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The School of Visual Arts

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Do not attend SVA, it's not worth it.BrightArt & 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.
Alumna Female -- Class 2000
Starting Job: Freelance illustrator; Preparedness: D+ Reputation: F
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I would not recommendBrightOther
I would not recommend the School of Visual Arts, nor would I do it again if I had the option. The cost of tuition, 125,000.00, is not worth it. This is a money making institution, not an educational institution.
Alumna Female -- Class 2000
Starting Job: Administrative Assistant; Preparedness: F Reputation: F
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While SVA prides itself that industry professionals teachAverageVideo/Media
While SVA prides itself that industry professionals teach many of the classes, this means that they are also not well versed in education. About 80% of my professors were good! while the other 20% or so were arrogant losers who couldn't get any other job so resorted to being poor teachers.

The real problem is the school administration. There is a total lack of respect for the student. There are administrators with substance abuse issues, others who do not want to hear about any problems and as such will not provide assistance to the students. There are policy abuses and downright unprofessional attitudes. You truly feel that you are nothing but a bag of money to them.While I have learned a lot during my four years and am now a working professional, I can truly say that it was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life and one which if I could I would prevent others from having to go through. It did teach me a lot though. I learned how to deal with incompetence, arrogance, and ignorance. Also, living in NYC without any true support mechanism for student ps (other than a small, run-down student center) is non-existant. So, should you survive it, you learn to be very self-sufficient as well.

4th Year Male -- Class 2014
Surrounding City: A, Faculty Accessibility: F
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