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Thread: Art School vs. State College

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    Art School vs. State College

    I'm researching art education for my son. He'd like to go into illustration.

    He's planning to apply for scholarships to some art colleges (specifically Columbus College of Art and Design), but if he doesn't get any scholarships then we're going to need a more economical alternative.

    Are there any other colleges, particularly in Ohio, that have an art program that would be a good alternative? Kent? Ohio University? BGSU?

    Also, what would we need to take into consideration if he ends up attending a state school at least to start, and then potentially transferring to CCAD?

    Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom!
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    Quote from Jason Manley: "Where you choose to go to art school is less important than bringing an attitude of "doing whatever it takes" to learn about art to where you are studying."

    That isn't to say that who you learn from isn't important, but some people get that mentality of "I can't be a good artist if I don't go to a good school." Which is absolutely untrue. So don't let him fret if he does end up attending a state school. There is an abundance of information here on CA.org especially that can help him improve independently to supplement what he learns in school

    I would suggest having him start out doing a lot of the general education/core classes like his English, Art history, etc courses that most schools require out of the way at a state school if CCAD is too expensive at first. He can check with a CCAD advisor to get a list of courses at a state school that would transfer to CCAD. Doing that will also give him a year or two to polish his portfolio, get a high GPA, and he'll be in a better position to receive both academic and artistic scholarships.

    There's also the FAFSA. The Pell Grant can provide around $4,000 a year that you don't have to pay back, and the Stafford Loan (if you opt to take it since it has a fixed low interest rate) is better than any sort of private loan you could get. It's also deferred for a few months after graduation in order to give him time to get a job and save some money.

    Also, have him sign up at www.fastweb.com. It's a site that has a big collection of independent scholarships and he can type in his intended major, background info, etc and they will bring up a list of scholarships he is eligible for. A lot of them are essay competitions, art contests, etc, but it can't hurt to see what they offer. I got about 1/3 of my scholarship money via essay contests from that site.

    Just have him keep in mind that no matter where he goes, it's what he does outside of class that will make or break his ability to succeed in the art field.

    Best of luck!
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    That's funny, because I'm moving back to Ohio and I'm asking pretty much the same questions. I'm going for animation, but the fundamentals of art are important in any art-related major/occupation. Which should be obvious, but to some people is not. Anyways, I'm an Iraq War Veteran and just recently was told that the state of Ohio(my homestate) is allowing all veterans to have free tuition at any state school. And so far from the research I've been doing, BGSU and OSU look to have the best art programs to me personally. Now that doesn't necessarily mean anything for your son, since everyone is different. I'd say take him to several different schools, let him check it out, see what he thinks of the equipment, professors, student artwork. Just get a general feel of the place, but make sure you're getting quality too.

    Something else someone suggested to me, is that sometimes places like CCAD and College for Creative Studies in Detroit have agreements with local community colleges for people to start their general studies and basic art classes there and for those credits to be transfered to their institution. This will help cut the extreme costs of private art schools. Have him check out Cleveland Institute of Art as well.


    Hope this helps!

    Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
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    We're already signed up at fastweb, but so far I've mostly been using it to narrow down colleges themselves. I'll have to start investigating the scholarships more. (Between band, school and work he's not had much time to do research himself so I've been narrowing stuff down with lots of input from him. Don't want you to get the impression that he's not involved!)

    We've both read the thread on the realities of going to art school that's stickied here which was a great resource!

    I was just wondering if there were any non-art schools that had a better reputation for art than others.

    Thanks for the input!
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    Quote Originally Posted by WickedEdges View Post
    Something else someone suggested to me, is that sometimes places like CCAD and College for Creative Studies in Detroit have agreements with local community colleges for people to start their general studies and basic art classes there and for those credits to be transfered to their institution. This will help cut the extreme costs of private art schools. Have him check out Cleveland Institute of Art as well.


    Hope this helps!
    I was about to suggest the same thing, I'm currently going to CSCC (columbus state community college) and am studying graphic design but I'm looking at transferring to CCAD. I know for a fact that CSCC does transfer credits to both OSU and CCAD. Though, CSCC is pretty lacking in terms of art classes, I dunno if it was this quarter that was lacking but the art section was bare. On the plus side, Gene, one of my Graphic Design teachers started some beginner courses for Painter (he got the department to buy 27 Intuos3 6x8's and 27 licenses of Painter X) , and he is looking to expand it to more advanced classes as well.
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    I learned on this site last night that CIA is more oriented to Industrial Design and not so great for illustration. Still might visit there though, especially if anyone has a dissenting opinion on the weakness of the illustration program there!

    We've visited several places already, but really only CCAD for art. (The other visits were to Shawnee State and Ohio University, but were scheduled primarily for his brother for digital simulation and video game design. Even the art guy at Shawnee State said that they weren't the place for a 'serious' artist and we simply ran out of time while at OU and didn't make it to the art department. I may schedule a visit specifically to the art department at OU, just so we can make an informed decision about it.)

    Columbus State Community College DOES have an agreement with CCAD for those who are attending CCAD. I still need to check out that relationship from the CSCC side of things as that's also another potential school for his brother as well. (I'm having to do the college search x2 if you hadn't picked up on that!) I did learn that CSCC and CCAD are on different academic systems (one has quarters, the other semesters...can't remember which has which) and our guide wasn't sure how all that worked out given that fact! Something else I need to research further.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vato Loco! View Post
    I was about to suggest the same thing, I'm currently going to CSCC (columbus state community college) and am studying graphic design but I'm looking at transferring to CCAD. I know for a fact that CSCC does transfer credits to both OSU and CCAD. Though, CSCC is pretty lacking in terms of art classes, I dunno if it was this quarter that was lacking but the art section was bare. On the plus side, Gene, one of my Graphic Design teachers started some beginner courses for Painter (he got the department to buy 27 Intuos3 6x8's and 27 licenses of Painter X) , and he is looking to expand it to more advanced classes as well.
    That answers the question of which school does quarters!!

    That is good info to have about CSCC art department. Do you know anything about their video game design program?
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    Mary Mary, just keep in mind that game design and concept art are not the same thing! One of your posts seemed to indicate that your son is most interested in game design. Is that right?
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    To clarify I have TWO sons. Twins. One wants to do game design and the other wants illustration/concept art.
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    I think it's great what you're doing for your children, it's more than my parents did for me x10!! They both seem to want to have exciting careers in the art/gaming industries and your involvment in that will help a ton. Both ARE serious careers with a potential for great success, they just have to push themselves. But yes, concept art and illustration and gaming are all separate careers.

    Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
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    I'd just like to applaud you for being so involved and supportive of your sons' career choices. Not many parents are enthusiastic when they realize their child wants to "make games" for a living. I find it difficult to hold an educated conversation with my family about my plans for the future, which I'm hoping will involve concept art for the entertainment industry. Anyway good luck on the college search, I hope everything works out.
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    Post stealer.

    Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
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    Yeah, I don't remember my parents getting too involved with my education other than to gripe about how much college might cost. Partly as a result of that I never have worked in the field I have my degree in. I don't recall ever really being asked what I wanted to do...just being told what would be a good field to go into.

    With my boys I've asked them extensive questions about what they want to do...but also assured them that if they find themselves wanting to do something different later then that's fine too. I just don't want them to be the kids who, upon graduating from high school, 'think' they'd like 'to do something with their art'...but don't have any sort of plan. So many of their friends don't seem to have much family support or encouragement.

    I've also seen a nephew enroll at a high dollar school, only to run out of money before graduation and now isn't attending anywhere. I WANT to believe that we'll find the money somehow, but also want to make the finances as low-impact as possible, especially since there are two of them starting college at the same time!

    I worry sometimes that I'm doing too much of the 'search' for them, but really, sorting through all this has been information overload for ME. Even though they're fairly mature and capable I think it would be just too much for them to make sense of all by themselves at this stage of their lives.
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