school advice needed!

I have a background in architecture, and want to go for an MFA in Graphic Design, preferably on the east coast. I’m having a bit of a hard time telling which schools are actually respectable schools, and which schools are crackpot give-us-your-money-ITTTech-equivilants. Art Institutes? Art Center? Tell me which ones to avoid (the art equivilant of ITT Tech).

There are two schools that I’m interested in that I’m not sure if they fall in that category or if they are respectable schools: Portfolio Center in Atlanta, and SCAD. Also, the other schools I’m looking at are: MICA, UBaltimore (safety), and Pratt.

Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.

ok, after having done a lot of searches on several different forums, I’m starting to see that SCADs reputation is seeming more bad than good… What are some schools that are a great value for your money? The only way I’d be able to pay for a school like Pratt, etc. is if I got some mad financial aid or scholarships (so I’m applying just in case). But I’d like to apply to a couple of less expensive schools, and sort of need to get out of the southwest…

One thing is to make sure that they are offering bachelors degrees and not certificates. Also, ask about their facilities, and their acceptance rates. Better schools are harder to get into usually. YOu can look at their students work and achievements as well. It just takes a little research about any school you are interested in.

Even if you are seeking “great value for your money,” you still need to consider the most expensive schools. If they turn out to be the best and provide the best job opportunities and income in the long run, then your student loans will have been well worth it. (Search the forums for past posts rating schools and look at many bios of top designers you admire and see where they went.)

Also, consider where you want to be working after your MFA - make sure the school you select is known/relevant/respected/connected to that city or region. Not much help showing up for your big future in city X and learning they’ve never heard of school Y…it’s a big country.