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Hello everyone! Well today has been a pretty horrible day for me. I found out I can't get private loans for a certain art school I wanted to attend. Apparently Sallie Mae stopped lending funds for all non-accredited trade schools as of August 2009...so this throws a huge wrench into my plans. I am not rich by any means so I am going to need financial assistance of some kind help with the tuition of any school.
This forces me to look into bigger schools such as SCAD, Ringling, etc. I do not want a degree. I don't want to pay tens of thousands of dollars for general education courses. Is there any way to attend any of these Art Universities while only taking their art courses? I have emailed a few of the schools about this but I figured I would ask you guys too.
Any information on this would be greatly appreciated.
If you haven't already, check out the plans for The Art Department.
Seems like what you are looking for (don't need a degree, cheaper price, no Gen Eds)
One option is to attend a community college first and get general ed classes out of the way. Almost all schools will accept the transfer credits.
Another option is to attend school with no intention of ever graduating. No one will actually stop you, though advisers will badger you some. You should take a careful look at prerequisites before trying this, though, as liberal arts courses may be required for certain studio classes you want.
A final note, you shouldn't be to quick to dismiss the value of general education classes. Keep in mind that as a concept artist, you're not being paid to make pretty pictures. You're paid to come up with ideas, and the more material you have to draw on, the more creative you'll be. You have to be able to paint a good picture in order to communicate said idea, but that's ultimately secondary, as the final audience will never see your painting.
Also, Don't discount the value of a degree. It can open up a lot of doors. You never know what will happen in the future.
I think the idea of first going to a community college to knock out all the gen eds is a good one. You can then transfer to a school like SCAD and finish up. Some schools, however, make it hard to transfer due to low numbers of accepted students. Ringling is one of those, although I think if you apply for anything other than their animation program, you will be fine.
Please PLEASE do not get a PRIVATE loan to pay for art school. Get a FEDERAL loan. Simply do some reading online. That is one of the financial cardinal sins that many of my graphic artist friends are paying for.
The interest rates on private loans are outrageously higher (often double), you can never defer or put the loans in forbearance if you can't pay on them for some reason, they have zero flexibility in changing your minimum payment or allowing you to catch up if you fall behind, your interest rate is not locked - your lender can decide to raise it at any time (which they will).
Seriously, there's ton of news articles on the nightmares of using private loans to fund school. Stick with Federal loans. Paying 10-13%+ interest on $120K is going to have you in debt over $300K by time your done with school. No school is worth taking out a private loan for.