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The School of Visual Arts

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I attended SVA and I will say thatSuper BrilliantFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
I attended SVA and I will say that it is what it is. It is in Nyc and has hosted some of the most famous creatives in american industry and the arts. It is expensive because it is in New York City. I come from a small town in the american south that hosts its own so called art school. It is a joke when compared to sva. If not for sva I would not have achieved a lot of the successes I have in my career, not only in fine arts but also in design and development too. Sva is not one of those "make a thing make a living" schools, like the one in that small town I mentioned previously. Sva doesnt exist to simply get you a job. Sva functions to present a theoretical academic approach to the arts. It is gritty and it is real. It's tough because the art world is tough. Sva teaches you to be a master of the arts and to run industry, not to simply be a part of it. That is the difference between sva and a lot of those other schools. Especially those that aren't even accredited as art colleges. Sva is selective for a reason. nly the best and brightest get a chance to be a part of sva. Again, sva is in nyc, the greatest media capital in the world. If you can make it there you can make it anywhere. I am living proof of that. No other school could have prepared me for the ruff and tumble of the art world. Sva is the greatest and shall remain so. You get what you pay for. Sva is not a party school. It is a creative school. You are in nyc to create not to party. If you want to party and seek a low leve of education then attend one of those crappy red neck schools in the south where Budweiser and high fashion go together.
3rd Year Male -- Class 1921
Useful Schoolwork: A+, Social Life: D-
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There were many problems.Not so brightOther
There were many problems. I was there for a few weeks, having to leave due to astronomical tuition and my own personal struggles.

I did leave the animation program because I had decided it wasn't for me, but the school itself had many issues that became apparent as soon as I was enrolled.

Over the summer when I tried to enroll in my classes, the online system they had in place didn't work for me, and I ended up having to email someone in order to get it sorted. That should've been a sign.

Getting to the school I had paid for a regular double dorm only to find out my apartment was kind of oddly shaped and the beds couldn't be debunked, which meant I was stuck climbing up a ladder for the next month instead of getting a proper double like I had expected.

Then there was the matter of going to my classes. I attended all of them, did the work assigned too. But my monday schedule being packed against my will from 9am to 8pm (with classes that were across town from each other), and one of teachers literally said, "If you can't make it on time, switch into a different class." Which I then tried to do, to no avail. It was at least a week before I heard back from anyone, of which they said they couldn't help me, and I had tried to contact 3 separate departments on the issue.

Socially the school was terrible. I lucked out being in the honors program because I actually saw people outside my major and block, but my roommates consistently complained that they only ever saw the same people over and over again, and if they didn't like anyone in the block, they were stuck there for the year. And clubs were minor as well, very few opportunities.

Not to mention that if you lived in the 23rd residence for your freshman year, laundry isn't free like it is at the 24th street residence, and you don't even have access to the gym at the 24th street residence, which means walking to class or going to spend loads of money at art stores and carrying back all your shit is the only working out you'll be getting.

I loved my roomates but heard horror stories about other rooms, and I loved my RA but hardly ever had a reason to see her since she and I were both busy.

The school doesn't offer much financially and I didn't find them particularly accommodating for students who have to spend their money for food as they don't have a dining hall. In their welcome package they gave coupons for a multitude of things, but as my roommate pointed out, they were all for NYU students and didn't apply for us.

Teachers were fine but some seemed like they didn't know what they were talking about, were constantly spacing out, or had a style that they wanted to force on the students.Overall, consider carefully before attending.

1st Year Female -- Class 1921
Surrounding City: B, Social Life: F
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Do not attend SVA, it's not worth it.Art & Design Department
Do not attend SVA, it's not worth it. 90% of the arts professors have no experience teaching and many are only there for the benefits (several of them openly admit this). The price of tuition is astronomical, and there is little transparency about where the money goes. All but the computer facilities are very shabby. Resources available to the students are very limited, costly, or just plain unavailable when most needed. Communication between administration (including your own advisor) is extremely poor, and in my case resulted in a "forfeited" $2,000 that I didn't know I had to pay AGAIN until the morning of my graduation. If you are looking to major in illustration, know that Thomas Woodruff is an egomaniac that pushes a house style on all of his students, doesn't honor promises made to students grade and curricular-wise, and gives useless critiques on thesis projects (all of which go through him). As the cartooning chair (he was chair for both departments during my time at SVA), expect even less. He doesn't even bother to hide his disdain for the comics medium, he has no knowledge of it or its history, and his critiques of cartooning thesis projects are vapid at best. It is obvious to him that he considers the entire thing to be a waste of his time. In conclusion: do not attend this school. It is not worth your money, the school's career and student services are practically non-existent, and SVA's reputation as an institution has been long overhyped. If you want as good of an arts education as I received here, take some arts classes at your local community college, attend life drawing sessions, go to museums, buy no more than one book on art history (covering more than the Renaissance), and network with other artists. For aspiring cartoonists, read Scott McCloud and do the exercises in "Drawing Words & Writing Pictures". For illustrators, study "Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting" and other texts relevant to your chosen medium. Most importantly, though, MAKE art, and do it every day, even if it's terrible. However, I should note that the job market for artists of ALL sorts is extremely competitive, and most of the people I know who consider themselves "successful" still live paycheck to paycheck. If there is something else you can do job-wise, do that instead and make art on the side. There's no money to be made here.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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