Happy to help - both of my kids attend art schools and I teach in a BFA program at a small liberal arts colleges so we’ve been through this in many ways (and it is a LOT of extra work compared to a ‘regular’ application).
Merit Aid - (and this will answer where she applied/considered too - also note that her big sister is a senior at RISD so visited along with her and also ruled out some schools from those earlier trips, majors etc):
Hard to tell re grades vs portfolio and the schools didn’t differentiate in their awards, except maybe MICA. She’s a high achieving student from a good public high school, high SAT scores (Ivy League level), APs and heavily involved in art and theater. Portfolio was definitely strong and she got good responses at reviews etc (and got into all her schools).
- Parsons initially offered $24k “Dean’s BFA Scholarship” and no work study*
- MICA kept adding in aid (she got initial okish one and then the extra ones you have to apply/be juried for - see more below)
- RISD offered $25k & $2K workstudy (same package her big sis has)
- Pratt - I forget specifics but it was like $16k scholarship with $10k work study which is IMPOSSIBLE (I manage work study positions at my school, the highest we go & that’s actually feasible time-wise is $5k); hubs called them multiple times but never got through to a person
- Ringling & Laguna came in with ok offerrs but ruled out for different reasons, FIT also an option; visited CalArts but didn’t apply
*Hubs is brave and called Parsons and asked if they could do any better since we would have 2 in art college at the time. We were thinking maybe they’d add work study. They put him on old and added $8k more to the package bringing it up to $32k. Woot! At that point we were pretty set on Parsons since that had always been her top pick, but then MICA rolled in around mid-April with those 2 extra ones and became a little less expensive than Parsons. Daughter agonized for QUITE A WHILE…but then decided on Parsons (which in big pic, career goals, NYC etc was better choice for her).
She never wanted a traditional ‘college experience’ - both of my kids are very quirky, artsy so that’s not their scene. She seems really happy. Absolutely loves the city (we have family there, visit alot) and the neighborhood she’s in (it’s a posh area and she passes/is tempted by The Strand Bookstore everyday). Got all As Fall semester and handles the work load well (she had fair warning from big sis re art school!), She lives in a suite in Loeb Hall and we’ve all been happy with security, the facilities etc (avoid Stuyvesant, she’s heard nightmare stories from friends). They’re all kind of quiet and studious in her suite, so not exactly besties, but they seem to enjoy each others’ company so no drama…yet.
She has several close friends from high school who are also going to school in the city so I was a little nervous she’d rely on them too much and not make friends (since she’s kind of shy). But it seems to be a good balance of doing things with new and old friends. I noticed a lot of her first year classes have had projects where you work with a group, or go to places together, team building stuff which I think has really helped (my older kid at RISD could have really used things like that). It’s a lot of neat things where they need to go as a group to a place, draw it, see an exhibit etc…a lot of fun ways to explore NYC, the arts scene and environment. So I feel like the faculty understands the art kids quirks and are helping nudge them into forming bonds.
She hasn’t decided re housing next year and I’ll be bugging her about it on spring break. I think the plan is to get an apartment with new and old friends possibly in Brooklyn or Queens. One friend is in Queens now and they explore on the weekends. Renting there is A LOT cheaper than the dorms and a quick subway ride to classes (which she’s mastered pretty quickly on her own and now talks routes with the relatives like she’s been there for decades). There’s also a good New School FB parents board that shares a lot of tips etc on this topic.
Hope the info helps!