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The Ringling College of Art and Design

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Before attending Ringling, I attending a state school

Feb 27 2013Art & Design Department
Before attending Ringling, I attending a state school in my hometown. I had applied to only 2 colleges while in high school: a state school and Rhode Island School of Design. Since I was accepted to RISD on a wait list, I opted to go to state school, which wasn't really for me. However, I found out about Ringling during a trip to Walt Disney World and became intrigued by their computer graphics program (early 90s) so I decided to apply and ended up transferring.

Since my attendance, I hear the campus has grown as well as the programs offered so my experience is based on the school during the early to mid 90s, just for reference. I attended for 4 years and lived in the dorms the first year. As a slightly older student it was a challenge to relate to many of the other students who were straight out of high school but the educational environment of the smaller campus really suited me.

I did not get any financial aid so my education was almost completely financed. In hindsight, I wish I had known the impact this would have on my future at that time before having moved from New England. The financial aid officer, during my second year, informed me that I had no business going there since I (nor my family) could afford the education offered at Ringling.

The workload was heavy. I worked 2, sometimes 3 jobs during school so it was a great deal to juggle to keep lights on and rent paid all while trying to keep up with computer labs and studio classes. The good thing about that was that it provided a fierce work ethic and that is something that you can't buy. I also liked that they seemed to gear all of the general education/liberal arts courses to art in some way which kept them interesting. Having attended a state college previously I can tell you that some of those classes are really tough to get through when they are so dry and boring!A few teachers were extremely difficult and not in the sense that they were challenging with their coursework but they could be condescending and rude. I had one "professor" inform me that I had no business being there (basically because I shouldn't be an artist).

Alumna Female -- Class 2000
Starting Job: Artist Preparedness: B- Reputation: C
Apr 15 2009Art & Design Department

This school was great in helping with job placement and helped me succeed in my field. I give it nothing but "5" Stars!!!

4th Year Female -- Class 1995
Education Quality: A+, Faculty Accessibility: A

While Ringling boasts the best Computer Animation program

Aug 16 2008Art & Design Department
While Ringling boasts the best Computer Animation program in the country, that doesn't mean all of the other majors are useless. There are plenty of successful grads from all of the majors.

That said, I'm highly enjoying my time at Ringling. I think the best part about the school is the large amount of recruiters that come to the campus to look at portfolios for jobs (especially for Computer Animators, Illustrators and Graphic Designers). I'm talking about high-end, well-known companies: Hallmark, Disney, Dreamworks, EA Games, ILM... the list goes on.

Many people tend to complain that the campus is centered in an unsafe part of town. You'll see some shady people once in a while, but it is by no means in a dilapidated ghetto. The condition of the area has vastly improved ever since the school bought out and tore down the dilapidated, crime-riddled Shell station near the school. I've walked around campus at night plenty of times and never felt like I was in danger. There have been some bicycle thefts, however. I recommend you keep your bike in your room if you live on-campus. Just use common sense and don't wander off-campus at night.

The student body is very friendly, but a little off-beat and quirky. I've only met one or two snobby idiots so far, and one of them transferred elsewhere. However, I think you need to possess a bit of a "nerdy" love for movies and video games to really get into the social life here. The gaming club is very active here and kids here would rather eat pizza and watch a movie than get drunk off of their behinds. This is ABSOLUTELY NOT a party school. Parties--especially of the frat, beer-chugging sort--are extremely rare. Most students are too busy to party hard. If that is the sort of atmosphere you are looking for... go elsewhere.

The faculty are also very helpful and nice. There has only been one professor that I felt was very elitist and rude since I came here. Some push you more than others. You just need to ask around to find out who is the best.

My main gripe about Ringling is the fact that they are looking forward to this vast expansion conquest. They're building two new buildings and accepting more students, yet they aren't going to build additional parking (although I believe they were planning on building a parking garage). Parking here is hellish. If you don't need a car, don't bring it. Also, on-campus housing is VERY competitive after the first year. If you want to stay in the nicest apartments on-campus, you have to be lucky and get picked in the lottery. A lot of students are left in the dust without any means of housing and have to find somewhere to live off-campus. Sarasota isn't the cheapest place to live, so most people have to find an apartment 5-15 minutes from campus.

To add insult to injury, they over-accept Computer Animation majors, so they can grab money from those who are going to flunk out their first year. My first year, they told us that if not enough drop out, they would have to evaluate our animations and kick out the worst ones. That, my friends, is incredibly greedy and messed-up.Besides these gripes, however, I really am loving Ringling. I dunno how the school is going to turn out in a few years, because I think the administration is getting a little greedy and power-hungry. If you want to be a Computer Animation major, this is THE place to be... but the other programs are great, too!

2nd Year Female -- Class 2011
Collaboration/Competitive: A+, Extracurricular Activities: D+

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