The price of studying industrial design.

I am not here to whine or complain about the price of most programs but I would like some disscussion on the current price of school.

I am a young man of 19 and have a real passion for both industrial design and business. I would like to attend school for ID and have been reading / learning / researching industiral design just after I graduated from high school and discovered the industry. I have looked into avalible programs and whats recognized by the industry. All of the school I could attend are beyond my financial means.

I would like to study and complete a bachelors of industrial design but the least expensive school, I could attend, would still require around 30,00 CDN for tuition alone over four years. Where I would like to study (CCS in detriot) would require an initial commitment of 38,000 CDN for the first semester (must be confirmed to enter the US for school) and aprox. 154,000 CDN for four years including living expenses. Realisticly it is not possible to afford that or save that amount without many years of labour. I am willing to accept that and I will be beginning a diploma of business managment and entrepreneurship this fall expecting to finish in two years. I hope to take the skills I learn at college and find a position where I will earn enough to attend school and hopefully I will be able to apply those skills when I work in the industry.

I would like to know, for those attending school, how much do you plan to spend (all told) to complete your program? How do you feel about that financial commitment? How old are you or how have you been able to afford school? Beyond the ID industry, how do you feel about the rise in tuition? and potentialy limiting those being educated in certain feilds to an already wealthy population (Aristocracy)?

Some people call this generation (young people like yourself) Generation Broke, and that’s largely due to the cost of higher education. Still, I would that if this is what you want to do, you’ll have to make sacrifices but you need to follow your passion. So, I guess you’re in Canada. A friend of mine studied in the US and took out Canadian educational loans to help cover the cost. You may be able to qualify for some merit aid through your school. Also, you can look into scholarships in your country, through various professional organizations and government agencies, for foreign study.

As for me, my student loans are about twice my current annual salary. If I look at my situation from a bottom-line perspective, it sucks and doesn’t seem worthwhile. However, what’s worthwhile is the stuff I got to put in my head in my time at school, and that’s enabled me to pursue employment that makes me happy. Sure, I’d love to own my own home and have money for vacations, but loving what I do is much more important than that.

I’m just finishing my last year of four in a b.s. in I.D. program at a U.S. state university. I estimate I spent almost $100,000 (us) on these four years (school and living). Because of my age, and parents income I was inelligible for any financial aid until my last year in which I recieved about $12,000 in grants and scholarships, and $10,000 in loans. I could have put off school and established residency in the state and cut my costs to about half, but I wasn’t willing to wait. Without residency I doubt you’re going to get four years for anything less than $100,000. So if you can’t afford it, look for scholarships and grant, if unsuccessful, move, wait a year or two until you establish residency (if that helps tuition costs at the school you want to go to), then start.

If you’re canadian, consider a canadian school perhaps? At CU, I’m spending about $13600 CDN per year, with a $3000 scholarship. So assuming I keep my scholarship, I’ll pay just over $40k for all four years. That’s including housing; tuition per year, thanks to subsidized education, is about $6500 per annum.

I believe ID is the most expensive program here, both to students and as a per-student cost. There are 39 first-year students, and the school costs a little over $1 million per year to run.

Furthermore, that 40 grand doesn’t include the cost of materials, which (though admittedly smaller than the cost of the tuition) can still be pretty steep. You buy your own cardboard, acrylic, sheet aluminum, et cetera, and obviously all your own art supplies (eg. Tria markers at $5.50 each).

Still, it’s a hell of a lot better than the price of education in the US. I can pay for all four years of my education and housing, if I save some money on apartments next year, out of the cost of 1 year of CCS.

FWIW, I applied to RIT, Cincinatti (sp?) and Pratt as well. Got into all three, but Carleton is an excellent, inexpensive program.

If you’re really that broke, and not a dependant for anyone, you should easily qualify for student aid. Don’t know if canada has a fasfa, but check and see. you might be suprised.

The cost of your education is a investment in your future self. How much will that be worth to you when you’re 30, 50, 70 years old? $100k sounds right to me in that context. (These days they say you need over $1M in the bank just to retire!)

If you don’t see your future-self being very successful, then yeah, I guess I can hear where you’re coming from.

Education is expensive, but the truth is that it’s market rate. Better schools are going to cost you more, but you’ll get more out of it, and it stays on your resume forever.

Education costs are going up every year, and interest rates are still ultra-cheap so you may as well get it over with now!

Thank you for your respones, I didn’t intend to focus this post entriely on my situation.

I do see myself as being succesful in my future endeavors, in all honesty I am trying to earn multi millions before I hit 40. The only way to do this is to own or be part of a start up company and to produce an excellent quality, mass produced form of service or good.

Through studying industrial design I hope to develop a deep understanding of product design. My intention is to use that knowledge with business and entrepreneurship skills to launch (hopefully) multiple businesses.

I am still classified a dependent because of my fathers earnings. You are correct, being Canadian I do not apply for financial aid through the U.S. schools, I have already contacted the B.C. organization about financial aid and will be submitting requests to have CCS and Arts Center added to the list of schools outside of B.C. that apply for financial aid. I do belive I could earn a scholarship but it would still fall short of the full cost even with borrowing a massive amount of money.

well, if you’re looking for mutli-millions, i would suggest you avoid design. Go the business route. Find talented I.D.'ers to help you with your business pursuits (there are plenty of them around). If money is how you determine success and is what drives you, I would venture to guess that you won’t make it through four years of a quality design education. If you truly have a strong passion for products and design, then continue on with an education in I.D.

Also, I’m guessing you’re classified as a dependant first because of your age, and second because of how your parents file their taxes. If this is true, your parents are expected to help you with your education costs. My parents claimed me as a dependant in order to receive tax breaks, therefore eliminating the possibility of me receiving financial aid. This added about $40k-$60k to the total amount of my education. It would be completely unfair for them to then say that it was my sole responsibility to make up for this added cost. Thankfully, they gave me more than that and only left me with about $25k in costs, about half of which I got paid for through scholarships.

This has been a common misconception. I want to have an impact on the world and in doing so become wealthy, it is the reward for success.

I do enjoy money and material possesions. I don’t belive you would find people who want to devote a large portion of their lives to building and designing material objects who didn’t find pleasure or enjoyment from them.

Having a passion for money and wealth does not detract from my ability to think creatively, to solve problems or create new solutions. I would not find such joy in money if brilliant people weren’t building these beautiful objects. Thousands of people come to have a role in our lives because of capital: each producing / building and designing for the consumer. My life would not be the same if I didn’t lust after a ferrari or admire a 7kt diamond or find beauty in architecture.

My days are composed not only of people but of objects, they are of less importance but still vital, not to my survival but my happiness.

I do believe you want to be a designer but you won’t get rich. You can earn a fine living but if you want to make millions forget design. Go for sales, marketing etc. for making $$$. After you make your $$$ then you can do what every you want. Go back to school for ID.

I doubt you’re going to find that level of wealth in being a designer. We aren’t poor, but really, how many designers out there own a ferrari? btw, NOT a hypothetical question.

Well, Jon Ive owns an Aston-Martin DB7. His job, FWIW, is probably about as close as you’ll get to being a multimillionare and a designer at the same time - he’s the VP of industrial design, or another similar type of manager. However, because it’s Apple, he also does the design work itself.

have you looked at europe? I heard TU Delft is about 13k, and some schools in france are under a grand a year for EU citizens (dunno about foreigners). In sweden you can go to school for practically nothing. and a lot of these schools are top notch.

anyone know more about cheap, good schools in europe?

am also canadian and faced the same choice…if you are going to lay out all that money for a us school go for Art Center College Of Design in Pasadena…it’s simply amazing…(and warmer than Detroit)…I’m a transportation graduate of the 90’s and it was the best education…so international and competitive in the best sense and the reach of the school is global…if you can get the cash do it…good luck!

Frankly, if what you want is to become rich, you won’t enjoy yourself in any ID school. People are in design because they want to be, and not because they want to use design for other purpose. I can almost garantee that you will get worn out very quickly simply because this isn’t your true passion.

On another note, why do you think having a good understanding in product design will help you earn big bucks? I have to say that marketing is much more direct factor to a company’s profits because they decide what is to be made. We execute that decision well and that’s our job.

BTW, if you choose to go to CCS, you will probably receive some amount of scholarship based on your portfolio. Everyone gets a different amount. Some get a one-time scholarship, some get annual ones.

Also, as Canadian, you can actually live in Windsor and drive to CCS pretty conveniently. However you will have to pay the toll everytime you cross the bridge or tunnel. Then again, it’s a lot cheaper to live in Canada as I have heard. I only know one Canadian here. He’s already got a degree in Art History and I think his parents are sponsoring his current expanse.

Also, he told me that if you live within a certain distance from the school on the other side of the border, you can be a part time student. That allows you to take up a job and go to school at the same time. Paying by the credit is also cheaper than paying by the semester.

Young man of 19, you’re seriously deluded about the financial returns of your ID education “investment”. Actually, your ignorance on the topic is almost laughable, but at least you haven’t yet jumped.

Stay put and avoid any type of such labor-intensive career path if financial freedom by the age of 40 is your goal. You’ll just waste your life earning it.

Second, product peddling even with the aid of other designers is prohibitively competitive today and getting more so by the day. I mean, there’s people earning a good living now selling their junk on eBay.

Go for a business degree if you must, but best is to hurry up and get any work experience anywhere so you learn the ropes and understand the fundamentals of all economic transactions.

Leave design to the passionate enough about it.

I can understand your veiwpoint but it is incorrect.

I do not belive conventionaly working in the ID feild as a designer or stylist would make me wealthy.

All business boils down to providing something for the consumer and being in a position where I understand both economics and design will give me an advantage. It is becoming evident that product design will be the seperating factor for consumer desicions in the future and have an ever increasing role in business as a whole.

I won’t say I am suprised but your attitude is dillusional. People who are very succesful in the I.D. industry haven’t neccisarly had this deep seeded passion or calling that you seem to think seperates your abilities above others. Ralph Gilles, a man I respect and hope to learn from, studied economics before design. By his own admission his brother sent an application for him to CCS with his drawings and before attending, he had not considered a job in I.D. industry. As the design director for the 300c and Magnum, I don’t think his professional success can be questioned.

I am not concerned with defining who and what I am about. Becoming wealthy is a goal that streches beyond working any job or attaning any degree. It is a problem that requires a creative solution and determination to conquer. I enjoy life and wealth can afford me a better lifestyle and more independence, I see nothing that should stop me from working towards those goals.

… this is good stuff, I hope that it works out for you. Not to try to disuade you, but a lot of people talk shit like this when they are 19. In the end you will have to make the same choices. Choices between managing a business, and innovating design. Choices between making money, and doing something fullfilling.

Sometimes there IS overlap, seek those situations. Mostly it’s being in the right place at the right time though.

Don’t worry, I wouldn’t listen to someone who had been there when I was your age either. All I can say is, you’ll understand when your older. (if you are still reading)

I’d keep the ego under the shell though, if you continue to keep it hanging out like it is, you might encounter someone tempted to step on it (from personal experience).

I see something that should make you pause. discounting others opinions and comments, in regards to your question, as incorrect.

one thing that successful designers understand is that they are not the sole custodians of critical opinion. You seem to think we are. You asked a question you received a response. you deemed that response incorrect and discounted the commentator.

enjoy getting your work critiqued by the people who don’t have your particular backround or insight, but have greater insight from a different angle. Its humbling. I’m sure you can handle it but understand: first impressions, in respect to your ability to handle criticism, stick. If you cannot handle an idea that you do not agree with you do not belong here.