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The School of Visual Arts

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I am a second year cartooning major and

Mar 27 2013Art & Design Department
I am a second year cartooning major and have taken some 2d animation courses. I have to say that I have loved every course and every professor that I have so far had. Courses were practical yet thorough. Projects are very well thought out and give great practical training. Moreover, being in Manhattan, SVA has LOTS of connections with studios, gallaries and other contacts that many prospects don t' realize.

In addition, their training is very practical unlike some other art schools whose training tends to be very artsy. I have heard this complaint from Pratt students about their school. This gives us a great edge.

The cons of SVA:

The first con is price. They have high tuition and very high fees! Moreover, being a for profit school, they give out very little aid. If you can't afford to come here, you won't get a lot of aid. Be aware of this.

Secondly, SVA has few of the facilities that you would expect from other schools. Although their academic facilities such as classrooms, wired campus and computers are great, they have no gym, no swimming pool etc.

Third: They have no campus. However, Manhattan is your campus. Manhattan has anything you can think of , and much of it is of very high quality.Bottom line: SVA doesn't have all of the art programs found in traditional art schools such as Textile design etc. However, what they do have is usually very strong and presented with a commercial emphasis, which makes getting a job or being self employed a lot easier. If you can't afford the school, however, you may be better off going elsewhere.

2nd Year Male -- Class 2016
Education Quality: A+, Campus Aesthetics: C

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
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