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Old 06-28-2013, 09:20 AM   #1
danifrance
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Alex F
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Advice for a Prospective Art School Drop-out

Hello!
I'm currently enrolled in SVA's Computer Art program, having completed my first year as a transfer student from a small state college. But now, confronted with the sheer enormity of debt I would have to undertake to complete my education- my change in major and thus schooling was spur of the moment, unfortunately, and I underestimated the costs- I find myself considering dropping out.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my first year there, although a few of my teachers weren't worth the price tag, and I have narrowed down my desired art direction because of my experience there, so I don't consider it a wasted year. I just don't think I would be able to escape a six-figure debt without forfeiting any hopes of living independently and surviving.

Clarification: I want to go into conceptual art and digital sculpting/modeling, mostly concerning narratives and character design. I had initially thought I wanted to animate, but I prefer the designing aspect much more.

I have briefly checked out some online courses, but my father assured me that there is a stigma associated with any online schools in the art business world and no one would respect an online degree.

Another benefit to attending SVA was New York, obviously. I live in Alaska with my mother when I'm not in school, which isn't the best for networking in the field I want to go into, so my options are online schooling (whether through a structured course or self-taught) or a cheaper alternative to SVA that wouldn't put me in outstanding debt. I already have some from this first year, so I would be willing to take a bit more on, but not as much as SVA would cost me.

My parents are split- my mother says she trusts me to make the right decision, while my father insists I stick with SVA despite the cost, even though he's unable to help me with it.

Any advice?
 
Old 07-03-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
matmonkfish
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Matthew Moore
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damn it!

i just wrote a lengthy response to this and it somehow didnt post and its gone..

a summary: I would not under any circumstances do ANY course with anything approaching a 6 figure debt. Unless you KNOW you will get a well paid job.. (but then why would you need the course) and that the economy isnt going to sink again in the short term. (The long term is just f****d anyhow)

You dad i belive does not understand the cg industry if he belives you need a degree. People want showreels. Not degrees. Degrees these days are for rich people living of daddys credit card/lunatics/or lifetime debt slaves pimping themselves out for bread crusts.

Online courses are very good, probably the best.

Your fathers assurances sound a bit domineering to me, things have changed since his, 'everybody respects a degree' day, especially in CG. Check out the online courses again. Dont feel pressure to get everything 'right' and you should tell your mum that you will try to make the 'right' choice, but its complex. and difficult.

I have both a degree and have studied animation mentor and have worked in the animation industry. I can say from personal experience that i have never been aware of anyone giving two hoots about my degree, which was so much inferior to animation mentor its laughable.

Last edited by matmonkfish : 07-05-2013 at 08:43 AM.
 
Old 07-04-2013, 03:37 AM   #3
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of course, having a 4 year degree in another field of study to fall back on might not be a bad idea...
also, if you ever want to work out of country, having a degree (of any sort, really) helps phenomenally with acquiring visas.
 
Old 07-04-2013, 11:32 AM   #4
eezacque
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Izak van Langevelde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matmonkfish
I can say from personal experience that i have never been aware of anyone giving two hoots about my degree, which was so much inferior to animation mentor its laughable.


The only reasons for getting a degree are if you have ambitions to teach, or to work abroad...
 
Old 07-08-2013, 08:18 AM   #5
danifrance
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Alex F
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Thanks so much for the responses, and sorry for the late reply!

Working abroad isn't a concern, so a degree wouldn't be important in my case. I think I'm just uneasy because I grew up with the notion that college was a necessary part of my future. I'm debating whether or not to return to my state college (which is so affordable I wouldn't need any loans), although they really only have the resources for a more traditional fine arts education- which is perfectly fine, but I think I'm at the point where I should focus more on the specific field I want to get into.

My sister just graduated from one of the art institute schools here in the US and got a job immediately, so I think that's part of the reason my dad thinks I should stick with school, but she also came out with a good amount of loans.

If I don't enroll as a full-time student anywhere and take online courses I'll have to start paying off the loans I do have, but balancing a parttime job and online work is doable. I might be able to avoid rent at home for awhile if I can convince my mom that my self-education is 'legitimate', for lack of a better term, and get my loans out of the way faster.
 
Old 07-09-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danifrance
My parents are split- my mother says she trusts me to make the right decision, while my father insists I stick with SVA despite the cost, even though he's unable to help me with it.


I personally find it very easy to encourage others to take on debt that I have no responsibility for

As has been said, in the creative world no one really cares about your degree (unless you're teaching). If you can do the work you can get hired.

I'd definitely agree with others than online courses are the way to go, and lots of people work full time and take them (myself included) so you could certainly manage them with a part time job. It may require having less of a life elsewhere for a while, that's the sacrifice you make.

You can also probably defer your loans for at least a little bit, and those payment amounts are also usually based on your income so you should be able to manage them for the time being.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:05 PM   #7
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