I like SVA, I really do.
But like any other design school in NYC (or design firm for that matter), it has a more than fair share of extremely competitive students. As much as the competitiveness can be quite stressful, sometimes I feel it is necessary to have since "the real world" is going to be the same. Perhaps it's not as cut-throat as SVA, but it's a good method of conditioning. Keeps me motivated.
As for the location, NYC is great! I come from a distant place where design opportunities don't come very often, and I believe that some SVA students take forgranted the wonderful design treasures that is scattered all over this city alone! The design internship opportunities are abundant (c'mon, what other city in the US can single-handedly boast the hearts of many art firms and companies in a mere island!) and inspiration is everywhere! Museum admissions are exorbitant in the city, but as an SVA student, you can access museums for free!
Yes, I have had my share of nightmare teacher experiences, but it's lesson I've learned quick: switch out into another class ASAP before the add/drop period is over, and complain. Enough complaints can get a teacher the boot.
As for the academic advisory at SVA, it's been the worst for me. I wish the advisor would not scold me just because she is under mere pressure from a long day. Yes, I'm sure we all have our stressful days, but I do not see it as an excuse for verbally mistreating a student who just wants a simple schedule change. I try my best to speak kindly because I am sensitive to her words, but jeez this woman has no patience for anything.
The dorming situation is crap. High prices, vermin, waiting lists, dirty ill-maintained communal kitchens... go get an apartment if you can.If you're going to attend SVA, you should go as a student trying to learn and proactively doing so... not as a student expecting to learn. That is the difference between a successful student and a failing student.