Art School admission 2020

My kid adores MICA and got accepted, but I can’t shake my concerns about safety. I’ve checked the campus safety log, and it seems that about once a month someone is assaulted and robbed. But I know perfectly well that things can go wrong anywhere…and at least MICA’s log can be accessed online easily, whereas some other art colleges only make the info available upon request. What do you guys think?

The last decision letter came in this week for my daughter so to recap…

Wants to study animation.

SAIC accepted her with a $50K total scholarship
SCAD Atlanta accepted her with a combined $8500 scholarship and the possibility of a cycling scholarship (still talking about that)
Pratt accepted her with a $16000 annual merit scholarship.

It comes down to money vs the eduction/college experience she wants.

In order of direct cost from most expensive to least expensive: SAIC, Pratt, SCAD

She ruled out SAIC for academic fit reasons (loved everything else about the school though) overall SAIC was the most expensive by $3k over Pratt

As it stands Pratt is her #1 choice (She REALLY wants to be in New York) and it is 4k annually more than SCAD Atlanta. SCAD might also offer a cycling scholarship and if that stacks on the existing scholarship (no rules against that as cycling is not an NCAA sport) that might be the decider.

Decisions, decisions…

@mommek3 @BrooklynRye @Graphitemovermom … we have some crossover when it comes to our kids choices! I have a daughter accepted to Pratt, SVA, Ringling, RIT, and MassArt - all for Computer Art/Animation (3D). She has eliminated RIT and MassArt. For the most part, she’s been very impressed with what she sees (program/curriculum and career stats) at SVA and Ringling - but for Pratt, we just don’t have the same level of info we need to compare it, nor will we get to visit the campus before decisions are due. It will be a tough decision for her. Any progress on your own decisions?

@mlong623 - you say your daughter is considering animation at Pratt? Any decisions yet? We are finding it to be a very difficult decision without the opportunity to attend any admitted student days :confused:

@ladybugpicnic - Congratulations! What a nice array of choices! Our D2 is actually graduating from RISD, sans commencement ceremony (sigh) this May. My go-to when it comes to all things Pratt is @JBStillFlying, whose D is there. In fact, I believe she may be doing something in the CA/Animation area. In any case, a great resource. S2 did CA/Animation at SVA for precollege. Very sophisticated, well-thought of program. Can’t honestly weigh-in on the others with any firsthand info. Good luck!!

Updating the acceptance/aid list from a couple of months ago and adding decision process…

Listing them here, in order of receipt for future prospective art students (because I know I was looking for them myself a few months ago. LOL).

GPA: 3.5
SAT: 1330
Portfolio: Strong but not amazing (only been taking proper drawing classes, i.e. not comic/cartooning, since summer 2018…great technical skills but needs work on composition and experimentation)
EC: Eagle Scout, NAHS secretary, Marching Band senior advisor, Graphic Design club, Nat Japanese Honor Society

VCUarts (EA) - accepted, $12K renewable scholarship, $3K grant ($3K workstudy)
MassArt (RD) - $8K merit, $2.8K grant ($1K ws)
SVA (RD)- $9K Silas Rhodes merit ($5K ws)
MICA (EA2) - $9K Creative Vision Award merit, $2K Natl Art Honor Society, $3K Competitive Academic, $1.5K grant ($1.5K ws)
RIT (RD) $16K Presidential Scholarship merit, $13.4K grant (yes, that is a very generous grant), ($2.8K ws)
PrattMWP (RD)- $16K merit
Rutgers/Mason Gross (RD) - no aid at all, but we’re in-state
Pratt (RD) - $22K Presidential Scholarship
SAIC (EA2) - averaged $15.5K per year scholarship (diff amt each year), ($5K ws)

Plan is to accept Pratt, which was always his first choice. Son really liked the campus and the portfolio reviewers (had his reviewed by them three times over the course of a year)…who were not really super enthusiastic but he loved how they were able to explain in detail and clarity what their expectations were. He felt he could really learn from a place like that. However…I’m hesitating because of the cost. Even though their scholarship was generous, there was no other aid (grants or work-study) and that’s going to be a real debt later. But hoping they have a better-dedicated system of helping students connect with jobs after graduation (for graphic design) and may be worth the extra cost. I’d like to talk to an admissions counselor first.

Mason Gross, without a scholarship, is the lowest cost of attendance for us. However, it’s not as well known for its graphic design program, and we’re concerned about how they can help him with job opportunities after graduation.

We ruled out the others due to distance (we talked about commuting from home after the first year to save on housing costs) and net cost.

@BrooklynRye - I feel you on being robbed of graduation, it’s been a long run to have it end this way! nevertheless, congrats on your (almost) RISD graduate! my niece is RISD Illustration ('17) and although she had plenty of great things to say of RISD, she did steer my daughter away from their FAV degree - too broad, and not at the technical level my daughter is looking for. Glad to hear your feedback on the high level of SVA’s program - where did your precollege kid end up going? and for what degree?

@Graphitemovermom - thanks for sharing and congrats on the Pratt decision!

Correction: my D is at SCAD and set to graduate at the end of May with a virtual commencement. She’s in animation. It’s my oldest who graduated from Pratt last year (comD).

@JBStillFlying - the end is near, congrats! what’s next for your animator?

We’ll have to see. So many are reporting that their positions are on hold or cancelled outright.


My daughter is still trying to make the call between SCAD and Pratt and she’s having a very tough time with it.

So we called both schools and talked about it.

We talked with SCAD again last week and they said if she submits a resume and a statement of purpose they might be able to get her more scholarship money. The cycling coach said she was working on something for her too.

Pratt wasn’t interested in doing any more for her and that’s fine. It never hurts to ask.

Thus far it feels like Pratt admissions runs a much tighter ship than SCAD and as a parent I like the thoroughness of Pratt over SCAD.

There are things she really loves about both schools and she likes the facilities and programs of both but it seems like it’s really coming down to the key differences (IMHO) are pay more and be in an area she is super excited about (New York) Vs pay less and be a college athlete. Right now the cost difference isn’t huge to me but depending on what SCAD comes back with… who knows.

The plan (well, dad’s plan anyway) is to make a decision this week.

S2 (who did the precollege at SVA), ended up at Northeastern as a Bio-Engineering major. The purpose of the SVA attendance was to focus on his desire to cross-pollinate Fine Arts with STEM. Bio-Engineering is so far providing this, designing and working on various models, etc.

Agreed re FAV at RISD. While Architecture is a world unto itself at RISD, the strong suits remain ID and GD. One can get a more well-rounded education at RISD, with its emphasis on Liberal Arts paralleling FA, but some of its FA majors are more limiting than others.

As an ID major, D2’s career process has been mixed. On the one hand, RISD provides tremendous cachet. Almost every company with whom she interviewed to some degree wanted to meet her based on her undergrad. The job fairs are a mixture of local and national businesses, that very much force the student to be proactive. Not a ton of help from professors, even though like most top FA schools, RISD touts how their profs are working in the real world. On the whole, both plus and minus, it very much falls to the individual student to be aggressive, industrious, and proactive.

During our search, Pratt was by far the mos impressive when it comes to post-graduate employment. Their alumni database and other career resources were second to none of the schools we researched. We found SCAD and Pratt to be very different so, for us, the choice between them was a strict either or. SCAD had an SVA feel in that it’s facilities were scattered across Savannah. Beautiful city, lovely school…nothing bad to cite. Pratt is more like RISD . Central location, access to major city and vibrant art community, with an emphasis on academics as well as FA.

Daughter about ready to pull the trigger on Pratt over here, but I have real concerns about the campus opening in the Fall. That area is so hard hit with Covid-19. Considering looking into deferring a year, since I don’t feel an online foundation year is worth that kind of money. I would have to look into their policies on deferral, as we are not doing this application process again.

@mommek3 - A deferral will still require an enrollment deposit, most likely. I’d speak these concerns directly to Pratt. They are 100% legit regarding the benefits of in-person studio for Foundation. Also, your D is a brand new college student getting used to a college schedule and shouldn’t be deprived of that invaluable experience. All colleges should plan for a ton of deferrals and leaves should they not open for on-campus learning in the fall. A few other countries are dealing with Covid-19 and keeping their universities open (SK, Sweden so far). It seems to be doable.

@JBStillFlying i would be fine paying a deposit now for a deferral (still maintaining the scholarship). Sweden may have kept their schools open, but the 6800 cases they have as of today pales in comparison to the 65000 in New York City alone. I don’t see it happening. As a nurse working in a Covid ICU with a front row seat to this horror, I would hope there would not be a rush to open. I’m going to have my daughter call them today.

@mommek3 My son and I have scheduled a phone call meeting with a Pratt counselor (a step that they have requested interested admitted students to do anyway) to discuss “next steps”. I have not put down a deposit yet, and I wanted to discuss some of these concerns as well. Doing an online version of foundation year seems very limited. I would want to know what their plan is. The question of deferral is something I would want to know about, too. I think, normally, deferrals don’t keep their scholarship? I would want the scholarship kept if, by July, it doesn’t look like classes will be held on campus and students want to defer. We have an appt tomorrow afternoon, so we’ll see what they say.

Thanks for the detailed info. I’m trying to get ideas about merit and specifically for RIT. What was the grant for $13.5 was that need or merit based? Thanks!

@graphitemovermom @mommek3
Congrats to both your students on Pratt. We received our daughter’s (jr in HS) confirmation for the Pratt precollege program and her first choice classes. I emailed to ask what the timeline was for them to decide whether they are actually going to have the program-which frankly even if they do my husband and I aren’t comfortable sending her at this point. We got a general email back about safety being their highest priority, etc. but they still intend to have the program-it starts July 6th. Prayers for safety and protection for you Mommek3 and your brave coworkers.

@mtngrlkim I think the grants are generally need-based. However, I don’t how RIT factored it in because our EFC is 22K, and most colleges offered none to maybe 3K in grant. RIT’s grant was unusually generous from our point of view. I don’t know if they are like that for everyone. And grants can change from year to year based on financial aid, but the scholarships are generally renewed each year so long as a minimum GPA is met.

@mommek3 at #73 (and everyone else interested in Pratt) - Even on a population-adjusted basis, the difference between NYC and Sweden is huge.

From what I’m understanding, NY subways are still packed at rush hour so little-to-no social distancing and few masks, even now. I hope I’m going off of old information there, but if I’m not and if that behavioral trend persists throughout the spring and summer, then I’d look into deferring. Pratt students need public transportation to get around and that’s just one of the ways to fall victim to the high density and relatively high incidence of transmission there. I’d have the same caveat for the pre-college program.

We will need to make some cruel choices with sad outcomes any way you look at it. The (Kansas) “Spanish Flu” took out many young and elderly, and social distancing was proven to be effective. We didn’t shut the economy down back then. Now, however, due to a cessation of major portions of economic activity (by national consensus as well as local government mandate), we are heading into an economic downturn that has already swamped the worst numbers of the “Great Recession” and, if allowed to persist, will very soon out-pace the worst of the Great Depression. Both economic downturns resulted in scores of lives lost as well. There are no easy answers here.

@Graphitemovermom @mommek3 - congrats to you both on at least having made your choice (deferral pending) - I will be curious to hear what Pratt has to say when you speak to them, I hope it’s helpful! @mlong623 I feel you on wanting to make a decision soon - is your future animator wanting to do 2D or 3D? SCAD and Pratt are such great (and yet very different) choices, it seems we’re in a similar boat with that!

@BrooklynRye i love how your son’s program at Northeastern program will blend art/science - congrats! we toured there as well, as my daughter is also a very strong STEM student who was being tugged by her strengths in computer science and engineering on one side and her passion for fine arts on the other. When application season arrived (after touring 19 (!) schools for a variety of possibilities), her heart was with the fully dedicated art schools and computer animation seemed the best way to blend the strengths … and the rest is history!

@JBStillFlying “we’ll have to see” - sigh - these are definitely strange and unpredictable times. congrats on the upcoming graduation, i am certain the rest will follow in due time. good luck!