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Good, Affordable Art Schools?

lkhj419lkhj419 1 replies3 threads New Member
Hi there. I'm currently a second-year student at UC Berkeley, and I'm thinking about transferring to an art school to pursuse 2D animation as well as a bit of 3D. I've been researching schools, but I haven't found any that is quite the right fit.

Schools like CalArts, Ringling, SCAD, RISD, and Sheridan (Canada) are prestigious, but they're extremely expensive to attend and some are more 3D focused, which isn't want I want.

The better options I've found as of today are USC, CSU Long Beach, and CSU Fullerton. USC has a great cinematic arts school for live action, and I've heard that their animation branch is pretty good too. I checked their net price calculator, and it seems like I would be paying about as much as I do now at Berkeley. (Of course, this is only an estimate, but I've heard that some middle class students get pretty good financial aid there.)

CSU Long Beach and CSU Fullerton are less expensive, but I heard that the animation majors there are very impacted and it may take longer to graduate. Plus, I don't know if their programs are as high quality as USC's.

If you're familiar with any of these schools, is this information accurate? If not, please let me know. Also, does anyone have any other recommendations for affordable animation schools? International schools are fine to recommend too, as long as they won't land me in $100k in debt.
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Replies to: Good, Affordable Art Schools?

  • CACloverCAClover 70 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Have you looked at UCLA's BA in Film and Television? It allows a senior concentration in animation (20 units). http://www.tft.ucla.edu/programs/film-tv-digital-media-department/undergraduate-degrees/ba-undergraduate-film/
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  • CACloverCAClover 70 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Also, you could run the Net Price Calculator for Carnegie Mellon; I think it can be hard to anticipate the amount of financial aid a private college may offer, though. Carnegie Mellon's School of Art offers a BFA in which you can take courses in animation. http://www.art.cmu.edu/undergraduate/bfa/
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  • CACloverCAClover 70 replies1 threads Junior Member
    One more! You did mention being open to international schools. I don't know much about the University of Edinburgh, but its College of Art has a four-year program in animation. When I looked at prices a while ago, it seemed to be about half of what you can expect to pay at an art college. https://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/animation-ba-hons
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  • lkhj419lkhj419 1 replies3 threads New Member
    Thanks for all of your suggestions. I have looked a bit into UCLA's program, and I'll definitely check out the others. Thanks again!
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  • snowbirdmomsnowbirdmom 31 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I would definitely recommend posting your question in the visual arts forum under the College Majors section of the forums as well. Good luck!
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 34149 replies4931 threads Super Moderator
    Moving to VA Forum.
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7781 replies24 threads Senior Member
    OP are you a CA resident? The CSUs have some great animation programs; however, you would need to consider ability to transfer into those specifically as well as time to completion. A 5-6 year public program for an OOS'er can cost as much as a SCAD or similar private program running four years.

    Check out MCAD in Minneapolis, if you haven't already done so. They tend to be pretty generous with FA, but not sure how that applies to transfers.

    Most art schools will expect you to take studios in both 2D and 3D; usually the student chooses to focus on one of the two for their demo reel. My daughter is a rising senior at SCAD and her specialty is 2D. She's not sure how it breaks down, but my guess is that most are 3D given the direction of the industry. Still, she says she knows a lot of 2D'ers and hybrids.
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7781 replies24 threads Senior Member
    OP a couple more recommendations are SJSU in CA and UCF in Orlando. My D got super great aid at the latter and her COA as an OOS student was the same as for in-staters. Heart was set on SCAD, however. Still, UCF has a decent program at a decent cost. Completion will be greater than four years so be sure to factor that in.
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  • animal1096animal1096 28 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) in Laguna Beach offers Animation and is cheaper than some other art schools. https://www.lcad.edu/animation/program/program-overview

    If you are considering any CSUs or UCs in California, be mindful of their transfer requirements. Most of these schools are crowded and as a result have strict rules. It would be worthwhile to speak directly to an admissions rep to confirm you are eligible.
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  • stones3stones3 948 replies5 threads Member
    one of the top design schools and considered the #1 public design school is VCUARTS in Richmond. Its a highly recognized dedicated school within the larger VCU . D is a senior GD major . Very focused on real world skills and application.
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  • BrooklynRyeBrooklynRye 788 replies6 threads Member
    OP, at your apparent skill level and focus, VCUArts offers you nothing. Stick to the more objective, intelligent advice offered by regulars such as JB and Clover.
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  • stones3stones3 948 replies5 threads Member
    Do your own research. Look up VCUARTS on USNWR listing and take a look at some alumni. Its only a suggestion, at the end of the day you will know the right fit when you find it. For our D its been wonderful.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35421 replies399 threads Senior Member
    Better to look at the actual courses, professor backgrounds and interests. Not a media ranking.

    And if OP is in CA and price sensitive, I'd suggest CA options first.

    OP, do you have the background, would you have a portfolio?
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  • BrooklynRyeBrooklynRye 788 replies6 threads Member
    Good points @lookingforward. The ultimate focus should be on fit, including the factors noted in your post. What does the school offer? Who are the professors? What are the specific interests and circumstances of the applicant? There is no VCUArts-fits-all.
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  • stones3stones3 948 replies5 threads Member
    I highly highly suggest UCLA as it is a fantastic program first. And as my post said "you will know the right fit when you find it" !!! in otherwords, keep an open mind , explore YOUR options and you'll know it when you find it. If that's VCUARTS great, and if its not , that's great too. But certainly don't exclusively consider or rule out a program as some posters on here pursue their obvious and quite obtuse agendas. Good luck and feel free to pm if any real questions on vcuarts-
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  • ashymustardashymustard 22 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @stones3
    Do you think prospective Film majors at UCLA are judged by the same caliber in terms of SAT and GPA as the rest of the majors? I've heard the film portfolio is the most important piece of the film school in UCLA, which would be helpful because my SAT score isn't that high.
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7781 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    @ashymustard UCLA does not accept a film portfolio for their undergraduate film program. In fact, prior experience in film or television is not even required, and the attributes that they are looking for suggest that high school grades and course rigor will be commensurate with other competitive programs at UCLA:

    "An applicant should demonstrate a strong liberal arts and humanistic education, exceptional literacy, outstanding communication skills and unique creative ability. Prior experience in film and television is not required"

    Check out the application requirements here: http://www.tft.ucla.edu/filmba/freshman/

    Note: "By the time of entrance, Freshman Applicants must:
    Have at least a 3.0 GPA (CA Residents) or 3.4 GPA (Non-CA Residents).
    Satisfy the University of California’s General Freshman Admission Requirements."

    You can find more information on Freshman Admission requirements and statistics here: http://www.admission.ucla.edu/Prospect/Adm_fr.htm
    and here: http://www.admission.ucla.edu/Prospect/Adm_fr/Frosh_Prof18.htm


    If you have a portfolio, you may want to apply to dedicated film programs (typically BFA-granting) where it can receive a good amount of weight. UCLA is looking for excellent writing samples, rather than film samples.

    edited November 2019
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  • ashymustardashymustard 22 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @JBStillFlying Yes, by "film portfolio" I meant the writing samples UCLA asks for. I found it interesting how they discourage submitting short films, and yet, it's one of the best schools in the country.
    Obviously, I really want to get in the program. I'll mention my stats just to see if that helps. I think I'm a decent writer, I have a 4.0 GPA (school offers no AP courses) and got 1410 on the SAT (I don't think it's very good for UC standards), and have some animation, cinematography and drawing ECs and awards.
    Since my grades are ok but not stellar, I'm just hoping my short story is enough for UCLA.
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7781 replies24 threads Senior Member
    @ashymustard the number of students in that major at UCLA is very very low, as these FAQ's indicate:

    Q: What is the total number of students studying Film, Television and Digital Media at TFT?
    Undergraduate (B.A.) - 92
    Graduate (M.A., M.F.A., Ph.D.) 332
    Film, Television and Digital Media Total: 424

    http://www.tft.ucla.edu/about/quick-facts/


    So acceptance is going to be extremely selective. However, a 1410 is within the 50th percentile for SAT scores for OOS and at the 75th for IS admissions, according to the previously-linked Profile of Freshmen so not sure where the "not very good for UC standards" opinion is coming from. You can probably surmise that it wouldn't be your SAT or GPA keeping you out of a program that maybe accepts 25 kids per year.

    I believe it's the MFA program that drives the reputation as a top film school.
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  • stones3stones3 948 replies5 threads Member
    ashymustard-from what I know, yes the single most important thing in the application process is the actual portfolio. Same goes for VCUARTS photo program (which is also very very competitive and highly limited to just a few acceptance each year).
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