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Art Center Tuition problems...

taskinlude89taskinlude89 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
I remember posting up here getting accepted into Art Center and being all excited about it. Ha, if only I had known what would happen to me a few months later.

Yesterday, my dad got laid off and we got very little federal aide (close to nothing), we don't qualify for a lot of stuff out there because our assests work against us. I have A LOT of older siblings, but because their in their mid twenties to early thirties, non of them are classified as dependents (and my 2 sisters attended school LATE - my parents are still paying their college loans/expenses off). We got a letter concerning the expenses, here's the damage...

ART CENTER ESTIM. BUDGET FOR 2007 - 2008 (includes Tuition, Room/Board, Books/Supplies, Transporation, and Misc. Spending)

1 Term = $25,922 (tuition = $14,000) (FALL 07)
2 Terms = $51,844 (tuition = $27,710) (FALL 07 + SPRING 08)
3 Terms = $77,766 (tutiton = $41,565) (FALL 07 + SPRING 08 + SUMMER 08)

If I choose to take 3 terms a year = 2 years 8 months to graduate
If I choose to take 2 terms a year (like an average college) = 4 years

All together, I could potentially owe $200,000 +. Everything works against us...


Alternatives
- I came up with some alternatives (hopefully a bit cheaper), which one sounds the most reasonable? I put a rough %


1) Attend SF Academy of Art University for 2 years (annual tutition = $17000) and TRANSFER to Art Center as a 5th term undergraduate. Thing is, SF Academy of Art is notorious for being not accredited, I'm worried about not being able to transfer smoothly back into Art Center as a 5 term (junior year) undergraduate and end up spending even MORE $$$ at Art Center to catch up.

2) Take the art classes only at Art Center and take general education at Pasadena City College (or some sort of local junior college) - Art Center only has full-time students (would this work against me?)

3) Attend Art Center for Fall 07 + Spring 08, go HOME and take General Ed. classes at my local community college - (most realistic, but will it save enough?)

4) Go to OTIS instead (I also got accepted to OTIS)

5) Apply to an East Coast School (Parsons, RISD, or Pratt) - I looked over the prices and their instate tutition cost is rougly $30,000 ~ $35,000, my friend told me that their out of state is cheaper than the instate tuition of Art Center. Anyone know the out of state tutiton? This idea is 50/50)

6) Live with my sisters in Southern CA and attend Santa Monica Junior College for 2 years and then transfer to Art Center as a 5th term undergaduate.

----

My mom's the type who'd take chances and take the radical way - she wants me to go to Art Center (and I REALLY do - committed to pursuing art since I was 10, idolizing getting into Art Center since I turned 16).

My dad's the type who'd play it safe and take the conservative way - he wants me to commit to some sort of alternative (HEAVILY emphasizing going to SF Academy of Art because 1) I'm familair with the school/area, 2) I'll have freinds there, 3) I already have 4 credits there, 4) it's CHEAP compared to most art schools). (Same as above = SF Academy of Art is notorious for being not accredited, I'm worried about not being able to transfer smoothly back into Art Center as a 5 term (junior year) undergraduate and end up spending even MORE $$$ at Art Center to catch up.

What I want to do: Throw caution to the wind and go to Art Center regardless of the crazy expenses. I want get into entertainment illustration ever since I was 10. I have full determination to not let all the mounting expenses go to waste.


Any sort of thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I worked way too hard to get into Art Center (art school in general), I intend on seeing it through 'til the end.
Post edited by taskinlude89 on

Replies to: Art Center Tuition problems...

  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    I would like to emphasize one of your choices and suggest one of my own.

    If cash is tight, I like the idea of attending a junior college to get rid of all of the liberal arts and miscellaneous course requirements.

    Secondly, there are art schools that are very good and relatively inexpensive. For example, look into Mass College of art. It is more expensive for out of state folks,but still isn't bad. Other relatively inexpensive schools for out of state folks would be SUNY Purchase, FIT etc.

    Thirdly, Go to a state that has a good art department in a state university. Work for one year without going to college so that you can establish residency and then apply to that state university. You will get in-state tuition after that.

    Other alternatives are to apply to various schools and submit FASFA to see if you get a decent financial aid package that doesn't involve a lot of loans.

    Good luck
  • larationalistlarationalist Registered User Posts: 916 Member
    If you're in California, try UCLA or Berkeley.

    Option number 2 sounds good as well.
  • RainingAgainRainingAgain Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    //What I want to do: Throw caution to the wind and go to Art Center regardless of the crazy expenses. //

    Be patient with yourself. Don't rush into something that fast. Perhaps work your butt off at a less expensive state college and then transfer in. You will likely get credit for some/many liberal arts courses, and perhaps a transfer scholarship. Do a little research, sit back and make a sound financial decision.
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Registered User Posts: 4,790 Senior Member
    If you go to Art Center per your wish and your moms wish, where will you get the cash to pay for it? Does your family actually have it to give? I would not rec loans for this amount for an Art Degree. You will be saddled with unbearable debt, and I am not sure you can even hope to borrow that much.
  • m&sdadm&sdad Registered User Posts: 1,201 Member
    If money is an issue, I would go with option 1, at least for the first year. I would also apply for merit at the East Coast art schools for Sept 2008 if you feel you have a strong portfolio.

    Now is not the time to go $50K per year into debt.

    The other option is to take a gap year, get a job and continue to hone your artistic skills.
  • silverpetalsilverpetal Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    I'm in a similar position as you. Sometimes I just can't help but shake my head at the high tuition costs for art schools.

    It's absurd.

    I followed what m&sdad suggested. I got into RISD and wanted more than anything to go to that school (turning down other cheaper schools). We unfortunately didn't have enough money this year so I asked RISD for a one-year deferral (enterring Fall 2008).

    I'm planning to work possibly full-time this year to save some money and just take some community college art courses (just to finetune the drawing skills and other weaknesses).

    You might want to consider that route if you really do want to attend Art Center in the end.
  • RainingAgainRainingAgain Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    //I'm planning to work possibly full-time this year to save some money and just take some community college art courses (just to finetune the drawing skills and other weaknesses).//

    There are no time lines. Many students (and their parents) put a lot of pressure on themselves to follow traditional time lines. It's okay if your path stops and starts a bit. Just keep your eye on the future and use the interim periods to self-study = don't get lazy on yourself. And if you graduate when you are 26...so be it. You are less in debt and that will be a huge relief when you are done.
  • m&sdadm&sdad Registered User Posts: 1,201 Member
    I did college on the six year plan, including the time I took off to work in the middle. Working made me appreciate school more when I went back, especially compared to a lot of the other students who viewed it as four more years of high school.
  • taskinlude89taskinlude89 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Thanks for all of your responses, it really helped out a lot.

    My family talked everything over. Ultimately, we CAN afford it. I'll be dirt poor in college and the debt will be unbelievable, but it is definately within our grasp (thank god!)

    As of now, me going to Art Center is a definite yes. But of course, I will speak with the Art Center counsellor's concerning payments and take every advantage of community college classes during the terms I take off from Art Center.

    Thanks again guys
  • liek0806liek0806 Registered User Posts: 3,316 Senior Member
    When I was choosing what art schools to go to, what I did with my financial aid packages, was contact each financial aid dept at every school, and present the case(which was the case at that time)that my father was on dissability and that although it seemed like we had a large intake of money we didn't, and broke it down for them, showing them that alot of his source of money came from working over time, and that by not being able to work full time he logically wouldn't be able to make overtime, like previous years.

    they ended up giving us more aid. we also send copies of financial aid packages from different schools who were offering more aid, to ones i really wanted to go to, and some of them would match the aid, if not top it!
  • taskinlude89taskinlude89 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    liek0806 - I intend on doing jus that within the next month or so. Sounds like a pretty good idea!
This discussion has been closed.