The School of Visual Arts
The School of Visual Arts - Comments and Student Experiences|
Great connections/internship opportunities (especially computer art).
High success rate in the industry among the students who do make it to graduation.
Great city - NYC has everything. No downsides provided you are happy living in a big and loud city (give that some serious thought before you apply, lots of people seem to have overlooked this and end up complaining about it during their time here!)
Great facilities - up to date, very nice computer labs (maybe a little small and lacking in personality, but definitely has all the best software and hardware to get anything computer art-y done well).
All faculty are Industry professionals - that is a real plus because there is no BS and everything is focussed on translating you into an industry-ready professional.
Not great socially (1) - Very difficult to make a lot of friends since freshmen year takes place entirely in a single class 'block', so if you don't like your classmates, you are forced to find friends elsewhere.
Not great socially (2) - SVA does not do much to help you make friends. The best students are the one who are not dependent on a social life and are happy to have a couple close friends and spend all their time working (which is a good position to be in when doing something like computer art, but just isn't everyone's cup of tea.)
Not great socially (3) - No parties. If you're coming to SVA, don't expect parties. There are none. SVA is not a party school. SVA is not for party people. PLEASE DON"T COME HERE AND EXPECT PARTIES. There is drugs and alcohol if you look for it, but not classic dorm parties etc.
Not great socially (4) - No real extracurricular stuff. There are no sports teams, no school colors, no gym or after school clubs (besides a couple student-run things like Queer SVA and the extra animation club).
HUGELY EXPENSIVE - Not a problem if you have a lot of money, but since most people don't - this can be a huge problem. Only com to SVA if you can afford it without going to total student-loan hell.
A lot of attention is given to the hard working, excelling students and the one's floundering at the bottom of the class - I've spoken to students who say if you are coasting or working hard to barely stay afloat, you can easily be forgotten or overlooked in class as someone who just simply doesn't care.
Curious grading schemes - A lot of grading (especially in the humanities) is given on a basis of how much the teacher likes you. This can be a blessing and a curse depending on how well you get on with your teacher. There are no teachers that I've found are predisposed to disliking anyone though.
Go here is you are prepared to work hard (many all-nighters) and somewhat reject a social life in order to come out with really amazing job prospects heading into the future.
You will spend lots and lots of money, but the 'investment' is that the best students here do genuinely go on to Pixar, Disney, ILM etc. However, don't overlook the importance of that money thing. spending big money brings pressure and a feeling that you need to succeed to make SVA 'worth it'. (which can either motivate you or depress you). Student loans can also cripple people hugely, make sure you understand that before flying into a pricey college.
In closing, you have to throw everything you have to making SVA work for you. It will not carry you or nurture any except for the best. Some students will come out with amazing jobs because they rejected the negatives of SVA and forced their way to the top, but not everyone can do that. SVA is an investment school, you invest your money, time, effort and your emotions to hopefully come out on the way to your dream job. Be prepared to not have a good college experience, but a great chance at a attaining a great job.
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.