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The Rhode Island School of Design

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If you are completely sure that art is

Jul 12 2011Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
If you are completely sure that art is your path in life, RISD is the place to go. You will be pushed to your limit and grow substantially as an artist. RISD has a great reputation in the art world and many job connections for its graduates. Unfortunately, for those who are interested in art as well as academics, RISD lacks in the liberal arts division. Many art history classes are a waste of time and money. Personally, I feel like I have sacrificed a good academic education for a good art eduction. As an institution, RISD has its problems. Tuition is extremely high and financial aid is sparse. RISD is not very organized throughout the departments and always manages to bill the students for mysterious costs and charges.
1st Year Female -- Class 2014
Useful Schoolwork: A, Social Life: F

I am currently a freshman at RISD, and

Feb 13 2012Undecided
I am currently a freshman at RISD, and to be honest I've been disappointed by the education I've been receiving so far. Yes, there is a good amount of work, especially in the freshman year, but quite a bit of it seems arbitrarily time-consuming. I've found that my instructors have supported innovation, but they want a certain breed of creativity. Whenever I've attempted to push limits by departing from the original prompts and elevating my work to a developed conceptual exploration (such as creating an installation for a drawing class) I have been punished for not following directions. I was expecting more support of development of our individual ideas. I also expected more provocative and energetic professors, when this past semester I found that a majority of my instructors were more focused on finding ways to waste class time than actually instilling any new knowledge or skills in us. I've also found that this is not a school for anyone who comes from a family that isn't well-to-do. Coming from a family with very little money, and going to RISD on scholarship, I've found that everyone that goes here, including the faculty, assumes that you have money. There are often frivolous and unnecessarily expensive items on my supply lists, and prior to going here I've never felt so marginalized due to my social class. There are also plenty of amazingly talented people here, but there are also quite a few people who, for lack of a better phrase, bought their way in. This school seems to be alright with accepting underqualified students as long as they'll pay the tuition, and the lack of integrity I've witnessed (such as my own room-mate's, who has plagiarized multiple assignments) has reached a point that I've lost faith in this institution. I'm currently applying to transfer out of RISD next year, because even with a nearly full tuition scholarship, the financial burden is still significant, and the insulting lack of passion I've seen here has led me to conclude that a lot of this school is BS.
1st Year Female -- Class 2015
Scholastic Success: A, Individual Value: D

I am content with my time at RISD

Oct 13 2010Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
I am content with my time at RISD. I am almost halfway through my Senior year here and like everything in life there have been ups and downs, but more ups I would say. I have really lucked out with nearly all of my professors in my department and in Liberal Arts. I can only name one or two teachers who were really disappointing and I believe both of them are no longer employed at RISD. In my Department, we are required to take critique classes as well as a Seminar which I am in now that basically teaches us the "business" of the art world we are entering. I feel fully prepared to apply for grants, jobs, and to graduate institutions. I am fully involved and motivated in MY OWN art, which is the most important thing I am taking away from RISD. Even in a troubling economy, I don't feel RISD has failed me in any way, even if attaining jobs and grants is difficult for me later. My teachers have taught me how, so getting the things I want falls on MY shoulders now. I do think that some facilities could be improved upon, and that there should be MORE studio space (I have a studio, but I wish it were bigger...). I attended European Honors Program, and believe that it is the most enriching experiences RISD has to offer, and I highly recommend applying for it. However, on the program I also found the facilities at RISD's Rome Campus sub-par. I don't like Providence. I think it is a charming town to visit but it is boring and the people here are dull. I am tired of it... That being said I MAINTAIN that I chose RISD for the education, and though it was hard being a younger student here, the older I get the more I can appreciate how worthwhile RISD's faculty, resources, and reputation is to my future as an artist in the real world. RISD is hard, but you WILL make good grades in through sophomore, junior, and senior years because you won't pass freshman year if you can't hack it. I haven't made below a B- in any class and the only people I know who failed classes freshman year no longer attend RISD. YES, ITS REAL HARD WORK. Not just drawing from still lives which gets you NO where in the art world today. RISD is for serious contemporary artists. I want to speak to freshmen or incoming freshmen to choose your majors wisely, and visit the faculty of the departments. You can always switch majors if you don't feel you are getting what you want out of a department. Printmaking and sculpture faculty are realistic and engaging. I don't feel the same about some of the other fine arts departments.
3rd Year Female -- Class 2011
Education Quality: A+, Surrounding City: B-
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