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I've already posted here explaining my money situation, and the truth is I'm poor and gonna be depending almost entirely on scholarships and loans.
I want to know, before I make the huge commitment necessary to acquire the money for a place such as this, whether or not SCAD is WORTH the extremely high cost?
I've tried to do as much research as I can, but honestly I can't find much. I plan on going into Interactive Design and Game Development as a major, and I'd just like to know whether the program would be worth it in the long run. I'm okay with paying off debts, and I know that a degree isn't what art school is really for. But I wanna know if the school and the program I'm considering are worth the money.
I'd especially love to have opinions from students (or former students) on the matter, but anyone who can give me any insight would be very much appreciated.
Game development is a big major here at SCAD, one they pride themselves on, and is instantly recognizable when you see they put one of their best dining facilities ( byte cafe) in montgomery hall. I'm a painter, sophmore, but I have friends that are in your intended major and I haven't heard any complaints really. Art school is art school, but SCAD is very generous with their scholarships- They will probably pay for at least 1/3rd of your tuition alone.
"A drawing is not necessarily academic because it is thorough, but only because it is dead. Neither is a drawing necessarily academic because it is done in what is called a conventional style, any more than it is good because it is done in an unconventional style. The test is whether it has life and conveys genuine feeling."- Harold Speed
I am currently a sophomore Game Development major here at SCAD (but I also poked my head into Sequential Art for a quarter).
In reality, NO college is worth the price you pay for it. Colleges are not so much institutions as much as they are businesses -- whose (seemingly) sole purpose is you suck your wallet dry in order to provide you with information you could just teach yourself for little to nothing. So what are you mainly paying for? To get your money's worth, you should be getting these three things:
-Resources that're difficult to afford on your own
-Industry secrets, tricks, tips, and experience from those who've been there
-A networking hub
Does SCAD have all of these things? Despite the vast amount of criticism that's out there, I can confidently tell you, "Yes, we do".
If you have any questions about the dept itself (or anything else for that matter), feel free to ask.
The potential networking and industry experience is exactly what made the dept. so interesting to me in the first place. But I want to know if that is going to BE worth-it. As in, will I regret paying money for it or not? I want to be sure that it can adequately prepare me for the game industry and will give me enough experience/knowledge or a large enough network to get a job.
Also, in the major are there different concentrations for programming or level design (etc.)? I know they teach you a little about C++ programming there but I don't know to what extent.
Last edited by imdarock4; April 20th, 2011 at 08:11 PM.
We have two classes on C++ (C++ Programming I and II). Everyone is required to take C++ I (unless you already very good at it; you can probably get exempt from it then). If you want to expand on that, then you take C++ II. There are other classes where other languages may be touched upon. There isn't much if you want to be a SERIOUS programmer because Computer Science majors will always be the best at that, and SCAD knows this. But they give us enough knowledge so that we can get things working, basically.
Otherwise, most people here either choose to focus on level design (this is because most game designers in the industry got their start as level designers), texturing and/or lighting, concept art, or 3D modeling. There are classes you can take that'll help you acquire the exact skills you want.
As for networking, get to love your classmates because you'll all need to help one another at some point down the line. That's something profs stress a lot. Also get to know people from other majors, because you'll know who to call on for certain projects/jobs (who knows, they might even help you get a job some day).
There are LOTS of events that happen at SCAD. People who're in the industry right NOW come and give presentations. Hang out a bit and chat with them after it's over if you can, maybe get their email, card, or Facebook. Then there's a career fair (I heard a rumor BioWare was there this year), we have our own conference where game devs come and speak, some companies come for recruitment and portfolio reviews at random times throughout the year -- the list goes on and on. SCAD gives us the opportunities, but it's up to us to take advantage of them. No one's gonna give you anything, however, SCAD does help us by getting us close to important people.
I'd say it's very worth the money. Oh, and our classes are definitely preparing us for the work force as well.
I appreciate the help you've given me, especially as SCAD is my main college choice and there are a lot of things I want to be sure of (our money situation is tough so I don't wanna make a bad choice) and I just have a couple more questions. I apologize if I'm bringing back up a dead thread; I just figured that instead of posting a whole new thread on this, I can just directly ask here since it IS related to the topic. Not to mention I haven't posted enough on the site so I can't send private messages to anyone.
I've heard a lot of horror stories about SCAD (I'm sure everyone has heard/read most of them) and wanna clarify a few things.
1. Is financial aid/loans/money a problem to acquire here? I've heard a lot of people complaining that the administration is really bad with handling that kind of stuff and trying to get the money you need is a nightmare.
2. It's an art school, so it's inevitable there WILL be plenty who are full of themselves or just spoiled brats, but how bad is it? I have trouble socially as it is, but are the people there okay in general?
3. I've heard a lot about crime but seeing as it's a big city that's not surprising. But are the dorms in nice neighborhoods and is the security good overall? On that note, are the dorms nice?
Thanks very much in advance.
Haha, no problem. I love helping to get prospective/first-year students acquainted with SCAD and/or just answering questions in general (I even became an Orientation Assistant because I love it so much).
1.) There are two major scholarships that MOST people here have. One is an academic scholarship that I've heard is dependent upon your SAT scores. The other is an artistic scholarship you get from how good your portfolio is. These are not the only scholarships SCAD has to offer, those are just the two main ones I hear about. Once you get it, you must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA to keep it (if you lose it, you'll have it reinstated the moment your GPA rises to a 3.0 again). Unfortunately, I can't tell you more than that because I don't have any scholarships myself.
Loans are extremely easy to get. If your parents are helping you, we have a Parent PLUS Loan that's (obviously) highly dependent on how good their credit is. (My parents have great credit, so the loan was more than enough to cover my tuition.) If their credit isn't great, or if you're doing this on your own, then you can take out a loan through the school with a co-signer. This is easy to do, and I've done this myself. However, it's not a large amount, so you'll have to get additional loans from other sources if necessary (that's probably where it may get difficult). If you do have credit, tho, the loan might be larger and you may not have to go to other sources. The Financial Aid dept will help you with all of these things.
2.) The people here are pretty awesome. The first-year might be the hardest because you'll be taking foundation classes with people from all over the board, but for the MOST part people here have really good attitudes and are friendly. The Game Design department in particular rarely has a bad egg in it. I love my classmates a lot.
3.) I've said this to many people many times. You are never 100% safe anywhere. However, if you do not go looking for trouble, most of the time it will not find you. Most of the crimes you hear about in Savannah involve someone being stupid; leaving a bike unlocked (bike thieves are abundant here), walking around at 3am in dark unlit areas, parking a car in a stupid place. Stay smart and you're fine -- it's like anywhere else.
All of the dorms except for one are in relatively nice areas (the one exception is a dorm that's close to the building we Game Design majors have class in, but it's the least popular dorm and it's only for upperclassmen, so don't worry about it). I would say that the dorms are nice because they're a LOT bigger than the typical "college dorm room". A lot of the parents who saw their kids' rooms here told me that when they went to college (or at the college of another one of their kids), the rooms they had were 1/3 to 1/2 the size of SCAD's rooms. Granted, the amount of people in a room will determine its size. Freshmen have lots of nice accommodations on-site, such as a computer lab, a dining hall, student lounges, a sub shop, a snack shop/convenience store, a pizza shop, and two pools -- all located within campus grounds that are LITERALLY guarded 24/7 by security. You can NOT get into any building without showing and/or swiping ID (some places make you do both). The same goes for all of the academic halls, dining halls, the student center, private SCAD events, and buses.
Sorry for making that so long. ^_^; I hope that answers your questions.
Last edited by Kismet; July 26th, 2011 at 09:13 AM.
Hey, I'm actually currently going through the application process(I know just how close to year's start I am, but I've decided that, at the constant behest of my friends/family/guidance councillor that a year off might make me less motivated to go back to school) for SCAD and I was kind of curious if you could give me any estimate of the kind of academic scholarship I might get at SCAD.(I know it's pretty specific, but if anyone got one around my current grades, it'd be much appreciated) My GPA is an 83, my SAT is a 1220 w/o writing and 1810 w/ writing.
Aside from that I do have some additional questions.
1. Are there any specific professors you'd recommend from the Conceptual Art course? I'm going into the the game design major(assuming I get in) and I want to do concept art as one of my electives.
2. How reliable were your estimates for Financial Aid? When I filled out my FAFSA they said I could get over 11k but my sister says those are stupidly inflated.
2.) I can't really answer that because I honestly do not understand FAFSA. I didn't even know the FAFSA listed exact dollar amounts that one could borrow... You'll have to talk to SCAD's financial dept about it.
I also can't give an estimate for an academic scholarship as I don't have one myself. The higher your SAT the better is the only thing I know. (Also, that scholarship has a policy stating that you must live on campus to receive the full amount. If you don't, you'll lose 30% of that award money.)
Last edited by Kismet; August 17th, 2011 at 12:03 AM.
I was looking at the hours for a BFA, and it says 180 total course hours, and I'm confused.
I've been told a BFA (which I assume to be 4 years) is supposed to be 15 hours per semester, but after doing the math I've realized that to get a BFA with 180 hours over 4 years is 22.5 hours per semester.
Is this a mistake or am I just missing something here?
Thanks so much for the help, Kismet, you've been really great.
One last question before I finally grow some balls and decide to apply:
I know the whole deal about going to community college first, etc, but I really just want to be in the same college all 4 years for personal reasons. So my question is how good are the gen ed classes? I've heard a lot of people mention that the actual non-major-related academics at the school are really weak, and I wanna know how much truth there is to this considering how much money it's gonna cost for me to attend. Are the gen ed classes good?
If you're expecting them to engage you by providing genuinely interesting material, or giving you creative freedom with the assignments (such as an essay relating to your major for an English class), that heavily depends on the professor. If you're the type of person who looks to be wowed by a class (and you're not someone like me who is just looking to get it over with) then you really need to ask around and find out who're the best teachers for each class.
Every gen ed class here at SCAD has at least one gem of a prof. However, everyone eventually finds out who they are, so spots fill up quickly. For example, my Art History II prof is absolute BEST in the dept (this is not opinion, it is fact). Word about her got out, though, so now her classes are extremely difficult to get into.
In summary, I'd say our gen ed classes are about as good as your professor makes them to be... so try your best to get someone good.
Last edited by Kismet; August 26th, 2011 at 04:30 AM.