Accepted to SVA for Computer Arts/Animation, but can't afford it (Need Advice!)

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  1. #1
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    Accepted to SVA for Computer Arts/Animation, but can't afford it (Need Advice!)

    Currently I am a senior in high school, and I want to eventually work in animation. I was accepted into SVA, but even with the financial aid, the estimated cost (including tuition, rooming, books, transportation, and personal living expenses) is still $38,868 for the first year. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a scholarship. I just have my single mom who probably can't contribute much money, so I'll have to take out a lot of loans.

    So right now I'm trying to decide on one of these options:
    1. Attend SVA
    2. Apply to SCAD since they have rolling admissions, but I really haven't seen any great student work and I've heard the area isn't that great. Plus it's kind of late so I'm not sure how much aid I could get.
    3. Stay home another year and work to earn money and improve my portfolio so I can possibly get scholarships. Then apply to more schools. Also would it be beneficial to take community college classes? I know you can transfer some, but from what I've heard some the classes are too specialized so you can't skip a year and you don't end up saving any money.
    4. ????

    I'm aware that there are resources to learn online, like Animation Mentor but I want to be able to learn the whole pipeline and network as well...

    Last edited by aleu; April 14th, 2014 at 05:08 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Yikes. Whatever you do, don't do 1. I once made the choice to go to a second-choice school, and while I have never really regretted it, I do believe I should have saved up my money to go to my first choice later.

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Do you mean 2? I'm planning to visit SVA this coming weekend to see if I'll actually like it there, so that will probably help me decide a little bit. SVA is actually one of my top choices. Although, I do really like Ringling as well, but unfortunately I wasn't able to apply there this year. But of course Ringling is also expensive. So you think SCAD is probably not a good idea then, huh? I wish it were an option since I've heard that they give out more aid, but I'm hesitant because I could only find one student film by a student who's still working in the field.

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    I cannot help you in detail, because I don't know enough about the schools you mentioned. All I can give is a general guideline...

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Yeeah SVA is super stingy when it comes to financial aid. I heard only the top 10% of students get any financial aid. SVA is one of the most expensive art schools out there too. Going to art school is a balance of cost and quality of education. I know SVA is your first choice, but it's really really important to weigh in your financial situation. You need to weigh in overall cost of education as well as what you will be making once you're out of college. Art school in the end is about you as an artist and what you're willing to put into your education. If you really push yourself, you can go anywhere and succeed (but at the same time I understand the appeal of specific programs and strengths of different schools)

    My advice is to try to either shoot for that 10% merit scholarship next year by reapplying, or apply to a cheaper school. You're also right out of high school, which means you've got a ton of time ahead of you to scope out your path.

    Have you tried applying to Sheridan? Sheridan is in Ontario, which means that the tuition is way cheaper, even for an international student (around 20k per year). It's very hard to get into though, but you're young so you have plenty of time to prepare.

    There's also Capilano University and LCAD, which are cheaper and offer good animation programs (though LCAD is a bit of a gamble because it's not as accredited of a program). Generally if you're looking to save money, look for colleges in Canada.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toriknew View Post
    Yeeah SVA is super stingy when it comes to financial aid. I heard only the top 10% of students get any financial aid. SVA is one of the most expensive art schools out there too. Going to art school is a balance of cost and quality of education. I know SVA is your first choice, but it's really really important to weigh in your financial situation. You need to weigh in overall cost of education as well as what you will be making once you're out of college. Art school in the end is about you as an artist and what you're willing to put into your education. If you really push yourself, you can go anywhere and succeed (but at the same time I understand the appeal of specific programs and strengths of different schools)

    My advice is to try to either shoot for that 10% merit scholarship next year by reapplying, or apply to a cheaper school. You're also right out of high school, which means you've got a ton of time ahead of you to scope out your path.

    Have you tried applying to Sheridan? Sheridan is in Ontario, which means that the tuition is way cheaper, even for an international student (around 20k per year). It's very hard to get into though, but you're young so you have plenty of time to prepare.

    There's also Capilano University and LCAD, which are cheaper and offer good animation programs (though LCAD is a bit of a gamble because it's not as accredited of a program). Generally if you're looking to save money, look for colleges in Canada.
    I've heard of Sheridan. My only concern is that I think I want to learn 3D animation as well, and the Bachelor of Animation degree mostly focuses on 2D. They do have a 1 year Computer Animation program that requires degree in fine arts, but I don't know if that's enough time to really explore different aspects of 3D like lighting/texturing/rigging etc. and develop something worthy of a reel. They also have a 1 year Character Animation course you can take afterward, but then I'll be in college for 6 years (and paying for 6 years) so I'm just not sure if it's really worth it. But maybe I should just keep my options open...

    I don't know. I would like to start college now, but maybe the best thing to do is to stay home another year and work for money and work on my portfolio. Then I'll apply to more colleges next year and hopefully get some scholarships or more aid. Even though I've seen some fantastic SVA portfolios that didn't receive a scholarship, at least I might have more choices.

    Last edited by aleu; April 14th, 2014 at 04:46 PM.
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    I hear ya buddy, I was accepted into SVA's Computer Art program and while it's way too expensive, it's my dream school. I went on tour and just fell in love with it, also NYC! I live in Long Island so I'll be commuting which saves me about 12k per year (taking into account traveling expenses).

    Even with financial aid and scholarships I got I still have to get about 16k a year in loans.

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