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  • Entering Art School

    [11.30.06]
    - Samuel Crowe

  •  University

    For most of you, this will be where you end up going, mainly because of the price and the fact that you can get more financial aid from a University. You have a huge choice of where you can study art if you decide to go to a University.

    Most, if not all Universities, require that you have taken specific tests in order to be accepted. Each State in the United States and each Country has their own requirements as to what is required for admission as an undergraduate. So be sure you check and ask for an undergraduate catalog. The catalog will have just about every bit of information you could want. You can also ask for any packets regarding entry exams portfolio requirements for the art department.

    Think of a University as a conglomerate of small colleges. Each Major area of study will be listed as a "department." Some schools may have different names. Examples being:

    • Department of Art
    • Department of Biology
    • Department of Art and Design
    • Department of Science and Biology

    Most departments are labeled by what the major area of focus is and some may be combined. So if you see Department of Art and Music, this does not mean you be taking music courses, just means the two departments are combined.

    If you plan on attending a University, be sure to check that they are certified by an accrediting association such as the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The importance of accreditation means you can contact the association and ask for information about the art program at the University and they are required to give you all the information available, good and bad. They also grade the courses being taught and pay attention to the work being produced by the students.

    You will be required to take core classes when you enroll. These are classes such as algebra, probability and statistics, history, biology, physical education, English... The list goes on. Each school has a list of required core classes you must take as well as what is required by the major you choose.

    The price to attend a University is based on some common factors, but keep in mind that each Country may have very different prices for tuition.

    • Number of classes
    • Enrollment type (undergraduate, graduate)
    • Lab Fees
    • Technology Fees
    • Parking
    • Housing, including food


    Now where's the financial aid office?

    Those are just a few of charges that will go into your tuition. This is about the time you walk over to the financial aid office and want to talk about help with getting money. I'm not going to delve into the bottomless pit of information about financial aid. There is a plethora of information available from the school's financial aid officers as well as the internet. Best advice I can give anyone about financial aid... Only get what you need!

    If you get loans, make sure they do not accrue interest while you are in school and do not require you to pay them back until after you graduate. Get all the grants and "free" money you can. These never have to be paid back.

    If you are or were in the military you most likely will have the G.I. bill to help pay for you classes and tuition as well as enough for books and other supplies. Go to the Veterans affairs office and talk with them.

    On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1500 to $5000 a semester in tuition only. There are some Universities that charge well above $5000 a semester or quarter, as I said, prices vary greatly.

    The type of degrees that are available to you at a university for art majors:

    • BA
    • BFA
    • MFA
    • MA
    • Some universities do offer an Associates degree as well as Certificates.

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