I just made an account because I wanted to post, I know it may seem repetitive but the majority of forums related to this have been closed and are anywhere from a couple to 10 years old. I have been reading quite thoroughly through the forums regarding a CG education. My situation is a bit more specific and less common so I thought I would get insight and maybe support on my logic or some eye-opening. I am currently an active duty marine about to wrap up my 5 years in the service and plan on using my G.I. bill to cover or take a hefty chunk out of my college costs. The past few years while I have been in I have been self learning all aspects of film and 3d media. This puts me at more of a generalists perspective which isn't my career path I am aiming for, the next step I want to take is to focus on animation because I have a passion for acting and enjoy bringing the 3d assets to life. With that said I know this can sound repetitive knowing the other threads content. Based on my digging over the internet I want to shoot for Ringling as my first choice school to become a 3d Animation specialist. Currently I am in California and have been to Gnomon for free classes and meet ups so that is also a possibility and also I have been looking at USC.
I have come to understand (loosely based on internet searches) that the reel and actual work of an artist has far more weight than whether they hold a degree or certificate. To take full advantage of government benefits I have already been working on a business degree while I am in so I am not concerned about whether my 3d animation studies result in a degree or certificate. So now knowing my special situation, what would current, present and past students along with industry workers suggest? Am I reasonable in aiming for Ringling or is the school more hype than results? Same goes for my alternative choices.
So far I am looking at the following and the information is as up to date as I could find for rates.
School Location Course/ Length Rough Tuition Cost Total
Ringling__________ Sarasota, FL_______BA Fine Arts/ 4YR____________$140,960.00
CalArts__________ Valencia, CA_______BA Fine Arts/4 YR___________ $150,736.00
SVA____________ New York,NY______BA Fine Arts/4 YR___________ $118,200.00
USC____________ Los Angeles, CA____BA Fine Arts/4 YR___________$168,684.00
Gnomon_________ Los Angeles, CA____Certificate/3 YR_____________ $99,000.00
Animation Mentor____ Online__________Certificate/18 or 6 month___$18,753.00 or $6,600.00
VFS_____________Vancouver, Canada __Certificate/1 YR_____________$,51,652.50
Keeping in mind that I feel that a school is merely a tool and it is up to the artist to utilize it. There are some substantial differences in costs but I have heard many say that it's worth the investment.