cold feet about Art Center

I recently got accepted to Art Center with a little bit of scholarship but I definately need to take out big loans to cover the rest of the cost. This is a second degree for me, I hold a prior B.A. in a non related art field, and have worked very hard to create a competitive Art Center entrance portfolio. I would be considered an “older student” so going into this field later in the game than my fellow class mates adds to the stress of making this career change. I guess I am wondering if all these risks i.e. getting a second bachelors at 27 and taking a loan for 90k is worth the Art Center education?

I think average freshman range at ACCD is something like 25, so your in the zone man. I would go for it. What type of design do you want to do?

I got accepted into their product design program. I’m learning a little bit of trans design right now so I can be more versatile but I am also really drawn to tehir environmental progam i.e. furniture , I just don’t like to do spaces so that’s why I went for product, the curriculum is a little bit more straight forward.

90k for 8 term? that means about 11k a term…did you apply for FAFSA and CAL grant (if applicable)… those should give you a few more thousands. how much art center scholarship a term? if you got more than $3k a term from art center then you are doing really well.

I got less than 3k/term but I am hoping to increase it with some new work I’m adding to my portfolio (you can apply for scholarship each term and add on to existing amts.) I don’t quaify for cal grants becasue of my age and previous education but I am also looking for outside scholarships, esp non traditional student aka “older student” schoarlships and schoalrships for women. The number I came up with was by adding up current schoalrship + possible outside scholarship + a little help from family minus the total budget (including supplies, living expenses etc.) I guess I negelected to say that the 90k would be for tuition and living/housing expenses.


that $90K+ figure, I also came up with separately. Daunting, indeed.

Yeah, but in hind site, it will put you at least 2 years ahead of the vast majority of the grads from other schools around the country. From my experience, the average 4th term student out of Art Center is about the average grad from OSU, CCAD, etc, etc. Of course, there are plenty who buck that trend, but it should help to have more experience coming out of the shoot, especially if you have some freelance/internship work to compete with the guys from Cincinnati and a few other schools…

I would say it is well worth the expense, especially being able to get in and out a school in 2 years a handful of months with a BS. That’s worth something there compared to the traditional 5+ years from most schools.

Simple- sign those loan papers and jump in. I went back to grad school at 34(!), had to sell everything I owned, and still had to borrow 60K.

Worth every penny.

yes, but I don’t even have a design background…I majored in civil engineering, that’s easy to parlay into an architecture degree IF I really wanted it.

I’ve just been told from various different sources that architecture is a terrible job. Roughly 2/3 the pay of an engineer, even with the higher amount of work. Some others describe it as being the job of a glorified drafter, without much creativity, except one one is at the very top of the management chain.

So after hearing all these comments, I wondered if I was better off in ID, being poor, but at least being creative. It’s easy to say that too without ever having been destitute.

The hardest part about making the decision is figuring out what it is that I really want to do…narrowing the number of choices down just to one. I’m still stuck in the mentality that I only have one shot at changing careers.

I’m going to be asking you guys about a billion questions, shortly. :stuck_out_tongue: What I do know for sure, is that I don’t want to spend of my life at this company, or engineering in general.

before shackling yourself to those loans I would suggest at the very least trying to “shadow” an id guy at a consultancy or wherever you can for a day, if not do a short internship, or even just an orientation meeting. Often I’ve thought about moving to film, or directing, and was planning on following a local director around for a day just to get an idea of what the day to day is like.

Thanks for the advice.

It’d be ideal to be able to get an internship, but I’ll probably have to settle for shadowing since internships are hard to come by.

Arm chair,

are you going to art center too?

You should check out state schools. Arizona, San Jose, Long Beach, and others. Art Center is not what it used to be. They have lot of rich young kids that lowered the bar. They need cash to build new building so they are getting any student they can rather than the best.

San Jose is not too bad. I would have to agree with Guest88 that Art Center is not what it used to be… but i can say that even though they are accepting rich kids, they are not rejecting the talented ones… and there are plenty of them to hold art center’s reputation.

San Jose State University?

How well does it hold up to the $90K+, blow-your-entire-life-savings schools?

Well first things fist, Congratulations!

Everyone with a brain that gets into Art Center goes thorugh cold feet. You may feel like you are the only one till you meet everyone in the same boat. I think 27 is about average range, they really dont like kids right out of high school…too undiciplined, still want to party all night. (you will be given those up) Expect no sleep, and no job till you are done.

I can say this, I have never met a person that regreted their experience of going to AC. EVER! Its always been a top school, yes some rich kids but by far not the majority because unlike other prestiges schools, they will not grandfather you in cus daddy is famous or went there before you did. Entrance is based purly on creative skills.

90,000 is a lot of cash, dont expect to make that right away even with AC you will still have to pay our industry dues, but you will not regret it. You will work harder then you have ever done in your life, but dont give up, that is part of deal. Everyone there is driven to strive for the best so compititon is stiff.

First few trimesters are the hardest…ooops, did I let that secret out? They try to thin the flock even after you have been accepted so thier quality remains consistantly high for decades. Most schools do exactly the opposite, with tutors, mentors, pizza, donuts, anything to keep your student loan funds flowing into their pockets.

I dont work for them but I guarantee when you leave, you will feel like AC is a part of who you are, not just some service you purchased like so many other places that people go to school.

to the creator of this thread:

I’m interested in attending art center as well. How and where did you prepare to get in? I’m thinking about taking classes at ACAN as well as at PCC as advised by the Art Center counselors. But I was wondering if there is anything more that I can do to prepare myself.

I think you’re on the right track. If you have already shown your work to an advisor and they have given a plan of action then your in a good place to begin working on your portfolio. I began with taking classes at ACAN and then also at PCC. PCC is like the unofficial transfer program for art center at a quater of the price as the ACAN classes. All the pcc intructors in the ID program are Art Center alums if not former Art Center instructors. Take all the rendering, product design and sketching classes you can. Most of the students in class are looking to apply to the day program so they are very motivated and talented. There are however double, if not triple the amount of students in PCC classes than ACAN classes so there’s more one on one time with ACAN instructors. If you can wrap your mind around the fact you have to take 1-2 years of these kinds of classes before you enter the program and stick with it, you’l be on your way.

If you can goto the IDSA Western reginal conferrence. Each school has a representive student do a presentation. You can see for yourself how the schools compare through the students presentation. Also go hang out with the students and faculty ask about their respective schools.

when and where is the conference?