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The Ringling College of Art and Design

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I attended PreCollege at Ringling and ultimately decidedQuite BrightArt & Design Department
I attended PreCollege at Ringling and ultimately decided not to apply there for college. Although I found the education quality great and the professors very knowledgeable and helpful, there were some factors that lead me to choose other schools.

One is the campus, while the extremely small and centrally located main campus buildings are mostly new and well laid out/landscaped, the rest of the classrooms are spread out a block or two and right up on the edge of a rough part of town. Sarasota, from what I know, is a mostly rich white community but Ringling seems to be placed right beside one of the seedier areas. I was honked and yelled at a few times just walking to class, and I would not feel safe at night by myself. To their credit, there are always security in golf carts driving around but it still does not much help the atmosphere. There is absolutely nothing to do nearby, so any sort of recreation excursions would require taking a car or bus downtown. We didn't really get to leave the campus much so I can't speak for what's in the cities.

I stayed in the new Student Center building, and the dorms were pristine. However some of the other dorms I went in weren't as nice, which can be expected. They're still a lot better than the majority of college dorms out there.

I was surprised that some of the student's work wasn't as great as I would have expected it to be... apparently the school is really easy to get accepted to (excluding the Computer Animation program). Of course with art schools its almost always subjective and you get out what amount of effort you put in.

In summary, I found my time at Ringling invaluable to my portfolio and future success and I'm extremely glad I spent my money to go there for precollege. But the location of campus and the small town's lack of resources as compared to one of the big city schools (NY, Chicago, etc.) forced me top consider other options. Maybe if you're really serious about Animation this would be a great option for you, but as a fine arts/illustration student I decided to opt for one of the more loosely structured schools like SAIC or MICA.If you go in with a positive attitude and a good work ethic, I don't see why you wouldn't benefit from time spent at Ringling. But at $40,000 its a lot to consider.

1st Year Female -- Class 2011
Education Quality: A+, Perceived Campus Safety: D
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Ringling is a great school if you knowAverageDesign Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Ringling is a great school if you know what you want to do. I came into it as a transfer student and into the Game Design major. Don't come here if you're unsure of what major you want to take. It's extremely expensive and ultimately will take you so much longer to graduate. The school has little pity for those who need to retake classes and/or change majors. They kind of expect that you're rich or have all the time in the world.

That said- THIS SCHOOL IS SINK OR SWIM. Not only do they not care about your academic career timeline, but the classes are extremely challenging. Teachers give you a brief demo and project explanation then throw you into the water. You learn and ultimately master 7 programs in a few short years. It's overwhelming often but it forces you to be agile and do a lot of self learning- which is what the industry is calling for. I've pulled countless all nighters and typically work until 3am 6 days a week. A project that would take me months now only takes me 2 weeks. My skills are being refined and I learned so much within these last few years. The teachers are typically very helpful and will go out of their way if you show initiative. The game art program in particular is really the start of your career. Teachers are game vets or still working on projects themselves. Industry professionals visit often. What you produce could ultimately get you picked up for an internship/job quickly. TLDR; Like I said this school is VERY challenging. If you're clear on what path you want to take come here. If you're determined and confident in your budding skills, come here. Don't come here if you have little work ethic, can't stand competitive atmospheres, or can't take critique. Ringling will eat you whole.

3rd Year Female -- Class 2018
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Surrounding City: D
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For Fine Artist or anyone thinking about beingQuite BrightFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
For Fine Artist or anyone thinking about being a fine artist: You must learn to do the exact academia type of art given while in school. Doing anything to progressive or advanced was frowned upon by several of the art faculty. If you can preserver through the sophmore and junior year it is well worth it for a senior fine artist.

The administation is willing to listen to any suggestions you have. Though, the trustees do fund the computer animation department more willingly. They are making strides to improve this with the addition of old the Sarasota High School becoming additional studio space and a museum/ exhibition space.

Be prepared everyday and come to work. Don't slack off cause you will spend the few days of an art assignment making up for it. Your writing and knowledge of art counts as much as your technical skill here.

Always be freiendly to everyone in your class. You will learn how politicial the critiquing process is. If you can do that the professors will be persuaded by popular opinion to give you good grades.

The first 2 years are busy, busy work that will help you find your way in the later 2 years.

4th Year Female -- Class 2007
Faculty Accessibility: A+, University Resource Use/ spending: D+
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