PLEASE HELP - Photography dept: Parsons or SVA?

Hi,
I am currently finishing up my 4 year business degree due to pressure from the parents to have a “degree you can fall back on.” However, not wishing to end up a corporate whore, I have finally decided to pursue my dream of becoming a photographer. I sent my portfolios in, and was accepted to SVA and Parsons. However, being up north in Canada, I have no idea which school I should goto. I’ve read a lot of posts comparing these schools, but I was hoping someone that attended these schools or have friends in these programs can give me some insight. Thank you so much.

I think both schools are very good for the Photography major.
The faculties are real world, working photographers.
If I am in your situation, I would go around and audit classes, and compare which educational style, environment and political movement they have for the school.
If you click on Parsons’ faculties’ profiles, you will notice, many of them are graduated from SVA (the most listed), Pratt, Parsons, Yale, Columbia U., and also Rutgers, Artcenter…& etc.

I would love to audit classes, it’s just that I’m actually in Canada right now, and I gotta decide within a couple weeks so I can start in september… but someone has also told me that SVA is a profit school whereas Parsons isn’t? What exactly does that mean? Aren’t all schools running a business?

I’ve heard that as well. Almost all schools in U.S.A. are non-profits, which is a legal description of an organization. I think it means (at least in part) that you have an independent board (committee of people) who oversee at least some aspects of running the organization, whereas a for-profit school has only a president and the usual administrative structure. Maybe someone else knows more?

The above refers to private schools. State colleges and universities are run off government funding.

I guess the thing that’s odd about SVA’s status (if true) is simply that a school shouldn’t be run like a business. Its “bottom line” should be the student’s education, not profit. That said, I’m sure that all schools, regardless of their status, have to balance their budgets and remain economically healthy, so money would be a factor for all of them in some way. However, aside from SVA, the other for-profit schools are the crappy ones that allow you to get a job in HVAC or what have you, and they’re not degree-granting. It seems strange that SVA would be in the same ballpark, as it grants BFA and MFA degrees.

Hope this help
http://www.schoolofvisualarts.edu/about/index.jsp?sid0=68

Also this is about Proprietary school
http://www.highered.nysed.gov/bpss/disclos.htm


I read that SVA began as a trade school with 3 instructors, and 50 + yrs later it eventually transformed into one of well known art schools in USA. It gives scholarships and offers state grants and federal grants to the students. Unlike your description of the corporational institution, SVA has very professional education with high job rate for the students.