So you have decided to pursue a degree in art but cannot decide which art college is the best fit for you? That is an easy problem to solve and the good news is there are a lot of great art colleges to choose from. Use this simple list of questions to narrow down your choices. Think about each question long and hard; discuss them with friends, family, teachers, etc. People who know you best can help guide you to the best decision.
Choose the best art college for you by asking yourself these basic questions
1. Why are you going to art school? Do you want a degree in graphic art, fine art, film, fashion? Knowing what your major is before you start school will save you time and money in the long run because not all art schools offer all of these degrees. You have just narrowed down your choices by focusing on a specific art program.
2. Do you want to attend a two year or four year school? When it comes to studying the arts you may only need a two year program. In the book, Imagine, How Creativity Works, by Jonah Lehrer, Lehrer sites a study by Dean Keith Simonton from U.C. Davis in which data reveals, “the ideal amount of college for a creative career is two years of undergraduate work. After that, school seems to actually inhibit the imagination.” So you may not want to rule out a two year art program. Several junior colleges in the L.A. area have excellent art programs. However, if you want a more expanded body of knowledge-and perhaps a second major-you may want to attend a four year university.
3. Are you more comfortable at a large school, or a smaller one? Some students thrive in a large bustling environment; other students prefer a smaller, more intimate setting. Being in a setting that you are comfortable in will make your college experience much richer and you will thrive as an artist and student. This is very important. A successful career in the art world has more to do with your work and personal strengths than anything else.
4. What will art school cost? The costs of a good art program at a junior college, a four year university or a private, for profit art school range from a few thousand a year to 40 thousand plus-a year. Why? The short answer – some art schools are selling a product and some art schools are providing a service. You must decide if you want to spend as little as possible on a good education and save thousands of dollars to buy, art supplies, cameras, computers, software, etc. to start your career. However, you may find the more expensive schools attractive and don’t mind having a large amount of debt when you leave school.
As an artist, your portfolio of work will be the biggest factor in being successful, not what school you went to. So whatever art school you choose, make sure you make the most of it. Work hard at your craft and always look for something new to learn, in or out of class.