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Academy of Art University
Art Center College of Design
My major is Graphic Design and I'm having a major dilemma in choosing the right school to transfer from college.
I just got accepted to Art Center College of Design (ACCD) and Otis College of Art and Design, but the thing is, those colleges accepted me as a first year student, while I have completed two years in college. Apparently the arts classes I have taken in college are not compatible with those in ACCD and Otis.
While, I haven't applied to Academy of Art University (AAU). I live near San Francisco and I have heard a good deal about stories the Graphic Design program they have there. But I am still thinking whether I should apply to that school or not. I can actually do that at anytime because I will be accepted anyway (Acceptance rate: 100%). If I get accepted there, I will be admitted as a second year student, which saves more money.
As for Otis, I am thinking to drop it since I heard their Graphic Design program is not as appealing as AAU or ACCD.
Actually I recently knew about ACCD like in a year or so, while I have been determined to go to AAU since the beginning of college because that is the only good art school around. ACCD and AAU have different transfer requirements, and I decided to go for AAU before I even knew about ACCD: AAU requires general education classes for transfer while ACCD requires more studio classes. So after all this time, I have focused more on GE classes and lately, I'm taking studio classes at my college.
The reason why I wanted to go to AAU is because I felt my portfolio is not good enough to apply to schools like ACCD or Otis, but after I get accepted to those schools, I started to feel more confident about my portfolio.
My parents knew my decision to go to AAU. They didn't try to stop it, but they encouraged me to apply to ACCD and other good schools. So I applied to ACCD quite in the last minute. I submitted the application requirements and portfolio, and later got accepted. They're so happy about it that they wanted me to go there instead of AAU.
So, my dilemma starts from here:
- I so want go to Art Center, because of its good reputation. A lot of my friends, relatives, and even art professor at college encourage me to go there because they say it's really hard to get accepted there, and that I was lucky enough to be accepted. But I have to face the consequence of starting my college years from the freshman year, and that would cost me A LOT.
I have currently been in contact with ACCD admission staff and requested to waive some arts classes that I already took, am taking, and will be taking for the next few months in college. But they say no promises because again, the arts classes in college college are not compatible with theirs. They would probably be able to waive a few out of all arts classes I took in college (even my college art professor admitted that her class might not be compatible with ACCD's)
So fingers crossed they would be able to waive my college arts classes. That way, hopefully, it would save me more money.
- On the other hand, I'm still considering to go to AAU since I will be accepted as a second year student anyway for sure, so that will definitely save me A LOT MORE money. I have fulfilled the requirement to transfer there. All I have to do is just apply online and deposit some big amount of money.
But I have heard a great deal of stories about AAU only ripping people off and that they have a bad reputation (less competitive, since anyone can go there). On the other hand, I also heard that the school has some good, professional instructors. But still if I go to that school, I will save LOTS of money.
Okay, maybe money would be a personal issue, but I would like to ask your opinion. What would you do if you were me? Which school would you choose if you were me? Anything you'd like to suggest for me to do? I would love to hear perspectives from you art students of ConceptArts.org.
Also, which school is more expensive? ACCD or Arts Center?
i cant say much about the other schools, but i attend AAU and its a good school. It's fun, the teachers are helpful, they do a lot of job placement for seniors, and they offer a variety of internships. tons of people come here to visit and we do the spring show. not to mention they offer so many free workshops for example figure drawing workshops, animation workshops, etc they have people come to speak to the school as well. Dreamworks was here last week. The school is fun, the kids are crazy. I haven't ran into any snobby rich kids yet, (which before i attended its all i heard were here) everyone is nice and funny / quirky. I think they are underrated because of the "accept anyone" thing but they train you so good and some people here are just fantastic. If your talented enough for other schools and its what you want, go for it. This school can train you in things that you aren't strong in. I have been producing work i didnt know was possible.. i've had nothing but a positive experience here. That's all i can really say about the school from my point of view, not saying others haven't had negative experiences, but everyone will at some point at college. I know kids who hate their universities because of counslors or teachers, etc. its everywhere.
Art Center is in fact more expensive than AAU. This all depends on what you want to do and where you want to be. Art Center is very entertainment based, and seeing as it's in SoCal caters very much to Hollywood. AAU is more of an all-around school with strong programs in fine art, graphic design, traditional illustration, etc as well as the entertainment programs. And it's in San Francisco, so if you'd rather live in SF that's a big plus.
Something to consider, though, is that AAU excepts everyone whereas ACCD doesn't, so the student body may be different given that.
Forget cost, you got into the Art Center and you're asking if you should go to the Academy instead? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!?!?! NO! NO YOU SHOULD NOT!
The Art Center is definitely more expensive than the Academy of art. Also, while admissions might say that you can skip a bunch of classes, your department head ultimately decides. I waved a ton of classes when I started at the Academy, but then when I met with my department head, he strongly urged me to take those classes anyway, because I needed them. And when you department head strongly urges you to do something, you do it, because they know what they're talking about.
The reason I automatically say Art Center over the Academy is because at least 75% of the time that I see an illustrator that I just LOVE or I have a teacher that completely changed my view on art, they came from the Art Center. Look at all your favorite illustrators. Look at work that makes you say, "I want to create something like this" and go to the school that those people come from.
Thank you all so much for the opinions. I really appreciate what you've got to say to me. You guys really help me to broaden my perspectives about the school.
It's just one thing though that I'd like to ask to you guys, particularly to @Misterboo or anyone who suggested me to go to Art Center: do you think it's going to be worth it though to transfer there, even though I got accepted to the first year? Is it worth it despite the quality and cost?
Last edited by luckyc71; March 14th, 2012 at 10:01 PM.
That's something that only you can decide. I'm about $100,000 in debt because of art school, and it sucks.
The fact is, any art school is only going to be as good as what you put into it. You can definitely make both schools work for you. Not everyone that graduates from the Art Center is amazing and gets work. The same goes for the Academy. You are going to have to work your butt off in both schools.
As for the Academy, I strong advise you to call and speak to someone before assuming that you can transfer your credits. They almost never transfer credits. Sometimes, they tell you that you can "waive" classes because you've already taken a similar class, but that is not the same as transferring the credits. They still make you take the same number of units, you just don't have to have units in "Figure Drawing 1" or whatever. I would be very surprised if they let you transfer anything. They do exist to generate profit, and there's no money in letting students transfer.
Okay, now for Art Center. I suspect that if they told you that you have to take all the beginning classes it's because you need to take them. You said yourself that you didn't think your portfolio was that strong, but now you're hoping to start as a 2nd year student? The classes will be very hard if you don't have the same strong foundation that the other students have. You will only benefit artistically from taking those classes.
Really, I think this all comes down to cost. How much are your parents willing to help you out? You said you live near SF. Would you be able to live at home and commute to school to save money?
Also, I just looked up tuition prices at Art Center. It's about twice as expensive as the Academy. Ouch. Honestly, I have no idea what you should do. It really depends on your financial situation and how much your parents can contribute. How worried are you about student loans? You will end up being probably about $150,000 in debt in the end if you go to Art Center. I want to tell you to say screw it and go, but damn, that is a lot of money and it is really hard to pay it back when you have an art degree (oh irony).
Talk to your parents about it. They will have a better understand of your financial situation and the kind of financial burdens you can take on. If you have any questions about the academy, feel free to ask. I was in the illustration department, and every department is different, but I can probably answer some questions.
Thank you for your answer MisterBoo. Yes, I'm aware that money is certainly the issue. My family assured me not to worry about it though and that I'm not going to end up in a huge loan; it is just still that I personally find the school way too pricey compared to others. I was wondering if the high tuition cost of Art Center is the reason why not a lot of people are enrolled there (or it isn't?).
So at the moment, my family and I have still been comparing especially the tuition cost of both Academy of Art and Art Center and also the living cost. I heard Academy of Art has a high living cost since it's in SF compared to Pasadena. Is it true?
Yeah no doubt that you should even consider AAU over Art Center.
Art Center is definitely more expensive than AAU though.
I am also accepted to Art Centet anf planning to go thete this fall.
Hi Hecatic, thank you for your answer.
That's awesome! We'll probably meet up if I go to Art Center College of Design (if I didn't change my mind and end up going to AAU). Did you apply for any financial aid in that school? Also, I was wondering for those who are accepted to Art Center: do you already have a professional background/experience relating to your major prior to entering Art Center?
I do not have professional background or anything.. So I am also nervous and excited to go to an Art Center. I couldn't apply for financial aid because I'm an international students and they would only give out aids to national students here. I am waiting for scholarship though.
Cool, good luck for the scholarship. I'm also waiting for oneI do not have professional background or anything.. So I am also nervous and excited to go to an Art Center. I couldn't apply for financial aid because I'm an international students and they would only give out aids to national students here. I am waiting for scholarship though.
By the way, if any of you guys are alumni/current students of either AAU or ACCD and would like to share some ideas about the programs of each school, you are most welcome to do so. I'd love to hear more opinions on the good side and the bad side of these prestigious schools. Opinions would be greatly appreciated
I'm an academy of art student and don't get me wrong it's a good school. I have done my bfa here and now I'm just starting my mfa but I'm lookin to transfer out if I can.
But that's because the school has little to offer students who continue on to mfa.
Another poster said go art center, many of the illustration and foundation teachers come from art center so that's why. I don't know enough about the graphic design program or anyone in it so it must be small.
You may have heard a lot of bad things about the academy, I can say it is getting much better than it used to be, they say that it seemed like teachers just pushed students through...which used to be true, because I was one of those slacker students that mystically managed to graduate so I have a lot to answer for in my mfa in which the teachers push me harder and I had to finally stand and deliver.
However there is a lot to learn, but you have to push yourself and hit it hard if you want to make it.
The only issue I have with the school, but I do not know if it is unique to the school, I feel like I just want to get my hands into the software to do 3d modeling as my major but i have foundations to deal with. I have all of these fantastic ideas that I want on my 3d demo reel but I feel held back in my program because there are all these other requirements I must fulfill first--which is one of the reasons I want to transfer.
I feel babied in the sense that all I could ever want at this point is to be thrown into the deep end, treated real and harshly with some extreme deadline to really push my work to its potential but the school holds me in the shallow end, and while I'm doing foundations or liberal arts I have no idea how good or bad I actually could be.
I hope that makes sense but there's never been a 3D modeling project that I feel like I pushed it or worked my ass off because there's a lot of 'but first you have to do this or that' like chiaroscuro, in which I have to work so hard to do well that my time to do what I am supposed to be going to school for is non existent even in my spare time.
The academy does not have the job fairs they claim to have. If you want a job you are on your own and it's hard. If you go to this school be prepared to do a lot of work outside of classes to better yourself on your own time, save everything you do even if it's just a line on paper, and make friends with all your teachers and try to ask them for help on everything. You really have to go the extra mile to get the most out of your education here but I don't feel the bfa paper I received meant much because like I said they somehow passed me when I was a slacker student, but now that I work hard my teachers treat me differently an it's like a different program. I hope this helps.
I also wanted to add it is true that they paint a little bit of an unrealistic picture at the end. They make it seem like once you get your bfa you are home free because you are obviously good enough to graduate that school.
I know that's not uncommon with any school with the economy going as is, I just wish in my undergrad someone pulled me aside and honestly told me my work sucked so I could get motivated earlier and not need my mfa.
I guess whatever art school you go to, you have to keep in mind your real competition is not your class mates or your friends, so dont make it about a 'high grade' the competition is the pros like many badasses on here. I know that sounds like common sense but you can't forget it if, like me,you are two years in and thinking you're hot shit and everything is for because you are top in a class.
Last edited by Bellz; April 22nd, 2012 at 06:34 PM.