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SCAD; Ringling,MICA, Pratt, VCU...Art School Admission 2019- Which to choose?

swkrmomswkrmom 7 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
I've been pouring through websites and online reviews and just don't know what to think. My daughter has been admitted to SCAD, Pratt, Ringling, MICA,and VCU . Still waiting to hear from RISD. Which to choose?? She is an Illustration major. All are expensive. Some say SCAD isn't a good school, some say Pratt, MICA and RISD really don't prepare you for a job and they are more expensive than SCAD.

I'm looking for honest feedback. The good, the bad and especially the ugly. Before I send my daughter anywhere and go into huge debt...what is the best choice?
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Replies to: SCAD; Ringling,MICA, Pratt, VCU...Art School Admission 2019- Which to choose?

  • James ChenJames Chen 23 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I have the similar question. My D has been admitted to SACD,SAIC,and CCA for Illustration major, including 40k scholarship, waiting to hear from Pratt, RISD and SVA.
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  • swkrmomswkrmom 7 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Wow James Chen...that is amazing. Which college did your D earn the 40K scholarship? It would be hard not to pick that one for finances alone. It looks like we might be the only two on this string...so far no one has chimed in. From looking at many reviews throughout the years, this seems to be the topic on every parents mind. So many critiques, so many opinions, too many options. From what I can see from looking at the comments through the years, all of the top art school lists include RISD, Pratt, SVA, SAIC, Ringling, SCAD and MICA. SCAD being the most loved or hated of the bunch. All cost a fortune, even with scholarships. Some have stronger majors than others. I think we will be safe no matter what we choose. It really is a matter of "fit". A complicated algorithm of chosen major + family finances + child's learning style + scholarships + location (hopefully =) the "right" school. Good luck!!
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  • pickpocketpickpocket 392 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    I'm following the thread too. DD has acceptances from SAIC and PrattMWP; waiting on Parsons. Will be a difficult decision, though very grateful she has wonderful acceptances in hand. Also considering one University and one LAC.

    I know three families with child at SCAD: two report good experience, one 'would not recommend it'.

    We are looking at several things when researching and touring the art schools.
    - quality of facilities
    - programs at the college to prepare students for 'good' jobs upon graduating. Internships, speakers, active career planning office, etc.
    - percent of blue-haired gauge-eared tattooed-faces on campus. (only half kidding)
    - campus feel
    - support and wellness programs for students

    That's just me. Totally understand that others look for different attributes.
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  • James ChenJames Chen 23 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks swkrmom. 40k merit from CCA, and yesterday D just received another offer from MassArt with merit 32k.
    Anyone knows this MassArt good for the Illustration major or not? Is it a good choice?
    For SCAD I know it's a good school, and my D likes it very much (she went to summer pre-college program last year in Atlanta). My only concern is its acceptance rate more than 93%, which means no any requirement for the applicants. You know what I mean......
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  • ArtAngstArtAngst 333 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited March 14
    Long...but here's our family's experience with RISD, etc.

    Oldest is a junior at RISD now. She did NOT like foundation year but admits she probably wouldn't have liked it anywhere...alot of emphasis on conceptual art and she was chomping at the bit to actually start in on illustration.

    By sophomore year loved her illustration classes and profs. She worked incredibly hard/long hours sophomore year but that's what she wanted out of the school. She had one of the hardest perspective drawing profs, but liked him so much she TA'd for him afterwards. This year she's honing more into her specialties (she wants to do children's book illustration). She also has a concentration in LAS (literary arts and studies - basically she's taking as much writing for future hopes of writing her own illustrated books and Brit lit - which she loves).

    She's had amazing mentors and a lot of great references for jobs and internships. RISD provides a lot of workshops, events, visits etc but like any school it's up to the student to take advantage of that.

    She'd saved up money and also spent a mini-semester last summer in Ireland with RISD at Burren College taking an Irish myths and legends illustration course and had an amazing time and created great stuff. Then had two art internships the rest of the summer here in our home city (1/2 day at museum's kids summer art program; 1/2 day local gallery). Looking for an internship now but hasn't quite decided if coming home or looking in Providence or Boston (more children's book publishers there).

    Now the downside - my kid is very introverted and while she's made friends it's taken a while/been harder than expected since the culture is so intense about working. So she learned to work less on her own and more in the studio and that way she's socializing and they're going on breaks together. But again, I think this would have been my kid's struggle at any school.

    Another con - it is NOT easy to explore other majors. Illustration has you fairly locked into required classes & schedule. Which means a great skill set. BUT D is also interested in alot of 3D work and industrial design. She considered double majoring in ID freshman year but the program was already full. However, over the years different profs are fine/have encouraged her working in 3D. For example, she'll do a lot of character drawings but then also model the figure/create maquettes. Several profs have let her run with it and one even got her special permission to use the film students stop animation studio. But it took her own initiative and certain profs seeing her interest to kind of get this extra 'wiggle room' in her work.

    Interestingly, son is also applying to RISD (he's already in EA at Pratt, Parsons, MICA and Ringling) and his work is even more mulit-disciplinary so I'm not sure if RISD is a good fit for him. Also in typical sibling form, he's had most of the same teachers for the last decade (including art!) so feel like having his 'own' school would be good for him. We're going to accepted students day at Parsons (and as a plus to mom and dad so far they've given the most $!) and then he'll make final decision in a few weeks. I think right now it's a toss up between Pratt, Parsons (he LOVES NYC, big sis refused to even look at schools there) and RISD.

    edited March 14
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  • blinku55555555555555555555555blinku55555555555555555555555 14 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I agree completety w James. I would pay most attention to the graduation rate at each school. The issue with many of these art schools with higher acceptances rates such as SCAD is students who aren't truly dedicated to the arts get accepted & go, then getting screwed over when they find out its still hard work thus failing or dropping out. SCAD and MICAs admissions advertising is on point compared to other art schools in my opinion. But visiting the schools or taking online virtual tours is ideal; ensuring campus safety, talking directly to admissions reps, & overall deciding if your child would be happy living there for the next four years (climate!). Best of luck to everyone!
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  • swkrmomswkrmom 7 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks everyone....this is very helpful. My D wants to major in Illustration but with the idea of being a concept artist, possibly for gaming or just in the entertainment field in general. Ringling's BFA in game art is tempting, but SCAD provides a more well rounded BFA in Illustration with an option to incorporate game and concept art classes into the degree....kinda of the best of both worlds. I was worried about RISD's reputation as being somewhat inflexible with their teaching methods and class schedule. Still waiting to hear back from RISD and Syracuse (next Friday I believe they will come out). She's got a nice scholarship to Pratt, but I don't see that it has many options for her career choice within their BFA Illustration program. But I think my D doesn't like the idea of living in NYC and the smaller town vibe of life in Savannah or Florida seem more to her taste. I like the fact that she can share a nice apartment in Savannah for less than $500/month.....won't find that in Brooklyn!! Just hard to get past the SCAD reputation. But I'm starting to realize that in the end, no matter where she goes, it's all up to her and her ability to push herself to expand her talent. The portfolio at the job interview is what will matter when it comes to starting the career. I see SCAD graduates teaching at Ringling and other top art schools. For SCAD, or any of the programs, each student who is dedicated to their craft will grow and become the best artist they can become. For the students that go to SCAD because they thought art would be "fun", or who didn't have the talent to get accepted to other art schools, I truly feel for them and their parents. This will be an expensive lesson, and a sad one.
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  • JuneOsborneJuneOsborne 18 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @ArtAngst thank you so much for your wonderful RISD review. I’m on pins and needles waiting for the decisions to be released. So far D has been accepted EA to Pratt, SAIC, MICA, SVA and Ringling. Great merit from Pratt, SAIC and MICA. Right now Pratt is the front runner but wondering if a RISD acceptance will have her reconsidering. Looking to major in Animation/Digital Arts. Like most artists also an introvert, a very hard worker. Will you be at the Pratt accepted students day with your son? Is Pratt or RISD a better match?
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  • ArtAngstArtAngst 333 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited March 17
    @JuneOsborne won't be at Pratt accepted day but that's cuz son has visited twice already - one was a 'regular' tour as a junior and early Fall went to a special day that was geared to each major (ie had a Q&A with faculty, personal portfolio review etc) so S has a good 'feel' for the school.

    Both of my kids are geared to 2D illustration so we didn't look at the particulars about animation at Pratt. There's a lot of good discussions on here re animation programs at the schools your D's been accepted to (I know my own kid was really impressed with Ringling's animation program and his best friend is eyeing that school and MICA for those reasons.)

    RISD is great in a lot of majors but honestly I've heard from D there that some of her classmates were not happy in their FAV program (it's VERY conceptual), and she knows several who switched into the Illustration major instead.
    edited March 17
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  • gouf78gouf78 7787 replies23 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 30
    I try not to pipe in often on 2d vs 3D animation. Ringling believes 3D is where the jobs lie so that is their focus.
    edited March 30
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  • tubamadretubamadre 4 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    My D is a sophomore Illustration/Sequential Arts double major at SCAD. I was really impressed with SCAD when we went to visit but reading some of the reviews literally gave me nightmares! I am happy to say that we made the right choice. It has been a great fit for my D and her skills have improved tremendously. She was talented to begin with though, and works really hard. We have learned that it is not hard to get into most art schools but it is hard to graduate. If you don’t have the talent and work ethic you will be weeded out. I suspect that many of the bad reviews come from those that have not been successful. The other nice thing about SCAD is that it is more a “creative college” then a traditional art school so there are a bigger variety of students. Not everyone is super “artsy”. Plus, Savannah is awesome to visit!
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  • stones3stones3 929 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited April 23
    Art / School is what you make of it. D is at VCUARTS and she has very high grades and is a proactive, outgoing person. As such, she has enjoyed tremendous success since freshman year and each there after.
    edited April 23
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  • BrooklynRyeBrooklynRye 708 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    Art school is not simply "what you make of it". While it is certainly important to come in with a good attitude and industrious mindset, dedicated art programs have varying strengths. Schools are known for strengths (and weaknesses) in various artistic fields, as well as for different methods of teaching. Each school also has it's own ethos, generated by the type of students who attend, the region and city within which the school is located, and the professors who teach at the school. The environment at Northeast city schools such as SVA or Pratt, will be very different than that or Southern communities such as Savannah and Richmond. I think all will agree that the foundation year at most dedicated art schools is incredibly rigorous. This will be the primary weeding-out year. As Blink noted, schools with larger, perhaps less competitive acceptance rates, are often also those with higher attrition rates. But it all comes down to being realistic about what's coming and being as certain as possible that this is the field one wishes to pursue. While rankings are not wholly indicative, they can be a measure of long-term career opportunities. We are all concerned about the "starving artist" path. Knowing that a school has good placement, name recognition, and great post-graduation employment is very important.
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