View Full Version : SCAD, Ringling, SVA - help me?

09 September 2009, 06:07 PM
Hey everyone! So right now I'm a high school senior, and I really want to go to school for visual effects. I've been looking like crazy and a bunch of schools for the past year, and the 3 top schools I'm planning on applying to are SCAD, Ringling, and SVA - I think, I keep changing my mind, but I'm pretty sure this is it. However, I'm still kind of lost, cause there is so much to pay attention to, and I would love to get some opinions from people who went to one of these schools or just knows something about them.

SCAD - Sounds really good from what I've heard, and I went to visit their campus in Atlanta, and I really loved it. However I think that I'd prefer the Savannah campus (though I haven't been there), but it seems that it really isn't the safest city. I know I like the school, but location wise I'm a little stuck. Does it matter which one, school wise, or is it basically the same?

Ringling - Is a very good school, but hard to get into and expensive. But it does sound really good. My friend's sister went there (but for a different major) and i've heard nothing but good things about this school. (This is also the only school on my list that I haven't visited, but I definately want to consider it anyway - and will probably visit if I'm accepted.)

SVA - I'm really not so sure about this one. I visited it over the summer, and it seemed like a good school, however from what they said about the visual effects program, I'm not so sure its what I'm looking for - or maybe I just misunderstood. Anyone know anyting about it?

Actually, I'm also applying to CCAD, which I visited last year, and from what I could tell has a pretty good 3D animation program. And it more affordable - which is always good. But it doesn't seem to come up as much as the other schools, so I've heard less about it.

And in truth, I can really only go to one of those top 3 schools if I get some scholarships from them. I'm working on my portfolio, and it would be really helpful if anyone had suggestion on the best kind of stuff to include. I know figure drawing and drawing from observation is good, but they also want the less direct and more creative stuff, and i'm trying to find a good balance/mix and I don't know, I'm kind of paranoid about this cause there's a lot riding on it. Advice?

Any information about these schools or portfolios would be great.
If anyone can help me - with any of this - that would really be fantastic, and thank you so much!

09 September 2009, 05:56 PM
SCAD - However I think that I'd prefer the Savannah campus (though I haven't been there), but it seems that it really isn't the safest city.

Huh? I have friends who are professors there in the sequential art department (one who has lived there for 10 years) and I've heard nothing of the sort. It's in America and doesn't have the name Gary or Detroit in the title, so I think you'll be fine if you are smart about your environment. :) Nonetheless, choose the school and instructors you feel most comfortable with and stop focusing so much on portfolios. Every major school has success, because most times it comes down to the drive and effort of the individual respective student. For instance, my school never gets mentioned in these threads hahaha and we've sent students to all of the biggest houses. Just choose a school where you enjoy the environment and feel you can grow to the highest level. Shrug.

09 September 2009, 07:26 PM
SCAD really isn't located in the safest of areas. Is it a bad school? no. One of my favorite teachers who teaches life drawing teaches at the school. They did lose thier rigging teacher recently (I haven't found out why) although I know she's moved on to different pastures and is still teaching I still don't know why.

So why is it considered "dangerous" The school is surrounded by lower income areas. It's also a tourist town, so the economy has probably had its fair share of hard times. Is it the scariest place to live? No. You just have to use common sense. Most of the kids that got into situations weren't exactly bright about their choices (like flaunting, unintentionally, the fact they may come from higher income homes) Another reason is just the whole wrong place at the wrong time - like a few students who while still walking as a group but STILL get held up at gunpoint. It's crime, it happens and you just have to NOT be stupid about it. The campus is relatively safe. So if you go and the older students there say "Don't go to the "Crime Saver" (a nick name for a shop called Time Saver) listen to what they say. When I lived off campus in my own place I've had the strange visitor knock on my door in the middle of the night begging for money for food/milk/whatever - scam artists are scam artists. The only time I was afraid, was actually for my girlfriend and her roommate whenever they went anywhere at night before I got a car. And by going anywhere at night, I mean on foot, not by one of the campus provided buses or a vehicle of their own.

Horror stories aside - surrondings wise, the campus and the places around it are gorgeous. I've fallen in love with the place, or maybe it was the fact that so late in life I got to experience true "College Life." I remember the first time I went for a walk to Forsythe Park and was asked to go play Flag Football for a classmate (their team was lacking players) long story short, I reach the Park and the beams of light breaking through the trees were so picturesque. It was one of those moments I forever live with and make me want to go back. Fast forward a few months and you have the sidewalk arts festival, and it's one thing to see a sidewalk art festival, but it's another when most of the people participating are all art students. Heck as an older student, my roommate was the one that pointed out that "It's nice to be in a class and everyone in the class is doodling in their notebook waiting for the teacher." River street should provide you with enough life and activity to see good dining, good eating and plenty of people to draw. The surrounding historical area also provides good drawing material with the old architecture. There's a Mellow Mushroom not to far and if you can't bring a vehicle you should be able to take a bus to and from campus (just watch the clock) People wise, SCAD draws from people all over the globe so you won't know if you're best friend is from the next state over or even down under. There are clubs for you to join (well there were back in 2k6 and they kept going from the few handfuls of people I had left behind) so finding an interest isn't difficult as well. As you can see I could go on and on.

However that was my experience at the Savannah Campus. I wish I could have experienced SCAD Atlanta because their facilites are supposed to be a bit more on the up and up than Montgomery Hall (The Comptuer Arts building) but I left just as SCAD Atlanta was beginning.
I don't know if they have all the access the Main Campus did (by all access I mean the art supply store I think the name is Ex-Libris)

I can say if I had the money to go back and do four years for another degree I'd go back and do so. College experience wise, it was great. I wish I had done a full four years instead of just getting my AA and than transferring.

The bottom line. If you have to choose between the two, my advice would be to start off in the Savannah Campus for the first year or two - and move off to SCAD Atlanta in your thrid and/or fourth year. If anything, if you're looking for a job in animation, Atlanta will provide better opportunites and you'll be in the area for animation, art, etc. A peek at Craigslist may dissprove this statement. Let me at least not get started on if you can afford to do SCAD Lacoste...

Sorry for the wall of text, I just miss college life.

09 September 2009, 09:40 PM
Thank you both! That helps.

Savannah sounds really great (minus crime) and a lot of fun, but I guess if the facilities in Atlanta are a little better as well as the location for internships and such, I think maybe that'd be my preference then. And I'd like to avoid transferring if possible, cause it seems like it'd be a hassle. I'll have to keep thinking, now that I've got new stuff to consider.

And one more question I have to just throw out there:
Are these schools worth the debt?
They're all super expensive but it does sound like they have pretty good job placement and such... so it'd be worth it, right?

09 September 2009, 12:35 AM
College is what you put into it. Art College is definitely what you put into it. It's not like you'll go in and 4 years later instant degree and instant job. Our field (the field of art) is one that can still pay without the schooling, however we're now in a time where having the degree still tells the people in HR that this person has put the time, effort and dedication into completing a four year degree. No matter what you go into, realize you're going to need a plan. One of the things I wish I had was someone to nag me into getting an internship at a studio or company around my sophomore, junior and senior year. However, since most of my schooling has been out of my pocket, even I don't know if that would have been possible.

MY PAST ASIDE - I currently work for a company that has a few SCAD employees. In fact I got the job because a friend of mine worked for another company in the same building and he got me a job. Said, friend also went to SCAD. The pay is decent and I can pay my bills and eat, however some of the things I wish I could have taken at SCAD *coughZBRUSHcough* I now spend my time trying to learn out of college. The reason for learning outside SCAD, most of my electives got eaten up by my original AA degree. Go figure, I tried saving money and it bites me in the end.

The upside is, I made friends who I really do miss, one of them was able to help me get a job (networking!) and I had a great time that I wouldn't replace for anything.

Oh yeah and I picked up a few art pointers as well :D

I could go into more (when I was there they had a 4 day work week, the meal plan and things to think about etc etc. ) However things I know have changed a bit since I left in 2k6.

10 October 2009, 08:36 PM
As for SVA, I'm currently attending their 3D major, it's split into different concentrations (e.g. visual effects) but that's not until your Jr. year. Until that year your schedule is pre planned out completely with humanities and fine arts. I'm actual contemplating transferring out for the price that it costs to attend here, it's a very expensive school and most the kids here are spoiled by my standards....

On a positive note though, every senior Theseus I've seen is incredible strong and the school has a lot of job connections for internships throughout the industry. SVA will get you the job you want, you will have to work for it though, and you will be in debt until your 65.

Paul McLaughlin
10 October 2009, 08:09 PM
SCAD - Sounds really good from what I've heard, and I went to visit their campus in Atlanta, and I really loved it. However I think that I'd prefer the Savannah campus (though I haven't been there), but it seems that it really isn't the safest city. I know I like the school, but location wise I'm a little stuck. Does it matter which one, school wise, or is it basically the same?

Living in Savannah is like living in any other city. Plenty of people have their homes broken into, are mugged, or worse. Staying relatively safe is pretty much common sense though; Don't walk around at night, don't drive a Porsche, don't throw open house parties, don't get involved with drugs, don't live in the projects, and don't antagonize the streets. Bad things can happen randomly even if you are safe, but they can happen anywhere. In conclusion, it's not suburbia, but it's not Baghdad.

I lived in Savannah for 5 years, I have a decent idea of where the bad neighborhoods of the city are. If anyone has any questions feel free to message me.

like a few students who while still walking as a group but STILL get held up at gunpoint.

I don't subscribe to the whole idea that walking around in a group makes you somehow immune to getting mugged or something. The bottom line is that someone who is trying to mug you has both the element of surprise, and potentially a weapon. Some 20 year old girl got shot by a group of robbers right outside of one of the dorms when someone in her group resisted. If anything I would almost feel safer walking around by myself. At least then I know no one around me is going to try to be a hero and get me shot in the process... If someone is robbing you- hand that sh*t over. A trip to DMV and a call to your credit card company is better than a bullet hole.

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