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San Francisco Art Institute

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As a nontraditional aged transfer student I've reallyQuite BrightArt & Design Department
As a nontraditional aged transfer student I've really enjoyed being able to pursue my art practice at my own pace and have found most of the faculty and administration to be helpful and friendly (friendlier than I was expecting from an art school having previously attended one in NYC). I feel that the school is really what you make of it. They provide enough resources to allow you to explore and experiment with different mediums as you are not confined to just use resources from your declared major ie very interdisciplinary where one can access everything from the dark room, sculpting studio, painting studio, print making, etc after receiving proper training. I also like that it has a relatively small student body (roughly 450 students in the entire undergrad program) making it an intimate setting - allowing you to receive more attention from professors (not just a number) and also giving you access to more resources (such as money for events or clubs that you can receive from the student union after presenting a proposal) as well as financial aid (I was only able to attend school because of the great financial aid package they provided). The neighborhood of the campus is also a plus as it sits on Russian Hill with views of the Pacific Ocean and Alcatraz. The setting is very relaxed and definitely feels like an art school vs a design school which can be more stressful, more pressure, more deadlines and more competitive. With that being said, I find that the classes are not that demanding at SFAI and the teachers are more relaxed about lateness and even late work. This isn't necessarily a negative comment but an observation (the teachers are pretty understanding). However, I have found that some of the professors are not that reliable (broken promises, empty words) and another I found to be a bigot (made racial comments under her breath and showed her blatant ignorance towards minority students, showing favoritism towards white students). For the most part I've found the students to be relatively approachable and respectful. Naturally there are cliques but I don't mind being a lone wolf doing my own thing.
1st Year Female -- Class 2016
Surrounding City: A+, Extracurricular Activities: C+
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Quite BrightFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
This school met my most important need: it changed my life.
1st Year Male -- Class 2011
Education Quality: A+, Campus Maintenance: B
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This is a school for determined people whoBrightFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
This is a school for determined people who are dedicated to the art form they want to pursue. The freshmen here always slack off and end up dropping out because "nobody pushes them enough". I thought elementary school was the place where the teacher forces you to work, not college. Clueless kids.

Anyways, I went to a community college in California to save money and get a solid general education before I decided to pursue a BFA in photography at SFAI. I contemplated transferring to a UC or CSU, but wanted to go to a place where class sizes are smaller than 100 kids. Here, the classes never reach over 16 people. It's amazing. The teachers truly care about you and will help you succeed with any project you have.

The ONLY real downside was the president (who is now leaving!) and the cost of tuition. APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS!A handful of teachers I've had so far also teach at UC Berkeley, so it's great to be able to have one on one time with extremely knowledgeable people. In my opinion, this is the best art school in California by a mile. Okayy, maybe it's tied with CalArts, but I'm just bias because I grew up in Valencia.

1st Year Male -- Class 2011
Individual Value: A+, Extracurricular Activities: C
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