Since November I’ve applied to 5 schools and have been accepted to most. I spent last week traveling Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia where I got to sit in on classes and see the campuses for a second time. I think I am getting close to making a decision, so it seems like a good time to throw up an update. Note: I go into some detail in case there is anyone out there also considering these schools.
University of Cincinnati - Sparknotes: besides all the hood around campus, UC is really cool, but I got wait listed.
I’ve been wait listed as an industrial design student (1st choice) at UC but accepted as an urban planning major (2nd choice). I got to sit in on a planning class, talk to students about DAAP and UC in general (dorms, food, etc.), and walked around the ID wing a bit. The campus is really nice, I like the atmosphere, co-ops, so it’s a bit of a shame I got wait listed. Anybody else have experience with this?
Cleveland Institute of Art - Sparknotes: I got into an art school! Just about tied with UC.
Takes one semester of art - gets accepted to art school. I got to see a small ID class and a freshman foundation class. I was impressed by the professionalism of the students and the seemingly intelligent/cool faculty. Likes: kick a$$ brand-new (not even finished yet) dorms, foundation year, renovated other building (jmc?), university circle, food at case western is pretty good, overall curriculum and level of work of students/alumni. Dislikes: Not as warm as Cincinnati, but anything is an improvement over Syracuse. A bit more expensive. Not as strong of a gut feeling as with Cincinnati. However, if UC flat out denied me, I’d go to CIA without a second thought.
Philadelphia University Sparknotes: 70% female! Very very cheap! Academics: meh. Campus: meh.
Accepted. Reasons to go to PhilaU: girls and money. PhilaU has offered me both merit and athletic money such that tuition could come out to be practically nothing. The xc program is pretty low-key division 2, which for an ID student who wants to be an athlete, that is a pretty ideal scenario. Also, the school is about 70% female, and it shows . Reasons not to go to PhilaU: academics. Their selling point is ‘DEC’, basically a collaborative curriculum where design, engineering, and business majors share classes and collaborate on stuff. It seems that everyone there hates DEC (that doesn’t mean it’s bad though). Also, drawing seems very un-emphasized. Apparently they take a CAD/Photoshop course freshman year and don’t get around to rendering until junior year. Concept sketches by sophomore students weren’t anything I couldn’t do, but then again I wasn’t seeing their best work. Lots of focus on design process, ‘big picture’ stuff - how is this going to be manufactured, transported? How much will this cost? Is this sustainable? How does this product fit in the system? etc. Almost business like. I know a lot of this is important, but I think I want/need more help in the art department vs. the business-y practical department. Also, the small campus really isn’t within walking distance of any restaurants or entertainment. So it’s a different type of school, good in it’s own way, but not really my thing. dat scholarship tho.
Wester Washington University Sparknotes: warm weather.
Accepted to university but not yet to the ID department. Never visited. My impression of the school is somewhat of a PhilaU-west-coast-alter ego. Likes: The west coast! the ocean! Warm weather! Relatively cheap! Good reputation. Dislikes: probably little to no athletic scholarship money for a higher-end D-II program. Small ID department doesn’t have the…swagger that I like about big/famous programs like UC/CIA. In the end I don’t know that much about WWU’s ID program - there’s no a whole lot out there about it.
Virginia Tech Sparknotes: dueling banjo territory?
Not yet accepted (will not hear until April). Never visited. Likes: well known, big reputable program. Probably won’t be the most expensive. Dislikes: Not only have other people from my school heard about VT, there are some actually going there! (so mainstream ) Unsure about their internship deal. Also, Blacksburg is in the middle of nowhere.