Art School portfolio/application discussion/arguing

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    (Split off from the Accepted Portfolios thread)

    im completely new to the art landscape.........im gonna apply to ringling, as an international undergradutae....and im basically looking for any helpor tips as i can get.....

    help meeee...pleease

    Last edited by Elwell; December 25th, 2008 at 01:26 PM.
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    Quick question: So I will graduate high school with around a ~2.5GPA +/-. How terrible is that? What is the point where they look at your GPA and laugh at you? Will I need something much higher? Should I go to a community college as suggested in an earlier thread to get some of the english/math/etc courses out of the way to try and raise my GPA?

    Help is appreciated.

    - Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamR View Post
    Quick question: So I will graduate high school with around a ~2.5GPA +/-. How terrible is that? What is the point where they look at your GPA and laugh at you? Will I need something much higher? Should I go to a community college as suggested in an earlier thread to get some of the english/math/etc courses out of the way to try and raise my GPA?

    Help is appreciated.

    - Adam
    2.5 is bad, but won't instantly disqualify you at most places. You may as well send in applications this year; if you don't get accepted, got to a community college to raise your GPA.

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    i've been afraid of how much my gpa will ding me too.
    it's probably 2.5>. ;_;

    would a very strong portfolio tip the scales in my favor?

    or would that bad gpa tell them that i won't be able to handle the curriculum, regardless of skill? ORZ

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    Quote Originally Posted by a la bapsi View Post
    i've been afraid of how much my gpa will ding me too.
    it's probably 2.5>. ;_;

    would a very strong portfolio tip the scales in my favor?

    or would that bad gpa tell them that i won't be able to handle the curriculum, regardless of skill? ORZ
    You're portfolio is the most important thing, so I imagine it will help you if you have a strong one.

    On a related note, I'd like to take another opportunity to state how disgusted I am that art schools place any significant attention on GPA's to begin with.
    That is all.

    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    On a related note, I'd like to take another opportunity to state how disgusted I am that art schools place any significant attention on GPA's to begin with.
    Well I mean I can clearly see why they'd take it as important, because it is. I'm not gonna try and kid anyone, I've been a huge slack of school ever since I started the damn thing and it's clearly reflected in my GPA.

    If you owned a college would you accept students who had a pretty good ability to draw but no strength, will power, or dedication to do well in your school?

    I had no intentions of going from high school to community college to another university but hey. I wanted to play Counter-Strike instead of doing my Physics homework lol

    It is an art school, after all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamR View Post
    Well I mean I can clearly see why they'd take it as important, because it is. I'm not gonna try and kid anyone, I've been a huge slack of school ever since I started the damn thing and it's clearly reflected in my GPA.

    If you owned a college would you accept students who had a pretty good ability to draw but no strength, will power, or dedication to do well in your school?

    I had no intentions of going from high school to community college to another university but hey. I wanted to play Counter-Strike instead of doing my Physics homework lol

    It is an art school, after all.
    Here's the thing, you don't obtain the ability to draw well without strength, power, or dedication. So if you can draw well, than you already posses those traits.

    If I ran my own art school, I would place my importance of acceptance by these percentages: 95% for portolio, 4% essay and 1% everything else.

    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    Here's the thing, you don't obtain the ability to draw well without strength, power, or dedication. So if you can draw well, than you already posses those traits.
    Sure you can. You need a degree of passion, but that doesn't necessarily give you the ability to function in an academic or corporate environment.

    A school doesn't want a student who sketches a lot but routinely decides he has no interest in completing the assigned work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    You're portfolio is the most important thing, so I imagine it will help you if you have a strong one.

    On a related note, I'd like to take another opportunity to state how disgusted I am that art schools place any significant attention on GPA's to begin with.
    That is all.
    It's good to know if a student is willing to go to class every day and work hard even if it's not skill related. There are usually going to be lectures (art history and writing, for example) and you will need to be able to succeed in those just as much as your skill-based classes.

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    In response to Meloncov and Jackie57,

    Alright, so it's important that a student attend classes and complete projects. Ensuring this is not a problem. You simply flunk the student and/or strip them of their financial aid if they do not adhere to the curriculum. Somehow I think the threat of that action alone will motivate most students to finish the assignments.

    None of the potential problems that exist when you accept a student with a low GPA come anywhere near the problem of having a student who is bad at their major. No, art history and writing are not as important to an animator as animating (in terms of being a successful professional animator). You're skill-based classes are more important because that is what you will get hired for - you're skill. No animation studio is going to look at a thesis film and say "Gee, the animation is stunning... but are they familiar with 17th century Italian architecture?"

    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post

    Alright, so it's important that a student attend classes and complete projects. Ensuring this is not a problem. You simply flunk the student and/or strip them of their financial aid if they do not adhere to the curriculum. Somehow I think the threat of that action alone will motivate most students to finish the assignments.
    Understandably, schools would prefer not to accept people they are going to flunk. Bad for their reputation, bad for student moral, frustrating for teachers.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    None of the potential problems that exist when you accept a student with a low GPA come anywhere near the problem of having a student who is bad at their major. No, art history and writing are not as important to an animator as animating (in terms of being a successful professional animator). You're skill-based classes are more important because that is what you will get hired for - you're skill. No animation studio is going to look at a thesis film and say "Gee, the animation is stunning... but are they familiar with 17th century Italian architecture?"
    Of course not. But that knowledge of seventeenth century Italian architecture will likely induce an increased richness and verisimilitude in, say, the backgrounds for your animation. More generally speaking, the ability to communicate artistically is useless if you have little to say.


    Also, computer animation requires more left-brain intelligence than is needed to create a good enough drawing to get accepted at almost any art school. Grades aren't a perfect indicator of left-brain intelligence, but they are likely the best the school is going to get. This is why Ringling's GPA cutoff is lower for CA than the other majors (at least officially. Unofficially, it is likely because they can afford to be more picky.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    In response to Meloncov and Jackie57,

    Alright, so it's important that a student attend classes and complete projects. Ensuring this is not a problem. You simply flunk the student and/or strip them of their financial aid if they do not adhere to the curriculum. Somehow I think the threat of that action alone will motivate most students to finish the assignments.

    None of the potential problems that exist when you accept a student with a low GPA come anywhere near the problem of having a student who is bad at their major. No, art history and writing are not as important to an animator as animating (in terms of being a successful professional animator). You're skill-based classes are more important because that is what you will get hired for - you're skill. No animation studio is going to look at a thesis film and say "Gee, the animation is stunning... but are they familiar with 17th century Italian architecture?"

    Most art schools require a hefty chunk of liberal arts classes. They're there for a reason. Maybe that animation studio won't read your thesis, but if they're doing an animation taking place in a 17th century Italian church and you have knowledge about it, you're not going to be scolded.

    Wouldn't you want to be able to think critically rather than just animate projects mindlessly?

    And hey, I'm not bashing, I got a 2.7 in highschool and went right to Arizona State University. I flunked out. I had to come back to community college and learn how to be a good student, even in my art classes. I agree, highschool was a waste of time for me, but it created a BAD HABIT in me of being a poor student. I didn't know how to study, I didn't know how to write papers, and I didn't know how to discipline myself to do projects that I didn't like. This carried over to all my studio classes at first, despite the fact that ability wise, I was at the top of my class.

    After 3 years I finally have overcome my bad habits and am applying to art schools. If I tried to go to art school fresh out of highschool, I would have gotten no where.

    Now everyone is different. What applies to me probably doesn't apply to most people, but to discount the importance of studying other subjects besides animation is just ignorant.

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    Personally, I would like to go to a college in which most people have a gpa within close proximity to 3.0 (at least) and know how to draw.

    My sketchbook. Input and advice is, well, appreciated. :] http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=118556
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    In response to Meloncov and Jackie57,

    Alright, so it's important that a student attend classes and complete projects. Ensuring this is not a problem. You simply flunk the student and/or strip them of their financial aid if they do not adhere to the curriculum. Somehow I think the threat of that action alone will motivate most students to finish the assignments.

    None of the potential problems that exist when you accept a student with a low GPA come anywhere near the problem of having a student who is bad at their major. No, art history and writing are not as important to an animator as animating (in terms of being a successful professional animator). You're skill-based classes are more important because that is what you will get hired for - you're skill. No animation studio is going to look at a thesis film and say "Gee, the animation is stunning... but are they familiar with 17th century Italian architecture?"
    I meant that they are just as important to succeed in during school. You have to pass those classes to stay at the school.

    For instance, at Ringling, the History of Animation class is considered a kind of "weed out" class. It's quite demanding and requires a lot of studying.

    Not only that, but how can you really say that knowledge isn't as important as your skill? A pretty thesis isn't the only thing that gets you a job.

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    (Sorry, I had to make a triple post because my computer wont make a post if it is too long.)

    If a school adopted my philosophy on accepting students, I doubt there would be much of a problem at all with students flunking out.
    Let's take Bobby here, his portfolio is excellent, essay well crafted and insightful, but GPA shows he wasn't too keen on diagramming sentences. We tell him he's accepted on the condition that he attend and pass his classes. What is the probability that he's going to fail? In my mind, not very high.

    Let's take Lucy here, she can't draw a straight line, essay is cliché and boring, but GPA shows she memorized the formula chart in her math book. How good of an art student is she going to be? In my mind, not a very good one. Meloncov, don't you think she’s going to make her Illustration teacher frustrated? Lower the student moral? Give the art school a bad reputation for their art program?

    Last edited by lowercase; November 15th, 2008 at 03:09 PM.
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    You say knowledge of 17th century architecture will increase richness and verisimilitude of a students work. Absolutely. You say a lot of left brain learning is required to be a computer animator. No doubt. But that's why we focus on those things specifically. If I need to know something (like what the word verisimilitude means) I simply need look it up in the dictionary. Now I know. If I need to know about the architecture, I’ll do a google search. Now I know. If I need to learn to draw well, I simply… oh wait… actually that takes awhile.
    The point is, I don’t need to maintain a high grade over the course of my 9 month long geography class in order to know the depth of the Grand Canyon for my short film.

    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?
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    Emifinan, if I do research on my subjects, I won’t be animating them mindlessly. I don’t think it’s ignorant at all to say that the subject of animation is the most important to an animator. I’m not saying “Screw all other subjects.” I’m saying, “You want to animate a penguin? Do research on penguin anatomy. Don’t spend 9 months studying the anatomy every flightless bird known to man.” That’s a monumental waste of time and energy.

    Jackie57, I’m sorry but I believe a pretty thesis is what will get you the job. If a company needs a modeler, they are going to hire the best modeler they can find. They need an animator, get the best animator.
    Also, knowledge and skill are not exclusive terms. You need knowledge to gain skill.

    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    You say knowledge of 17th century architecture will increase richness and verisimilitude of a students work. Absolutely. You say a lot of left brain learning is required to be a computer animator. No doubt. But that's why we focus on those things specifically. If I need to know something (like what the word verisimilitude means) I simply need look it up in the dictionary. Now I know. If I need to know about the architecture, I’ll do a google search. Now I know. If I need to learn to draw well, I simply… oh wait… actually that takes awhile.
    The point is, I don’t need to maintain a high grade over the course of my 9 month long geography class in order to know the depth of the Grand Canyon for my short film.
    Learning art history is a whole lot easier once you have a background in traditional history. If you know what a valute is, but have no idea of the history behind it, your work will look like a facade. In fact, their is some pretty compelling evidence that anything is easier to learn when you've previously learned more: in other words, learning is itself a skill acquired through practice.


    As for your other point; no, someone with no drawing skill shouldn't be accepted. But someone with a good academic background will add something meaningful to the school community; if nothing else, they are someone who you could go to to ask what the heck a valute is. More importantly, what they have learned could serve as inspiration for good stories, either for themselves or someone else.

    Also, I should clarify that the failing classes example is deliberately extreme in order to illustrate a point. More likely, a poor student would skimp on anatomy, say, or something else they found boring. Of course, this won't always be the case, but colleges have no choice but to judge based on generalizations (for example, some applicants with absolutely no drawing skills going into a program might rapidly grow into an artistic genius, but selective schools can't afford to take the risk).

    Though I do think schools should be very forgiving of people who get poor grades early in high school, but raise them later on. That pretty clearly illustrates that they have the dedication to do stuff they don't enjoy if they realize it is necessary to achieve their dreams.

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    The conversation is rather off-topic, and there have been few portfolios in this thread. I'd like to see more portfolios.

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    Well, Randomizedsn, we haven't been accepted yet, much less even applied. But you're right, I've driven this way off topic.

    Meloncov, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I suppose what I simply want is for there to be a point where it doesn't matter if your GPA gets higher. Like, there would be no distinction between a 4.0 and a 3.0 or something like that. Cause if you have a 3.0, then clearly you showed up for class, paid attention and did the work. You just weren't hell bent on getting every question right on every test.

    My grades actually declined as I progressed through high school. Subjects become less and less applicable therefore I cared less and less. It's not hard for me to imagine why so many high school kids drop out their junior and senior years. It starts getting absurd.

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    lowercase, were you by any chance rejected from an art school based on your GPA?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin. View Post
    lowercase, were you by any chance rejected from an art school based on your GPA?
    No. My GPA's a 3.2.

    I'm not argueing this because it benefits me. I'm argueing this because I think it's unfair and nonsensical to place any significant importance on acceptance to an art college based on something entirely unrelated to art.

    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    No. My GPA's a 3.2.

    I'm not argueing this because it benefits me. I'm argueing this because I think it's unfair and nonsensical to place any significant importance on acceptance to an art college based on something entirely unrelated to art.
    Tis that applies the other way also. Do you think it's fair not to accept someone with a 4.0 with a alright portfolio, while someone else with a 2.0, and a brilliant portfolio gets in.

    Sketch page coming soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanemeh View Post
    Tis that applies the other way also. Do you think it's fair not to accept someone with a 4.0 with a alright portfolio, while someone else with a 2.0, and a brilliant portfolio gets in.
    Well, a 2.0 is a significantly low gpa, but if it was a little higher, fundamentally speaking, yes, I think that's fair.

    If I were applying to an engineering college, would it make sense to ask for my drawing portfolio? No. But isn't that unfair to me if I can draw well? No, because drawing has nothing to do with engineering. Likewise math has nothing to do with art.
    GPA is a valid measure of competence for an engineering applicant because it is the best reflection of you're understanding of math, science and other primarily left brain subjects.

    For art school, I think GPA should account for a small measure of ability, unless it is to a significant degree. A 4.0 should boost you a nice bit. A 2.5 should pull you down a nice bit. But the distinction between a student with a 2.9 and a 3.3 should be almost non-existent.

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    As far as I understand it most art colleges use GPAs as tie breakers. If two people have equally good portfolios they'll look at the GPA to see who'll get in.
    GPA doesn't matter in the industry, and it doesn't matter much more in art school.

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    i agree with ryerordstar. in most art schools, gpa is just the tie breaker. its doesnt matter that much, but it does give you an edge over the other students if you have high academic grades as well as a good portfolio. if you can show that you are a good in many classes instead of just art, you have a better chance of getting in and a hefty scholarship because many art schools like their students to be well rounded. there are some art school scholarships that are specifically for students who do well academically as well. i think mica and calarts have that actually...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyerOrdStar View Post
    As far as I understand it most art colleges use GPAs as tie breakers. If two people have equally good portfolios they'll look at the GPA to see who'll get in.
    GPA doesn't matter in the industry, and it doesn't matter much more in art school.
    Quote Originally Posted by edds_bestfriend View Post
    i agree with ryerordstar. in most art schools, gpa is just the tie breaker. If you can show that you are a good in many classes instead of just art, you have a better chance of getting in and a hefty scholarship because many art schools like their students to be well rounded.
    Unfortunately, that is not the case. From personal experiences as well as what I've been told by others, art schools place significant importance on GPA. Sometimes more importance than on the portfolio itself. It's far from being a mere tie-breaker.

    As far as being well-rounded, does a high GPA really signify this? I think not.
    Allow me to prove my point. For someone out there with a 4.0, can you please tell me, off the top of your head, what the birth date was of Eleanor Roosevelt? How about the dates of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How about what grammar school Francis Crick attended?
    Wait, you don't know!? Wha-wha-what!?! I thought 4.0 students were well-rounded? I thought they were familiar with this kind of stuff?
    Like I said before, GPA is primarily a reflection of one's ability to temporarily memorize word searches.

    Even if you could answer those questions, do they really have any relevance to your ability to paint a picture? Animate a character? Design a billboard? Nope.

    Finally, the question I'm wondering is, if you've spent all that time harvesting you're GPA, what life experiences have you been missing out on? Hell, one could argue that people with lower GPAs are more well rounded because they don't spend their time memorizing those word searches. How about Jimmy, who spent all his free time taking care of his quadraplegic mother? Where does that show up in the GPA? How about Alice, who's spent the majority of her life with facial disfigurations? Where does that show up and what does that say about her character? How about Roger, who's an accomplished break-dancer?
    Sorry guys, even though you're portfolio's are better, instead were gonna pick the guy who 3 years ago could name the capital of Guam. He can't anymore but... uhh... well ya he's "well rounded".

    All hail the mighty GPA and it's abunded power!

    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?
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  33. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    Like I said before, GPA is primarily a reflection of one's ability to temporarily memorize word searches.
    I gotta say, I'm not a huuuge fan of the education system or anything...
    but you're making it sound like GPA is based on a single subject, say math, and all math consists of is memorizing the the digits of pi!

    There's plenty of thinking and comprehension involved in most courses. You might be awesome at memorizing numbers, but suck when it comes to actually working with them. Or you might be awesome at memorising and working with numbers, but absolutely bomb at writing a decent, well-crafted and intelligently thought-out english essay (English, by the way, is definitely part of your GPA)

    And I know plenty of people who can write an intelligent essay, but can't comprehend the beautiful and amazing intricacies of math and physics (which involve a heck of a lot more thinking than just "memorizing a word search.") I'm one of them...but I try.

    this really only applies to high school, I guess. In university you can specialise enough to mostly avoid those areas that drag down your GPA...but whatever you do, it still involves a LOT of thinking. Not just rote scrote memorising like you seem to be saying. I learned that the hard way the first year of university. To get a good GPA, you need to put in the effort. "Putting in the effort" means actually stopping picking your funkin' nose and thinking.

    so yeah.

    p.s. I still mostly agree with you in terms of art school though

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  34. #29
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    Well, I don't know about other schools but I know that at Sheridan you hand in your portfolio and then you get a sheet back with a mark on it. If the mark is over a certain cutoff point you're in. As long as your GPA is decent they go by the mark on the paper. And since these are just teachers they don't have intimate knowledge of your GPA so it can't bias the mark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    Unfortunately, that is not the case. From personal experiences as well as what I've been told by others, art schools place significant importance on GPA. Sometimes more importance than on the portfolio itself. It's far from being a mere tie-breaker.
    really? and which schools would that be? i know there are schools like parsons who require at least a 3.0...but i dont think ive heard of an art school that puts gpa over portfolio

    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    As far as being well-rounded, does a high GPA really signify this? I think not.
    well. you can say the same about the sats and acts you know. but why do we have it? because its just an easy way to check up on what you learned. its definately not the best way because real knowledge is different from just studying an how to get a perfect score on the sat book, but remeber these people are looking through tons and tons of apps everyday and they dont have time to evaluate each student. and when i say well-rounded, im just saying you can work academically and artistically. if you're into sports too and music well that just adds on to your wellroundedness. XD

    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    Even if you could answer those questions, do they really have any relevance to your ability to paint a picture? Animate a character? Design a billboard? Nope.
    not everything has to relate to your art you know. doing well academically means you just do well academically. i mean like, no one studies math to learn to paint better. maybe they just happen to do well in it....or like it...

    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    Finally, the question I'm wondering is, if you've spent all that time harvesting you're GPA, what life experiences have you been missing out on? Hell, one could argue that people with lower GPAs are more well rounded because they don't spend their time memorizing those word searches. How about Jimmy, who spent all his free time taking care of his quadraplegic mother? Where does that show up in the GPA? How about Alice, who's spent the majority of her life with facial disfigurations? Where does that show up and what does that say about her character? How about Roger, who's an accomplished break-dancer?
    Sorry guys, even though you're portfolio's are better, instead were gonna pick the guy who 3 years ago could name the capital of Guam. He can't anymore but... uhh... well ya he's "well rounded".
    well people who have high gpas have a life too. you dont have to have a low gpa to experience life. ive got a 3.3 gpa, its not perfect but its not bad. i have fun hanging with my friends, volunteering at childrens camps and temples, did an internship at a museum, and so on and so forth. none of that shows in my gpa but i suppose thats what the essay and 'extracurricular' part of the application is for? and besides, i know plenty of people who have 4.0+ who do lots more then just raise their gpas...they dance, they act, they're in bands...etc...

    anyways, i would really like to know which schools accept gpa over portfolio though. i agree with you...thats pretty messed up.

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