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The School of Visual Arts

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I am an undergrad in animation

Mar 23 2013Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
I am an undergrad in animation. It is a FABULOUS program. The money available for the animation department is clearly great since all computers are up to date with the latest software. Professors are all great and have strong industry connections.. Most of my friends in the program have internships too. The school is VERY well connected in NY and in the industry. In fact, from what I can see many other departments are well liked by student with the exception of pure fine arts. Illustration, photography, Cartooning and even interior design are also considered very strong.

Being in Manhattan has both pros and cons. The pros is that it is a great place for a college student. Lots of stuff to do and eat. It is truly a city that never sleeps. The cons are that it is more expensive to live their than that of many other cities, and you need to be a mature student to live in a big city. There is no campus per se and no coddling of students.

Workload is VERY high. Expect to put in many all nighters if you want to really get out of SVA what you need to get. However, the work will be worth it.

Also, SVA allows students to take courses in other majors. Take advantage of this.
Don't stay in any dorms after freshmen year. Dorms are expensive and crappy as noted in reviews. Get an apartment with friends. Main problem with SVA is the tuition. It is high, and they are NOT known for giving decent scholarships. Thus, if you can't afford the tuition, don't come here. Go somewhere cheaper. However, if you can afford it because you have rich parents, SVA will give a great education and will inculcate the skills needed for the industry!

3rd Year Female -- Class 2014
Education Quality: A+, Campus Aesthetics: C

I'm torn about this school

Mar 18 2013Art & Design Department
I'm torn about this school. As an animation major, i feel like the program i'm in is excellent and the teachers really care about you improving as an artist/animator. There's a lot the department should be improved on though, our resources are so limited and so is our equipment. However, if you're a dedicated student and are passionate about your major, you'll make the best of whats available then and there. (FYI, MAKE SURE YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR MAJOR) Bottom line is, this school has EXCELLENT programs/ helpful teachers and a lot of input in preparing you for life after art school.

As for the school as a whole, DO NOT, i repeat DO NOT come here if you can't afford the massive price tag. Unless you want to swim in a massive pool of debt within 4 years, do yourself a favor and find a cheaper alternative or a school that actually gives GOOD financial aid (SVA is a for profit school so in other words, their financial aid SUCKS and 80% of students are here on loans). I made the mistake of coming here regardless of money issues because this was my top choice and now I have to transfer out after this year because of finances.

CAMPUS- There is none. If you're looking for a 'traditional college experience' with a campus and whatnot, you wont find it here. NYC is your campus, which is super exciting if you're not from here already (which i am lol) So get ready for a 20 minute walk from the east side of the city to the west side of the city to get from one class to another (we have shuttle busses that are super unreliable and come only when the bus driver feels like showing up)

DORMS- There are five dorm buildings, One is for strictly freshmen and transfer students right next to the main building, nice looking for VERY tight space. One is for all four years and its the second closest to the school buildings, but it's a roachfest. One is for all girls and the other two are nice but far from the campus and require public transportation to get to class

SOCIAL LIFE- Sucks. Some majors get a ton more work than others, and sometimes enough work to tie you down to your desk while others get to party. The student body is split into (from what ive observed):

-International students that don't know much english so befriend those that speak the same native language as them (understandable)

- Those who are too enveloped in their work to care about socializing
- Those who drink and smoke 24/7
- Really shy & antisocial people
- Super cool and friendly people who flake
- Openminded people
Other than that, theres no greek life so dont expect any frat parties. If you're lucky enough to afford housing your first year or are a super social commuter, you'll probably know a few people that go on to rent apartments somewhere in brooklyn their second year and onward and throw a couple of apartment parties.

Overall, this schools what you manage make of it, just like any other college. Speaking from experience, WORK HARD, and BE SOCIAL WITH EVERYONE, and you'll be fine.

2nd Year Female -- Class 2015
Collaboration/Competitive: A+, Social Life: D

I never, ever write comments on any message

Mar 15 2013Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
I never, ever write comments on any message boards or anything like this. However, seeing some of the bad reviews really struck me as shocking. I understand that everyone is different and experiences the school, faculty and other students in a unique way, but I think some of these bad reviews are completely biased and undeserved.

I transferred to SVA to the computer arts program last semester and I am about to complete my first full year at the school. I'll start off by saying that I have learned more here in just several months than I have in my entire school career, including my past experience at another college. I am actually pleasantly surprised at how much I have improved. My friends and family have noticed and pointed it out often as well. All of the teachers I have had have pushed me to work hard, improve as well as to express myself through my art. They are also some of the coolest teachers I have ever had. They mostly all hold jobs outside of teaching at the school and I've even had a few already that were stoked to try to hook students up with internships. I'm not doubting that there are some faculty members that are not so great as a couple of the other reviews mentioned, but you're going to find that at ANY school. Check ratemyprofessor.com and ask around before you take any teacher for your class. The amount of home work isn't unbearable. I still have plenty of free time on the weekend to enjoy myself, but I will say that I am definitely kept busy during the week. It's something that should be expected with any good school to help you learn, however.

The only down sides about the school, in my opinion, is the expensive tuition and social life. My family and I don't have much money, honestly. I was able to come to SVA through the highest scholarship they offer, as well as help from financial aid. I would not recommend going to an expensive NYC school if you can not get in on a scholarship or if you don't have much money. Tuition plus housing is just too much to afford. Also, it is a bit hard to make good friends at first. I could not afford to live in the dorms (where many students meet/hang out), so I'm commuting from a cheaper area in Brooklyn. I've made friends in my classes and through out NYC just from going out in my spare time. New York is an awesome, eventful city. I have a lot more I could say about the school, but I'll leave it at that! I recommend SVA to anyone who can afford it, with scholarships or otherwise. So far, it has been an outstanding learning experience! :)

1st Year Male -- Class 2015
Useful Schoolwork: A+, Social Life: B-


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