Transfer to MICA vs SAIC

Thank you very much!! I appreciate all the info, I’ll definitely take this into consideration

Are you transferring from a community college, or can you just stay and finish your degree where you are? How much debt do you already have?

@happymomof1 I was at community college, will have my associates of visual arts by the end of the summer. I don’t have any debt so far.

Go talk with your financial aid office. Find out if there still is time for you to borrow the sophomore year federal student loan. That would be $6500. You could put it into the bank and use it in a future year. Depending on how your CC handles its summer session, that might be possible. Then for academic year 2019-2020 you would borrow the junior year loan of $7500 for whichever place it is that you do decide to attend. While this won’t magically reduce your and your mom’s potential total debt burden, it will shift more of it onto you alone.

If your mom co-signs rather than borrowing parent PLUS loans, look around for affordable life and disability insurance policies for yourself in the amount of your co-signed loans. That way if something truly unfortunate should happen to you, she won’t be left owing that loan.

My daughter is a current student (rising sophomore) at MICA but also seriously considered SAIC as well (and did a summer program there). From what I understand, SAIC is significantly more flexible, and doesn’t even really have actual majors–you basically get a general Bachelor of Fine Arts (with some optional emphases–I think writing or art education) and simply take a set number of studio credits (in anything you want) plus the required courses. Whereas MICA has set major study programs with specific requirements. So you would probably have a lot more flexibility at SAIC, if that’s something that’s important to you. Another difference I seem to remember was that SAIC didn’t have letter grades–everything was done via critiques and then you receive a credit or no credit (I think you had to have the equivalent of a C or higher to get credit). Just something else to consider! For my daughter, personally, she decided that she really needed that structure/direction that MICA offered to help her succeed, but for other students, the flexibility might be better.

Oh, and I should add…there has also been much discussion about how SAIC is more about “conceptual” art. I’m not an artist myself and therefore not all that well-versed in how that translates into the college experience, but I do keep hearing it over and over again about SAIC.

SAIC is “conceptual” and process-focused, but the job placement rate was pretty good when we looked at it a few years ago. Also, the more open curriculum is a great option for those who need it, but many also opt for a pretty standard applied curriculum in their field of interest. Your advisor should be able to help you there.

My D just graduated from another art school but will be starting a full-time job in Chicago, where I imagine a lot of SAIC jobs are located. During her job search, she was never asked about her transcript, and she didn’t bother putting her GPA on her resume. All everyone seemed to care about was her portfolio and work experience. So receiving quality (letter) grades may not be so important on the job market, although I supposed at some point she might have to provide proof of degree or something. For grad school, letter grades DO tend to be important, and I understand in that case SAIC is able to produce a quality-grade transcript if needed.

Hmm interesting. All very good info that i will take into account, thank you! Also @OrangeBlossomMom if you don’t mind me asking, what major is your daughter in and does she like it at MICA?

She’s an Illustration major, but last year was foundation year, so she was only able to take one Illustration class (which, of course, was her favorite class BY FAR!). There are many things about MICA that she loves so far, and some things about it that are frustrating (for example, getting any sort of helpful advisement appears to be next to impossible–at least, for her it’s been next to impossible). Her other big complaint is the food, which she thinks is pretty awful. Otherwise, the only negatives have had to do with her fellow students/a difficult roommate/things like that. Any specific questions, feel free to ask and I will ask her!

first congratulations on getting into and choosing VCUARTS! it is one of the BEST design schools in the country period! D is a GD major and has been having an incredible experience , now entering senior year. has great internships in NYC, sold much freelance, published twice now, on and on. You have a lot to look forward to . D has accomplished more than any of her friends attending elsewhere (just a fact).

^ Um, OP was referring to fit and finances, not concerns over the quality of students or instruction at VCUArts. Also, did OP end up choosing VCUArts after all? Is that posted somewhere?

Lol i haven’t chosen vcuarts, but i have decided to consider it again. I’ll be visiting saic with my mom tomorrow and then I’ll hopefully decide this week! Thank you to everyone who contributed to this convo and gave me more insight into these schools :slight_smile:

I haven’t committed to any school yet but that’s good to know! If i did end up going to VCU i would most likely pick up GD as a double major

^ map - let us know what you decide! Best of luck to you!

Thanks, will do!

So i visited SAIC and I really loved it! I definitely feel like they had the most to offer me when it came to curriculum and resources. I decided to defer for one year in order to apply for more outside scholarships and save up money.

@mapofthesoul - thanks for keeping everyone in the loop! All the best!

Feel free to PM if you have any questions about VCUARTS . Best of Luck to you.

@mapofthesoul, so glad you made your decision, and best of luck!! My daughter absolutely loved her summer program at SAIC. It’s a really cool place to study/live!

Ad hominem or non sequitur? Pondering the distinction and the application.