StudentsReview :: California Institute of the Arts - Extra Detail about the Comment
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California Institute of the Arts

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityC- Faculty AccessibilityC
Useful SchoolworkB Excess CompetitionB
Academic SuccessB Creativity/ InnovationB-
Individual ValueF University Resource UseB
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyD+ FriendlinessC-
Campus MaintenanceC- Social LifeB+
Surrounding CityD- Extra CurricularsC+
Describes the student body as:
Arrogant, Broken Spirit, Snooty

Describes the faculty as:

Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Individual Value
Highest Rating
She cares more about Individual Value than the average student.
Date: Sep 06 2007
Major: Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc (This Major's Salary over time)
Anyone who is thinking of applying to CalArts should know that even though this school was once considered a fine institution, nowadays, CalArts' main priority is taking students' money and screwing them over.

Here is the story of how CalArts screwed over two whole classes of students in the Graphic Design program:

At CalArts, there is a policy that all students must work "in residence," meaning that students are REQUIRED to work in the provided studio spaces. For Graphic Designers, that means having your computer and all your expensive art supplies in the studio at all times. Each one of us gets a desk and a large wooden box that locks with our own combination lock.

Since the room gets used over the summer by a high school art program, we are supposed to clean off our desks and put everything away in our wooden boxes and lock them. This is what we have all been told, and what I've been doing since my first year.

This year, without telling us that we aren't allowed to keep things in our lockers this year, the school just decided to cut all our locks and throw all our valuable and irreplaceable art and art supplies IN THE GARBAGE.

When students returned to their lockboxes the following fall, and found them empty, we wanted to know what the hell happened. We talked to the Dean of the school. He did not even PRETEND to care. He said it was our fault for leaving it there. "But," we say, "we have been doing it this way for years, and no one has told us the policy is changing." He said that just because we did it in the past that we can't expect to every year. "But we were told that we could!" Well, he said, you were told wrong.

Oh my God. That is such bullsh*t. If they wanted to "teach us a lesson," they could have fined us $25 or some other reasonable "punishment." But they just tossed our valuables into a dumpster.

Thom Lawson, Dean of the Art School, ROLLED HIS EYES at me when I said it was a slap in the face that they didn't even try to contact us to remove our stuff ourselves.

I lost my large leather-bound zip-up portfolio of everything I've ever worked on, expensive large pads of art paper, all my art supplies. Others lost thousands of dollars in art and design books. IN the GARBAGE!!! Can you believe that? There was a storage room that is assigned to our department that could have easily housed all our stuff, if they did, in fact, REALLY NEED the space. But they really didn't. This was a deliberate act to send the message,

we don't give a f*ck about you students
while at the same time demanding another 32,000 dollars for a new school year.

This is just one incident. I am sure other students can share many stories of being f*cked over by an administration that cares only collecting about our money.

If I had known that this is the kind of disregard they show for students, I would have NEVER chosen to attend CalArts. It is a huge investment that is going to impact the rest of my life, and it just has not been worth it. Please, do not fall into the same trap I did. You don't even want to know how much student loan debt I am in now because of the high tuition and high cost of living in Valencia for four years.

Really look into a school and talk to its students before you jump in. Do not believe the fantasy that the Admissions department sells. They are just like used car salesmen who hide the flaws and make everything sound grand. This is just too big of a decision to mess it up and come to someplace like CalArts.

questionHello, Im sorry that you had such a bad experience there, do you know anything about the film directing program MFA?
commentThis review is very valuable. Thanks. Anybody applying to any college should be skeptical about anything he or she hears from college administrators. Ideally, a potential student will visit the campus and talk to as many current students as possible.
response$180,000 in debt & unemployed. A catastrophic mistake.
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