Can I afford Art School?

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  1. #1
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    Can I afford Art School?

    Hello,
    I hope this is the right place to ask this question..

    I'm currently 17 and am about to start my senior year of high school in about a month. I know my work is very low quality right now but I consider myself very dedicated and am also not completely set on going to school straight after high school, but rather waiting a year to strengthen my portfolio.

    My doubts on going to art school all revolve around the costs unfortunately. I know basically nothing of financial aid or anything, and have no idea where to start. Looking at schools it appears most cost around $30,000 a year or so, maybe less maybe more. My parents are willing to pay for around $10,000 or so a year for college, but not any more then that. I am worried because hearing about scholarships a lot seem to be that they are awarded based on financial need, and my parents make a good amount of money (over $200,000 a year combined.) I'm not sure why they won't pay for more of my college... They won't even pay for my driving insurance.

    Another problem is the lack of colleges in my area, I live in Southern California in San Bernardino, the closest art school I've found is Calarts about an hour and a half away. So basically to go to any school I would have to move out.

    My question is whether or not it is realistic for me to be able to go to Art school, getting financial aid for the rest of my tuition while also paying to live away from home. I am also not opposed to attending an Atelier which seems like they would be cheaper, but the only one I know of is the Concept Art one, which although I would love go to but I can't see my skills being high enough to attend for a while.

    My last question is my parents seem to be pushing for me to go to community college then transfer to a university, do community college credits transfer to art schools?

    Thanks for any help on the matter, It's difficult to get information as my parents share the common views of seeing art school as a waste of time and money.

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  3. #2
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    Check out the sticky at the top of the thread list.


    Tristan Elwell
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  4. #3
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    Thanks Elwell, I can't believe I missed that.

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  5. #4
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    This is kinda related to the question. But why are Art Schools so freakin expensive? I know the software is expensive, but I know these schools have more than enough money to pay for it. Aside from software the only real thing I can see that cost a lot is all the fancy architecture all these art schools seem to have. Such as the HDTV's all over the place, and lights in strange places, weird sculptures, and other technological stuff. Other normal Universities are all a lot cheaper than Art schools, but I would think the teachers all pretty much get paid the same. So just what is it that makes these art schools so expensive.

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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killer_Lettuce View Post
    This is kinda related to the question. But why are Art Schools so freakin expensive? I know the software is expensive, but I know these schools have more than enough money to pay for it. Aside from software the only real thing I can see that cost a lot is all the fancy architecture all these art schools seem to have. Such as the HDTV's all over the place, and lights in strange places, weird sculptures, and other technological stuff. Other normal Universities are all a lot cheaper than Art schools, but I would think the teachers all pretty much get paid the same. So just what is it that makes these art schools so expensive.
    Most of the programs I'll assume you're talking about are also private institutions that receive little or no federal support. Most of these programs have to survive on the tuition that comes in. Heck, my alma mater (http://www.ccscad.edu/) was heavy duty relying on student tuition money to help keep the place operating up until a few years ago when a very generous donor gave the school a $50 million dollar endowment to work off of. In order to keep a business (and that's what art schools are too) going, they have to have to generate income somehow to keep the lights on, the place secure, the grass cut, pay its employees, AND have just a little bit to develop programs down the road.

    And no, not all teachers get paid the same.

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  7. #6
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    I have dual citizenship in the US and Canada, and I think both systems have good and bad points. However, it seems to me that North America in general has lost its way in the last 25 to 30 years. This is too big a subject to get into here, but there is no doubt that education, quality education, does not have to be as expensive as it is. I'm the Director of Max the Mutt in Toronto, and would like to suggest that you take a serious look at our diploma programs. The quality of instruction, class size, added to our dedication to keeping education affordable, make us a school that should certainly be on your list.
    If you want more detailed information, contact Van Olson, Admissions Director, at admissions@maxthemutt.com, or toll free at 1-877-486-MUTT.

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  8. #7
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    I've gotten myself into roughly the same situation; I'll be a freshman at The Ringling College of Art and Design this year. My parents have offered me enough money to fully pay for a four year degree program at a state school, and that's all of the money that I get (and I know that that puts me in a better situation than a lot of my classmates already--consider yourself lucky that your parents are going to help!) However, I went for absolutely every scholarship that I could get my hands on, and I've scraped up around 15k on my own for this semester. That's not to mention the 3-5k I've earned through working this past year.

    Basically, you can do anything that you set your mind to. If you want it bad enough, you'll find a way. Realistically, you won't get out of art school without loans, but you can get away with reasonable loans. My advice to you is to first and foremost put together a REALLY good portfolio. That's your main weapon in winning scholarship money, and you can enter that in all kinds of places (Scholastics, local scholarship competitions, etc.). Second, make sure you keep your grades up. That'll be element number 2 in the scholarships through the school. Third, find yourself a good job and work as much as you reasonably can. Maybe get two jobs over the summer.

    Good luck to you!

    Last edited by thesinfulsaint; July 28th, 2007 at 12:07 AM.
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