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The Savannah College of Art and Design

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Major: Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc (This Major's Salary over time)
You'll definitely read a lot of negative things about SCAD on the internet, but I know that many (if not most) students have a positive experience; you really just need to do your research going in and not have overly inflated expectations.

First, with admissions it is very true that SCAD admits everyone. Talented students get scholarships that are largely subsidized by the untalented students, and given that I benefited from that arrangement I wasn't one to complain.

If you're still in high school, get your SAT/ACT scores as high as you can for scholarships; you can automatically qualify for a partial scholarship (which was about half of your tuition when I transferred, but check with admissions to see if this is still the case) if your scores are high enough.

SCAD is very accepting with transfer credit, or at least was when I came over three years ago; all of my studio and academic classes transferred barring one class, and I was allowed to resubmit my work for that and get the credit. I would STRONGLY advise saving the money by taking all of the academic and foundations courses at an in-state or community college; this also lets you restart your GPA for admissions if you didn't have a stellar one in high school.

All that said, I don't see SCAD being worth the cost of full tuition. The school does not offer professors the job security that other institutions do, so the staff quality varies to a greater degree. This varies depending on the department; I've heard great things about the quality of the painting program, and my personal experience with the graphic design degree was mostly great, but others have told me certain departments (such as game design and sequential art) are spotty; I would advise finding a current student in your desired program and just ask them what they think. If I HAD been planning on spending $30k a year, I probably would have gone to MICA or RISD, which have firmer, more experienced departments. Again, do your research and don't blindly go to any school until you have all the facts.

As for employers specifically disregarding SCAD graduates, I've never run into that. In the southeast I've actually found that SCAD has a very positive reputation, but outside of the region the school is definitely less well known. Depending on your major this may or may not matter as much, but it should definitely be part of the equation when you're looking into schools.

I won't go into the social life as much as others, but just keep in mind that Savannah is a conservative city; there are plenty of cultural events, a decent community theatre scene, and good local music, but bands definitely don't tour here and you can't get into bars (where a large number of concerts are held) unless you're 21.

Crime is an issue, but Savannah isn't a small town and shouldn't be treated like one. I see way too many people strolling around way too late, walking down alleys when they're warned not to, and casually displaying expensive cellphones and ipods on the street. I would second that Barnard Village is a bad place to live; it was built for its proximity to Montgomery Hall and the ID building, but the neighborhood is still prone to crime. If you're living off-campus RESEARCH THE NEIGHBORHOODS! Just take a look at the crime maps the police post to their site; Ardsley Park is generally safer than the Victorian district, and if you're super concerned you can find a reasonably-priced apartment in the islands (though you'll have to put up with a 15-20 minute commute).

So just do your research! SCAD was a great deal for me, but may not be for you; it is entirely dependent on your situation.
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Rhode Island School of Design -- Providence, RI

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