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The Academy of Art University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityC+ Faculty AccessibilityC-
Useful SchoolworkA- Excess CompetitionD-
Academic SuccessC Creativity/ InnovationB-
Individual ValueF University Resource UseD
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyC- FriendlinessC
Campus MaintenanceC Social LifeB+
Surrounding CityA+ Extra CurricularsD-
Describes the student body as:

Describes the faculty as:
Arrogant, Condescending, Self Absorbed

Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Individual Value
Highest Rating
Surrounding City
She cares more about Excess Competition than the average student.
Date: Jun 21 2005
Major: Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc (This Major's Salary over time)
I've been here a little under a year and I will admit I am enrolled in one of the school's best departments. I have only taken seven classes and in my experience so far, I haven't had any uninterested, unprepared or discouraging teachers. All of my teachers have been industry professionals and all for motivating us to push ourselves. They've encouraged us not to just settle for the bare minimum amount of work as well as they've showed us how important it is to constantly seek inspiration from other great artists and sources while you are a student. I think I can honestly say that when I worked my butt of for a high grade, I got it, regardless of the teacher or how I started off in the beginning.

This last semester, I had a class that was taught by a teacher who was said to be one of the best, most difficult and unforgiving in the entire school… and she was. I started off with really low grades in the class and was this close to dropping out from fear of not passing. And over the entire course, I despised her attitude and harsh demeanor. Nonetheless, I put all my "sweat and blood" into that class and I did push myself, and I did end up with that A (to my surprise!). I think she measured my endless effort along with my super-improved final result in the class.

Although, I did have one class my first sem. that left me feeling inferior and rejected once it was coming to and end. About 85% of the class got at least one of their projects into the spring show and I was not one of them lol. The thing that bothered me was the teacher's response to me once I was not chosen. It seemed as though immediately following the decision, the teacher came over to me and said nothing and walked away like a total snob! No words of encouragement, no farewell, nothing. Even though I wasn't a star student in the end with all my work in the spring show, I paid for a little more instruction/teacher interaction than that!

In general, it often seemed as though having more money meant having a better chance at succeeding. It seems like it's 50/30—50% your ability to spend on only the best materials, resources, etc. and only 30% your actual talent or potential. I guess it is about being able to strive for the best with presenting your work, but I know I've fallen short of a high grade before because I couldn't afford the absolute best paper or printing.

It absolutely seems like the institution is way more about money and being snobbish with your ability to spend whatever it takes to make it. You DEFINITELY get more attention/respect from the administration and even faculty if you are able to whip out your (or your parents—even better and more popular) checkbook/credit card to buy yourself the best opportunity for being recognized.

I am also sickened by the fact that the president is making SO much money and seems to give SO little back to the school to make our facilities better and our resources better, for EVERYONE, not just the rich. There are no school scholarships, loans or grants provided by the school for the undergrads. Only high school students have a few opportunities—because they want to suck them in! If you don't have rich parents, the administration leaves you out in the dark to figure out how to finance your education and they offer little to no help with offering alternatives or showing you your options. It feels like I have to spend most of my time fighting to be able to afford to stay at the school, with no time left to figure out a good plan for my classes so that I can be out of here in less than SEVEN YEARS ( I can't believe a few students have been there that long!!).

I also can't believe how easy it seems to be able to get into the graduate programs. It doesn't seem fair that as undergraduates here you have to have this amazing work to make it through, but you can come from anywhere with any little cut and paste, lame portfolio and get into the masters program, without having had to break your neck through undergrad studies. I know someone who slacked their way through a state school, barely passing to graduate, and just got into the grad program in my dept. I ask her questions sometimes about technical stuff or her opinion on some issues with design and she is completely clueless… (she says "I don't know" or "I can't remember"), I can't believe that she holds a degree in the subject and that she is now about to start her MASTERS program. So now that she has been "accepted" into the grad school at AAU, she thinks it's because they REALLY loved her portfolio. Sad to say, I've seen her "portfolio" and stuff I produced after first semester looks better lol. It seems like the state schools, or at least the one she went to, give you templates to customize and your "portfolio" ends up being the exact same as the next peron, with some minor adjustments.

So, before I've even been here long, I am able to come a few conclusions. One is that this school is for two types of people: rich and/or FULLY financially supported by parents or fin. aid and those TRULY dedicated students who are willing to work full-time while taking 5+ classes per semester to get done on time. I am neither of those and am seriously considering transfering to another school that I have in mind, before I try to scrape up another $6600 for tuition. I dont want to try so hard to stay here when I will only end up not being able to afford to take some of the upper division classes or the $3,000 (a teacher showed us these expensive portfolios and said they cost 3k to produce!!!) senior portfolio!

I believe it is true that if you have the money and happen to have the talent, you can come out of this school with a spectacular looking portfolio that will stand out from the average. But it should NEVER cost that much money just to show what you've learned and that you have a lot to offer an employer/client. I STRONGLY suggest that you THOROUGHLY research (, google searches, student work, college site profiles, etc.) ANY school before you attend!

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