I have so much I can say about SCAD, but I'll try to keep it short.
First off: I'm an Animation major, with a double minor in Illustration and Sequential Art. (So I've seen quite a few different departments) I'm very involved in many different clubs, and was a "student leader" through SOS (Service Opportunities for Students) and Student Ambassador groups.
Those things are important because I think your experiance at SCAD will be very different depending on your attitude, your major, and how pro-active you are.
Most of the complaints I've heard or read below about SCAD are incorrect. Now, this is either because that student wasn't pro-active enough to find the information or was mis-informed through student gossip or lack of communication. I will say that it is difficult to find out about ALL of the events going on every week because there are SO many of them. This is sometimes frustrating, but the fact that there are SO many events going on at the same times means that that SCAD is constantly providing the opportunity to learn from companies and working professionals, to listen to a variety of ideas and opinions from others besides just the professors. It is an amazing opportunity to have employers come to you and if you work hard enough you can get interviews with them while they are there.
I would like to address a few things listed that are out of date or completely incorrect: There is a student counsel who handles student complaints, they meet once a month in the Student Center. Also, because of this group the numerous complaints about food have caused SCAD to completely re-work all of the dinning services, we even have a sushi bar and a SCAD dining room with wait-staff. Also, SCAD polls students every quarter, there are food polls, educational polls, general polls. Personally, I like the course evaluations at the end of the quarter. SCAD does listen to the students. If enough students complain about a teacher in the evaluations that teacher will be asked to leave. I've seen it happen 3 times in the last four years just in my departments. Also, if classes are not working they will re-vamp them. I've seen this happen a few times. I think the biggest problem is students will complain to each other but they will not complain through surveys or try and talk to their professors or the student counsel. Also, job placement, the career advisers are VERY helpful BUT you have to go to them! They will not seek you out, they are very busy doing their job for those who are pro-active enough to go to them!! They handle all sorts of workshops and programs to get every student a job! Your faculty will help as well if you are a passionate student with good work. As for the many students complaining about freshman year: while it is boring and difficult to go through all the basic classes, as well as the many general educations and art history classes those are not just SCAD but also the requirements that allows SCAD to be accredited! Also, they are fundamental to your artistic development, if you don't understand the relevance of art history then you are missing out. The basic drawing skills are the most important, and you can never draw too much. Practice builds skill! It is true that SCAD accepts everyone that applies and has money, they do seem to be very money driven, but this is because they are constantly spending money of things to make the school bigger and better. They invest in the latest computer software packages, and hardware, they are constantly building new buildings or fixing up old ones to create more space for students. Constantly looking to add more programs of study, and spending money on bringing the best lectures, programs, and companies to visit!
Now, my recommendations are as followed:
-Stay in the dorms your freshman year so you can easily make friends and get the "college" experience, then move out! Living on your own is not only cheaper but usually more convenient, and allows you to have more freedom. If you have a car and don't mind the drive, you can also live somewhere more quiet and safe.
-THIS IS A CITY! It may not look like a city or "feel" like a city, but it is a city and it has crime. Be smart, use street smarts and you'll be fine! Don't walk alone at night, be aware of your surroundings, don't do stupid things when you're drunk, don't walk through areas that are dangerous. SCAD security (for the most part) is just for "show" they cannot assist you if something happens, they are only allowed to call the cops. HOWEVER, they do provide rides around at night if you call the security line to get one. I've lived here year-round for the last 4 years and I've never had a problem, because I'm smart about my actions.
- Get involved!!!! I can't stress this enough. Not only will you make new friends but you will find out about other opportunities, jobs, and collaborations that you'll never hear about if you don't. Clubs and Student organizations help you to grow and show your work. They also help you to become a leader.
- Work, work, work! You really want this job? WORK FOR IT! Go above and beyond the "average" student and get the most out of what you pay for. I've heard way too many students complain about not getting the best for their money and that's usually because they expect everything to be handed to them! This school is for hard workers and opportunists! Take advantage.
-If you have a car, bring a car. If you don't, buy a bike. If you can't bring that then invest in a good pair of walking sneakers. =]Your education at SCAD is what you make of it. I think it is well worth the money, as long as you work hard. I enjoy the professors (not all are perfect) but for the most part they have been great. I love the variety of students (I've met so many people from different cultures and learned about different cultures). I love the opportunity to switch campus' and spent one quarter abroad in Lacoste, France for the same price as tuition in Savannah. There is also Atlanta and Hong Kong. The campus isn't closed in, which I love because you get to explore the city and really feel immersed in this beautiful city. There are so many SCAD opportunities for fun things to do but once you turn 21 there are many bars, clubs, and fun things to do. I can't rave enough about how much I love this school, and I'm so glad I chose to come here.