I'm a high school senior [Redbug119's DD] and want to go north for an art school, I hate heat, humidity and blinding sun. We've visited around 12 schools, including: SAIC, MCAD, KCAI, Columbia Chicago, MIAD, NHIA (Pre-college for two weeks) USM, and numerous other colleges including universities. I learned along the way that going to a university would eat me alive. I want to major in Illustration, but love trying out everything so that could easily change. Career-wise I want to illustrate children's books, comics, concept illustration, animation, dabble in film-making, graphic design and pretty much want to do everything I can before death takes me. My GPA is 3.6, SATs are something like 1680, ACT 21 or something like that. My core classes have been honors since as long as I've been in high school.
So my problem is this: NHIA is my third choice, and KCAI and MCAD are butting horns to be the first. Ever since I've visited MCAD, I've compared every school to it, and MCAD ALWAYS comes out top. I don't want to go to a big name because Chicago is a big leap from what I'm used to (A middle of nowhere, falling apart town in Florida), and my mom's terrified for my life in NY and many other big cities. I love the midwest, especially Minny-ap, and fell in love with the city the moment I saw those windmills passing us by. KCAI also looks like a great choice, but MCAD is still rising against it. I feel like KCAI might have a better education, but MCAD seems like a soul fit. I know education is what you make of it, and any art project I get, I always do more. An 'illustrate a poem on 18 x 24'' paper' turned into a twelve page children's book, an assignment to write and illustrate a 2-10 page comic left me begging to push the limit to twelve pages. The teacher knew I wouldn't be able to get all that work done (My comic was the longest) but I desperately tried anyways. I take a break from art my doing art, so I doubt 'better' education will make a difference.
So I feel my education is more down to opening my mind, getting me connections and helping my creativity.
I love the twin cities, how forwards the cities seem, and the school fits me so well, but I love KCAI's wacky foundation. I thought of transferring after foundations, but would rather cold turkey and keep my scholarships. I've had my portfolio accepted by Corrnish, SAIC, KCAI, MCAD, NHIA, Memphis (all on spot, at NPD or at the school) and acceptances are rolling in, with NHIA, MCAD (awaiting financial aid packet) and hopefully KCAI. I was once hoping my school would be decided by 'fate' via merit schols, but mom wants me pitting schools against each other to throw money in my favor. At NPD, the rep from NHIA asked me what NHIA had to do to get me to attend, and I didn't know how to answer.
I vaguely looked at SVA, and might get my masters there, we didn't visit due to time and finances.
My choice is not down to money, FASFA left us with the words '...You can get Student Loans. You're on your own for the rest' and my parents say to just worry about finishing highschool, and they'll worry about the finances.
With so many choices and so little factors, I'm literally leaving my choices to half gut (MCAD) and half education (KCAI).
So, please, anyone, do I choose with my heart, wallet full of punch cards half filled from Eat Street in Minny-ap, comics on my bookshelf from students selling copies at the school;
Or with my mind, KCAI's alumni leading promising futures, but the school seemingly not so savory?