of the art.

@BCPAMOM we thought the programs at RIT were great, but the campus seemed very depressing. Just a bunch of buildings that all look the same and just a cold feeling. A lot of it seemed like a large high school to us. The new buildings were amazing, though. My daughter attended the overnight program in the summer and the dorms were awful. In my opinion a car was needed to do anything. We loved VCU. The campus was very nice (although we did not see dorms, we looked online and they seem nice too. There was a lot on campus and good transportation options. Richmond has a great art vibe that my daughter liked. We loved Tyler! As far as Temple itself, my oldest daughter is a senior (not in Tyler) and absolutely loves it there. Yes, there are definitely some off campus areas that you’re not going to want to walk through after dark and common sense should be used in that department. The campus itself is just beautiful and my daughter feels very safe there. She loves being in the city and being able to hop on the subway to get anywhere. There are so many opportunities at Temple. My daughter studied abroad in Rome and had a great experience! Tyler itself in our opinion actually may have had the nicest facilities of all the schools we visited. Even though they don’t have the exact program my daughter is looking to do, she keeps coming up with ways to make it work because she like Tyler so much and has seen what a great experience her sister has had at Temple.

Earlier this month I received my acceptance to SAIC and on the 21st I got mine from MICA! My merit awards from both schools were fairly generous (around 18,000 a year) but does anyone know what the average packages are like at RISD, Pratt, or Parsons?Any advice on other art schools I should apply to would be much appreciated.

My D is waiting anxiously to here from SAIC. She received approval from them for her portfolio to move ahead to admissions at the National Portfolio Day and she was awarded a waived admissions fee. Now it’s the only school we haven’t heard from. Is it too late for acceptance letters at this point?

Son is applying to Pratt, VCUarts (accepted), RISD, Cooper Union, MICA (EAII), MassArt, Parsons, SVA, RIT, Rutgers (we’re in NJ). Graphic Design major, but possibly also Illustration. We visited every campus except CU (he took summer intensive there) and RIT (he decided on applying there after we were done with the tours). I heard about RIT and that area being generally depressing. A former resident told me seasonal affect disorder is a real thing there (it’s gray almost all year). I am hoping he doesn’t end up going because he’s already moody to begin with, I don’t need the gray days making him more so. But RIT waived app fee and accepted his portfolio already from NPD, so I guess why not let him apply. Waiting for the CU assignment, which I know will be a real challenge for him, but we will see. Still working on the Parsons and RISD assignment.
VCUarts said they don’t give out scholarships until April (even though you had to apply by Nov 15 to be eligible)?? Maybe they are just stringing us along?
Only applied to schools within a day’s driving (<6 hours).

mommek3- our D is a senior at VCUARTS GD major. She has had a great experience and a ton of opportunity(which I’ve posted many times). Feel free to pm if you have any questions specific to VCUARTS .

Graphitemovermom- Our experience sounds similar , D also was accepted to CU Saturday outreach programs and scholarshiped for the summer intensive. Ultimately decided on VCUARTS and is now a senior . She has had a fantastic experience with many professional and development opportunities. Couldn’t be happier with the GD program. Good luck with CU , fyi our experience with admissions was very very sketchy. But ultimately it worked out great as she couldn’t have been better off.
good luck feel free to pm if any questions on VCUARTS GD.

@Graphitemovermom @mommek3 - During our daughter’s application season we visited all of the top dedicated undergraduate art programs in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic. Despite similar geographic rules to Graphite, we even visited SCAD in Savannah. We had very similar experiences. RIT seemed like a great school with very impressive facilities, but we too experienced that “gray” feeling among a collection of cube-like concrete buildings. Troy, NY is better than it was, but it’s still not even a vibrant small town. We also loved Tyler. So much enthusiasm and the new, modern buildings are wonderful. The North Philly area is dramatically different than even a few years ago. Always ‘shady’ places to avoid, but Temple has really expanded its footprint to increase the safety zones. When our daughter applied, Tyler did not yet have an ID program. Known more for jewelry and metalwork. We very much liked Richmond, but couldn’t help but compare the city to its much more vibrant Southern-self in the 90’s before economics really hurt the city. VCUArts was very cool, especially the focused arts centers and opportunities offered, but our daughter wanted access to mainstream academics as well and we felt that the main VCU school was not up to par academically. However, the ultimate disqualifier for VCU was the lack of any merit or substantial need-based aid.

Despite all of our impressions, the critical criteria to keep firmly in sight (IMHO), are the quality of the education, e.g., the professors, the facilities, and the availability of majors, and post-graduate opportunities. While the starving artist in the attic image has faded a bit, it is still very challenging to gain employment with a BFA. Make sure the school has contacts and good job placement. Talk to current students about internship fairs, support from career placement offices, and post-graduate employment results. Press posters on CC to be specific about their students’ post-graduate employment and career placement opportunities. General talk about exhibits, selling pieces, published articles, and the like are exactly that – talk. Your child should be happy and comfortable, but 4 years from matriculation it will be about the job and supporting oneself.

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@BrooklynRye definitely agree with everything you’re saying. So far my daughter is accepted to SVA with merit, Pratt with merit, MICA with merit (hopefully more to come later), VCU, Tyler with merit. Still waiting on SCAD due to a score sending snafu. How did you like SCAD? Also waiting for WUSTL as another academic program. She ruled out RIT already. My daughter used to think she wanted graphic design until she went to MICA this summer in the illustration program. She had been torn between applying for the illustration or GD, but when she saw what GD was doing, which was ALOT of typography, she realized she really wanted more of an illustration focus and her portfolio really grew after that. She feels like Tyler’s GAID is not as much illustration as she would like, and they don’t have an illustration concentration. She has kind of moved on since other schools have more of what she wants but it’s a hard choice because the school is so nice, her best friend since kindergarten is 99% going to Temple, and her sister has had an amazing experience there.

Right now she’s leaning towards SVA. Unique to their illustration major is that they also have a cartooning major, which while she doesn’t plan to do that major, she can take classes, since she has an interest in sequential art and wants to do graphic novels, among other things. Money is also a huge factor, even with the generous merit she received. Obviously the cost of housing in NYC is ridiculous, and she may commute after the first year. (We are in NJ). We have done it several times already to see what it would be like, and while it can be annoying day after day, it is doable, and people do it every day! She would consider it her $20,000 a year job (because that’s what the housing costs!) But we’ll see. Pratt is not out yet. Both of these schools have good contacts and the instructors are working professionals in their fields. You’re right, the contacts are important.

Our daughter received merit at every school to which she applied. Of course the impact of the combination of merit, and possibly financial aid, depends on the COA of each school. Relative to COA and money offered, Tyler, RIT and University of the Arts in Philly were substantially less expensive. Unfortunately, those schools also offered substantially less in terms of course/major offerings, location and/or living environment.

SCAD reminded us of a Southern version of SVA. By that I mean that the campus sprawls the city. You have to be prepared to essentially ‘commute’ around Savannah to get to classes. At least SVA simply runs East-West across 23rd Street…lol. Savannah is very pretty, but also super-hot in the warmer seasons. Also, there are a lot of hurricane evacuations, including at SCAD.

Tyler is nice! We had the same struggle. We felt as if this is a school on the cusp of being truly elite, but it is not quite there yet. The school falls a bit short in its majors which can be heartbreaking if you love the school and its environment.

Illustration is more of an SVA, RISD, Ringling, Pratt, SCAD thing. Our daughter did a similar switch from the classic painting & drawing, thinking about GD (here the topography thing!), then Illustration, but somehow finding herself doing medical product design as an ID major, and then venturing into UX through a summer internship at Amazon.

SVA provides a lot of internship opportunities because the school is so connected with the commercial and motion picture businesses. The school, however, is pretty non-academic. We found very quickly from campus tours and speaking with current students that there are “academic art schools” that pride themselves on offering mainstream liberal arts course offerings and emphasizing a more well-rounded intellectual approach to a BFA education. While our daughter has worked very hard as an ID major at RISD, she has also taken classes in women’s studies, moral philosophy, marketing, religion, and psychology. The synergy with Brown also helps. Think this may be true for Tyler as well with Temple. I believe SCAD does programs like this as well. SVA told us our daughter’s test scores and grades didn’t matter.

I don’t intend to diminish the value of “feel” and happiness with one’s choice. But having lived it first hand (our daughter graduates this May!), I know that, at the end, the party is truly over. Some have the luxury of extending their free-art time through grad school. But for our daughter and most of her friends, it’s been about finding a job and it is soooo not easy. We were swayed a lot by RISD’s post-graduation employment stats (I think it’s something like 98% employed in their major subject matter within 6 months of graduation), and the schools internationally recognized reputation. As what I think of as typical, if a bit more progressive, parents, we wanted our daughter to pursue her dreams and to exercise her talent, but we also wanted her to graduate with as little debt as possible and to have a reasonably paying job waiting for her. We/she very much accomplished both, but don’t believe this is unique to RISD. It just worked out for us.

Agree about the “non-academic-ness” of SVA. She applied for honors since that at least offers a little more, but haven’t heard back about that yet. Pratt is more academic and is definitely still on the table. MICA also offers more academics in addition to the Baltimore Exchange Program, which also allows for classes to be taken for no additional tuition at Johns Hopkins and others. Unfortunately MiCA takes until spring to cough up the competitive merit. Their application for academic merit was no joke and required a separate application, essay, and graded research paper. That was pretty reassuring though about the academics. My daughter definitely loved it there but I’m also concerned about the lack of opportunity compared to NYC. I liked RISD but my daughter got a vibe she didn’t like. We had a terrible tour unfortunately and I think that just set the tone. Then at NPD she felt the evaluator was rude and she was just done. She didn’t apply to Ringling either just because of the distance and the similarity to schools that “are in her own backyard”. She applied to SCAD on a whim after receiving a fee waiver, but after researching their programs it’s growing on her. Like you, the goal is to find work after graduation. :wink: I think picking the right school With the right connections is critical more so than other majors.

mmomek3- all of the schools you have mentioned have fine programs and are well known. Do not worry about NYC opportunities. We are also local (tristate area)and D is attending VCUARTS . I can attest that in our daughter’s case , she has had many opportunities in nyc. Everyone she has interacted with in her field is well aware of VCUARTS and I presume well aware of all the schools mentioned. In other words, its never been a problem.

in our D case, we focused on where she felt she could have the biggest impact and maximize all the school had to offer.

@stones3 ironic that you say that because when we toured VCUArts one of the student tour guides asked my daughter why she would want to go there when she lives so close to NYC! That was definitely interesting. That being said, I’m sure you don’t need to be in NYC to have opportunities.

again, our D felt from the beginning that VCUARTS was where she could have the biggest impact. And she is a nyc kid. Now, maybe she would have done just as well elsewhere, I have no way of knowing. I will say she is very proactive ,smart , well spoken out going individual. I suspect that has a lot to do with the opportunities she has had.

@BrooklynRye, I’m curious which schools you found to be more “academic.” I know that RISD and Pratt are both considered to have a more academic focus, but did any others stand out?

@ProfWmSmith, certainly RISD and Pratt, which promote this. However, I also think that even if a dedicated art school does not stand out academically, it can offer opportunities through direct affiliation and/or proximity to colleges and universities. For instance, Tyler-Temple, SMFA-Tufts, and VCUArts with the broader VCU campus. Our daughter was at the top of her class in high school with high standardized tests; certainly at a top 30 level, e.g., University of Michigan, if not higher. She prioritized the focused intensity of a dedicated art school. But she did not want to remove herself from mainstream academic learning.