How to go to art school when I'm dirt poor?

This may be on the wrong thread because I’m not accustomed to forums, so apologies in advance if I post this in the wrong thread. A while ago I posted on CollegeConfidential for help regarding going to Cal Poly Pomona, but I have since decided on a different path. Last year I couldn’t decide on what I wanted to do, but now I am absolutely confident that I want to pursue a career in illustration. I’ve narrowed my schools down to Art Center, which has a broad and widely acclaimed illustration department, and CCA, which offers the chance to go abroad to my dream school in Japan. I am currently in my second semester at DVC community college to beef up my portfolio.

But my biggest problem is money. My family makes almost next to nothing. My mom works as an occasional babysitter, and my dad works as one of the tech guys at DVC, but both jobs’ pay amount to nothing much. They have told me that they wouldn’t be able to pay for my college, so money-wise it’s all up to financial aid. Worst thing is that art schools are way too expensive; Art Center is notorious for their price. Going out of state is out of the question.

So my question here is this: is there any way for me to pursue one of these schools without being horribly in debt?

If funding is your number one priority, then availability of funding for a transfer student in the form of institutional grants, federal aid, and scholarships should be your number one priority in selecting schools. In other words, there’s no point in even exploring what a given school offers in academic programming if there isn’t any funding available to you.

So first, get an estimate of how much you will get via pell grant and state grants, add to that the amount of federal loans you can take out. Then you will know how much additional aid you will need in the form of either need based aid or merit aid. Then look for schools that meet need for transfer students first. Then look for schools that offer scholarships to transfer students. Once you have a few that look to be affordable, then you can start exploring whether they offer what you want.

For those of us who are dependant on big FA, this is how we have to do it. “Fit” is a luxury for those who can pay.

Not sure about this, but maybe a cheaper option is a cal state in an art major? .

I would definitely look at state school options. Do not take on any more debt than is absolutely necessary.

State school. I went to a state school eons ago. My parents didn’t want me to really enter the art field and also in case I wanted to change my direction. State school with an art program was the compromise.

I graduated and had a great job within months. Other than my drawing skills that used from my college experience, the rest was on the job training using industry software and gaining skills from the job.

Over 16 years ago when I left my job I was earning over $60,000. It was a great job, but left to raise my family. Today I’m an interior decorator with specialization in custom drapery. Anyways what I really want you realise is that your first job experience matters for all your jobs thereafter. Your choice of schooling (art school or a college) isn’t as important. In fact, having a degree and having experience is all that matters.