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View Full Version : Post-Highschool dilemma.


Pandaren117
04-25-2010, 08:32 AM
I need some mad advice. To cut to the chase:

Haven't had the ability to seriously study art at least in an outside courses, used my time to study SAT and score high on my test scorees. So I am not a 3 year highschool art student, and unfortunately I've kept it as a hobby up until junior summer. So only 6 months have I started to actually learn art in outside institutions. It was a bit too late for any hope of applying for the bigger art universities, such as Art Center or Otis, and even if i got in, I think I would have found myself run over, and not being able to meet the challenge. So I applied to the regular list of colleges, and right now I have a dilemma between University of Southern California and Chapman University. I know I can't go to art school now, and even though I got an acceptance from SCAD, I...I don't know how well SCAD prepares students for the real world but...I feel like more more logical choices lie in USC vs Chapman. But I want, and I feel like I know, that I need to go to art school to be a concept artist/3D modeler/ digital illustrator. That's the goal. Unless I can somehow get an art education at a 4 year university that has an art program.

So financially, the financial statements are as follows.

USC:
EFC - $38k
Major: Interactive Media in the School of Cinematic Arts
My parents are trying to reduce the price and get mroe grants/ maybe loans. They are telling me not to worry about money.

Chapman University
EFC - $4k
Major: Digital Arts in the Dodge Film School
They gave me a $25k scholarship. The Senior Admissions Officer from the USC School of Cinematic Arts remarked to me that it seems Chapman offers a lot of money to students who get accepted into USC.

But I have a feeling I need to go to art school, and right now, that doesn't seem plausible, at least as an incoming freshman, so I feel that the goal now is to somehow build up a portfolio while attending school and either transfer out to art school OR go graduate school.

Does anyone have personal experience here with Chapman University's Digital Arts or USC's Interactive Media?

I can elaborate more if I need to, but right now, I need some mentoring. I need discussive answers, and I would really appreciate it if you can find the time to talk to me about maybe what to do.

SanjayChand
04-25-2010, 11:19 AM
Id say go to Chapman, concentrate on the traditional art (with a few digital classes thrown in), then once you are done go to Gnomon.

sundialsvc4
04-25-2010, 02:47 PM
Also, remember that you do have time to decide ... and that the most-expensive school is not necessarily the best one. If you're pursuing a 4-year degree of the traditional kind, majoring in art, you could actually start by completing a 2-year degree program at your local (accredited) community college. You're learning the academic ropes at the college level, getting some good grades under your belt (this is "solid evidence" that you can do it), and buying some time to shop-around at the more specialized schools.

So in two years, you're no longer just the high-school kid with bright eyes and bright dreams: you've got a 3.98 GPA, an Associate's degree, and straight-A's in every art class they offered (along with letters of recommendation from those instructors). Watch doors open ... doors that you never even knew existed. Schools want you, and scholarships want to back you.

"Past performance is a predictor of future results."

Pandaren117
04-25-2010, 07:19 PM
I want to have this...encompassing college experience too, though. Minor in philosophy, take some time to learn apologetics side of things, along with the art. To say honestly, 60% of me wants to go to SC, but the money poses the problem.

paulhart
04-25-2010, 11:28 PM
Listen to sundialsvc4, the first two years of college is necessary curriculum with additions to taste. I went to 2 year Community College because I was the only one paying the freight. I took all of the Art electives I could, and Philosophy, World Lit. and Speech for some of the English credits, then transferred to Otis to get my MFA, and cross trained in software along the way. Community College is a great way to get started, get the credits needed, learn a bit in other fields, and take all the Art you can. The Life Drawing classes alone are still being used in 3D model and animation.
Paul

fig
04-26-2010, 03:48 AM
So in two years, you're no longer just the high-school kid with bright eyes and bright dreams: you've got a 3.96 GPA, an Associate's degree, and straight-A's in every art class they offered (along with letters of recommendation from those instructors).

This. If I could shake every high school graduate who isn't going to be an attorney going to Harvard and tell them it doesn't matter where they go to school, ESPECIALLY for their basics where you can spend $2k a year for community college instead of $25k a year, I would.

Trying to justify spending a ton of money on USC vs having your education almost entirely paid for at Chapman seems a bit silly. Try Chapman for a year, or even a semester, and if you don't like it then transfer somewhere else. Or do community college for a year and don't rush a decision you seem a bit unsure of. And while you're doing that do some serious research and find out who's doing what you want to do and how they got there.

note: I know for some things where you attend school does matter, but for the most part a degree from any good institution plus talent/drive will get you anywhere you could've gone with a "name" degree.

Pandaren117
04-26-2010, 04:48 AM
At least in respects to USC, they keep touting their Trojan Family collection, and I heard tidbits from other people that their philosophy department is great. And that their Interactive media is sorta new, so i would be pat of maybe the initial graduating classes from the program.

Unless the "expensiveness" is all for naught?

and I want to get into the university life. I don't think I'd feel comfortable with myself by taking time to think about what I really want in Community college. I want to be challenged as an academic as much as an artist, though art is as academic as any other subject I believe.

sundialsvc4
04-26-2010, 04:49 AM
I'm proud to say that I paid-for my own education in this way.

Education is what y-o-u make of it; no more, no less. Lots of schools will try to sell you on their very "expensiveness" as though it were a mark of merit and prestige. It's not.

Your first two years in any 4-year program are mostly identical, and credits will transfer from anywhere to anywhere. Therefore, find the least expensive, most convenient college close to you, and (academically...) blow the ceiling out of the place. If you do that, then the world will beat a path to your door for you to continue, because now "you are a known quantity." You're the horse that has already won races.

If you put your mind and heart in it, and get the grades, then you can actually get a four-year degree (except in something like medicine or law...), basically for free. There's no guarantee, of course, but everyone loves (and backs) a winner. You simply have to work your ass off, and get the job done.

(Funny thing about that ... you'll do the same thing in your art, or in whatever it is that your life's (next...) direction may turn out to be. The people who matter will notice. The people who don't will mutter that you were "lucky.")

paulhart
04-26-2010, 05:18 AM
With all due respect Pandaren117, you are walking a bit "blindly" and not listening to those in front of you about the path you want to walk. Do what you want, don't pretend to ask. When you say "I wouldn't feel comfortable with myself by taking time to think about what I really want" I had to pause and re-consider if I wanted to continue on this thread. It's a status issue for you, then go ahead, pay the money and get the "University experience." As I stated and sundialsvc4 also re-stated, the first two years at "ANY" college are essentially the same requirements and you fill in the electives. I took all the Art I wanted, other classes that weren't required for the AA degree, took substitutes for some of the basic English (Speech, World Lit), took Philosophy, Psychology, etc, loved it and aced the grades by focused work, then transferred easily to the Art School of my choice. I have gone and done the graduate school scene three times now, but I never regretted the first two years choice, and again, I paid for all of it. I find it to be a bit of an "elitist nose in the air attitude" and had friends who "bombed" out first semester, stepped back to Community College, then went on to Graduate school, actually prepared. I lived near USC, know all the hype, all the big schools promote themselves, it is called marketing. It's your call, but you seem stuck, waiting for someone to congratulate you on your choice, not happening here.....
sundialsvc4 made some excellent points, whereas I just turned "snarky" but we are both on the same page. His comments are spot on, in the real world.

Cinematical
04-26-2010, 05:54 AM
(Full disclosure: I currently go to USC for film production)

It sounds like you're trying to come up with reasons to go to USC -- which tells you exactly what you want. Wanting the college experience is a perfectly fine reason to go to a big college; it is 4 years of your life, after all. The other users make perfectly legitimate points, but the person who knows most what will make you happy is YOU.

Visit both Chapman and USC. See which one you feel more comfortable at. You can certainly get a stellar arts education at USC -- and you'll also have access to the most advanced, well-connected film school in the world. That's a major advantage that, depending on your goals, may have significant value to you. Your education will really be what you make of it. A friend of mine just went from the film production program to working at Digital Domain.

Regardless, best of luck to you.

Pandaren117
04-26-2010, 06:36 PM
Are the Interactive Media students able to concentrate on 2D art?

Pandaren117
04-27-2010, 04:00 AM
Is anyone a current student of the Chapman Digital Arts major that can maybe talk to me about what its all about at ground level?

mradfo21
04-29-2010, 04:20 AM
well I'm a senior at SCAD right now. Every 3D program is going to have its flaws. I will say that SCAD provides you with enormous reasources. Having a rather large renderfarm has really helped me out. I just got a job as FX Artist at a Botique in NYC, so you can't say SCAD dosen't prepare you...

check out my site:

www.mattradford.com

Many things I didn't enjoy about the program as well, but all in all it was a very good, thorough experience.

colesslaw
04-29-2010, 09:28 AM
It sounds like you have already made up your mind and just wanted some reassurance for your decision.

But I agree with the other posters here that YOU make your education, not the school. Paying almost 10x more the tuition doesn't mean you will get a 10x better result, or maybe not even a 2x better result. A hardworking and determined student can make just as much out of either education.

And since you have an intention to transfer to art school or go to grad school later on, then where you attended school for the first few years becomes even more insignificant. The world will only look at what you ended up with, not where you started. You may as well save your money for the art school or grad school, instead of spending it on a couple of years in a brand name school that will mean less on your resume once you get that art degree.



That said, I agree with cinematical that wanting to try university life is a legitimate enough reason to choose USC. In fact, it feels like the only good enough reason to weigh USC higher than a more financially-sensible alternative. However if having that university experience is important to you, then I am sure you won't regret your decision.



At least in respects to USC, they keep touting their Trojan Family collection, and I heard tidbits from other people that their philosophy department is great. And that their Interactive media is sorta new, so i would be pat of maybe the initial graduating classes from the program.

Unless the "expensiveness" is all for naught?

and I want to get into the university life. I don't think I'd feel comfortable with myself by taking time to think about what I really want in Community college. I want to be challenged as an academic as much as an artist, though art is as academic as any other subject I believe.

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