View Full Version : Accepted to Think Tank. What now?
I have a slight dilemma. I worked on a few decent portfolio pieces in order to get into Think Tank Training Centre in Vancouver B.C. I was accepted, and extremely excited to be a part of what they have to offer. BUT. I am from the United States, and all of my loans would have to be through private companies (Sallie Mae was recommended). The more I look into this, I become less convinced that the money is worth it, considering most loans are predatory and can really mess things up. I would just like some advice from Think Tank Alumni, or anyone that has input on getting international student assistance. I would hate to pass up an opportunity like this due to money being the issue, but I also don't want to be left in the cold jobless and straddled with unpayable debt.
Thanks in advance!
10-11-2012, 07:40 PM
Please be extremely cautious about taking out private loans. Sallie Mae is, imo, a predatory lender and art students, filled with dreams, are easy targets for such companies.
I had a former student from a private art college who had previously attended one of the Art Institutes. He just posted that Sallie Mae had sent him a letter that upon graduation, he would owe $900 per month.
It seems like free money when you take out a loan, and for a few years, you will not have to think about the loan, but if you take out a large loan, you may be dealing with it for the next 30 years. In an unstable global economy, please be wise when considering your educational options and whether or not it's worth taking out steep loans which may haunt you for the rest of your life. I believe strongly in education, but unfortunately, college costs are wildly out of control. Don't let your dreams blind you to reality.
First of all,
Thank you for the reply!
I was thinking the same thing. I know that the networking opportunities may be great at a school like this, but the money is seeming less and less worth it, especially without any consumer protections on these obscene loans.
10-13-2012, 04:12 PM
I agree with Rebecca. Seemingly it'll be a 40k loan for Think Tank, if you can swing that on a private loan. That's a lot of mullah for one year of education. That's not to say it isn't worth it, as a quality education is incredibly helpful so don't think I'm saying to not go. I just think in this day in age there are a lot, and I mean a lot of opportunities for educating oneself for very little money, if you are truly dedicated and truly want to learn.
For instance, most of the major CG training websites have subscription fees that are considerably less than 40k a year.
The Gnomon Workshop is $499 a year: http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/subscription/pricing.php
Digital Tutors is $399 a year: http://www.digitaltutors.com/11/pricing.php
If you get subscriptions to both of those you should be able to get as much training as you will need to get you going on a portfolio. I'm not sure what your timeline is like, but if you have time, i.e. are just out of high school or something, then what would be the harm in taking 6 months or so and see where you can go with the subscriptions? The least you will find out is that either a) you learn, or b) you don't learn. Either way I doubt Think Tank is going anywhere, so if you find out you absolutely have to go, then at least then you will have a much more solid foundation as to why and can rest assured that you will be borrowing money on a firmer understanding of the situation.
If you're interesting in networking then you are at the right forum as there are literally thousands of individuals here. Use that resource to get as much free critique and insight into the industry as possible. Be proactive in talking to people, send PM's to artists you like and ask for critique on your work. It's truly amazing what we have available to us if we put in the effort.
As an aside, I too was in your shoes once. I wanted to get into the CG industry and looked at several colleges, albeit it was about ten years ago so the prices were much cheaper then. I was accepted into a school which would have been about 80k for the entire four year curriculum. I opted out of it because it was way, way too much money for someone who had been borderline poor most of his life. So I decided to train myself, buying Gnomon videos on VHS!!! and reading manuals and the like until after about two years I was able to get a portfolio together that was good enough to get plugged on the front page here on CGtalk, which led to a job about a month later. Granted that wasn't two years of easy studying, as I had a day job and only had a few hours each day to work on learning, but I did it. I spent way more than the price of the subscriptions listed above on training materials. I would have loved to have had that option back then.
Anyway, hope this helps out somewhat. I honestly think it's pretty wise that you're questioning the cost now, as that's not usually the case with most people. I think you'll go far if you keep with that line of thinking. :)
Thanks a lot chadtheartist. You put my mind at ease, because I have been beating myself up over it. I have been learning a lot on my own, going to school already for a fine art degree, and working full time. I still find time to do CG work, and I will have even more time when I finish up school this semester. I have seen so many of my family and friends be enslaved with debt, and I do not want to be another statistic. I really loved what Think Tank was about, but like you guys have said, the economy just is not supporting these types of loan decisions. What do you think about the CG workshops located here? Worth it? They look solid!
P.S. I am really glad to know that someone has been in my shoes, and that you were honest and up front about it. Major kudos! :)
10-31-2012, 05:13 PM
even i thought of applying for think tank but i came to know that its just a small school in private building,i have no questions about their course work and instructors and level of knowledge, but i fear about the supporting staff recruitment officers and the contacts in industries,i dont even know how much facilities they hav for international students so i revised my decision and applied for art institute of Vancouver dont know whether i took right decision or not.but AI is a reputed institute whole over US
10-31-2012, 05:13 PM
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