The Savannah College of Art and Design
The Savannah College of Art and Design - Comments and Student Experiences|
First, with admissions it is very true that SCAD admits everyone. Talented students get scholarships that are largely subsidized by the untalented students, and given that I benefited from that arrangement I wasn't one to complain.
If you're still in high school, get your SAT/ACT scores as high as you can for scholarships; you can automatically qualify for a partial scholarship (which was about half of your tuition when I transferred, but check with admissions to see if this is still the case) if your scores are high enough.
SCAD is very accepting with transfer credit, or at least was when I came over three years ago; all of my studio and academic classes transferred barring one class, and I was allowed to resubmit my work for that and get the credit. I would STRONGLY advise saving the money by taking all of the academic and foundations courses at an in-state or community college; this also lets you restart your GPA for admissions if you didn't have a stellar one in high school.
All that said, I don't see SCAD being worth the cost of full tuition. The school does not offer professors the job security that other institutions do, so the staff quality varies to a greater degree. This varies depending on the department; I've heard great things about the quality of the painting program, and my personal experience with the graphic design degree was mostly great, but others have told me certain departments (such as game design and sequential art) are spotty; I would advise finding a current student in your desired program and just ask them what they think. If I HAD been planning on spending $30k a year, I probably would have gone to MICA or RISD, which have firmer, more experienced departments. Again, do your research and don't blindly go to any school until you have all the facts.
As for employers specifically disregarding SCAD graduates, I've never run into that. In the southeast I've actually found that SCAD has a very positive reputation, but outside of the region the school is definitely less well known. Depending on your major this may or may not matter as much, but it should definitely be part of the equation when you're looking into schools.
I won't go into the social life as much as others, but just keep in mind that Savannah is a conservative city; there are plenty of cultural events, a decent community theatre scene, and good local music, but bands definitely don't tour here and you can't get into bars (where a large number of concerts are held) unless you're 21.
Crime is an issue, but Savannah isn't a small town and shouldn't be treated like one. I see way too many people strolling around way too late, walking down alleys when they're warned not to, and casually displaying expensive cellphones and ipods on the street. I would second that Barnard Village is a bad place to live; it was built for its proximity to Montgomery Hall and the ID building, but the neighborhood is still prone to crime. If you're living off-campus RESEARCH THE NEIGHBORHOODS! Just take a look at the crime maps the police post to their site; Ardsley Park is generally safer than the Victorian district, and if you're super concerned you can find a reasonably-priced apartment in the islands (though you'll have to put up with a 15-20 minute commute).So just do your research! SCAD was a great deal for me, but may not be for you; it is entirely dependent on your situation.
SCAD is a private college, so of course SCAD needs money. The tuition at SCAD is pretty normal for a private college, which includes the dorm and meal plan fee. You get the opportunity to receive both academic and artistic scholarships, the latter meaning you would need to send in a portfolio, which is optional--which I think is great. I never had many great art facilities at my high school, which others might have, so I never was given the chance to learn new artistic skills, etc. SCAD wants to teach students these helpful skills.
Yes, some students can be snobby and uptight. However, that is with EVERY college. SCAD has a total student population of over 9,000...you are bound to find a group of friends, especially within your own major. Irregardless of what other students have said, Savannah is a fun town. It is almost going through a rebirth. No, there are no proffessional sports teams and such, but the student body does hire commedians to come and perform among other entertainers. The night life in Savannah isn't bad either, lots of bars and clubs.
Crime is a problem in Savannah though, but it is just like every other city. If you are out at night you need to be with a group of friends and be very smart. Don't leave wallets or phones visible in your car if you bring one (which you really don't need...trust the school). SCAD has very tight security on their buildings and dorms and I have NEVER NEVER NEVER heard of students being held at gunpoint in their dorm, and as a student I know that's impossible.
Overall SCAD had offered me a great education and my friends who have graduated found work very soon after in their field. SCAD is very well respected in the business world and has many ties, I think something like 95% of SCAD graduate find work...real work not Taco Bell or anything.I would recommend this school and I hope any prospective students haven't been turned off by the negative reviews...trust me you find these reviews at every college--especially the private ones.