In an attempt to assist our students and their families in college options and careers in the arts, we are including the link to "The Art Career Project." This website does a great job in breaking down the various careers in the arts; top schools by career interest and scholarship opportunities.
Please feel free to contact any of us here in the OPRF Visual Arts department to help assist you and your student in this journey.
When were most of your applications due?
Early Action applications range around November/Early December. Early Action is mostly important to schools that you really care about, it shows you were ready earlier than most and that you care. Some schools even give more money to those who apply earlier, but this is not always true. But I remember Pratt not caring that much about the early action deadline, for some schools just do it so you can find out earlier and that's the only reason for early action.
Handy Tips about the following:
Prepping a portfolio
You need to study the website for what the school wants. If they have specifications for what is required, you better fulfill them. Some require life drawings, which should be drawings from LIFE not photos. But make sure this work is not completely unrecognizable from your artistic style, they still want to see the 'you' within more academic styled drawings.
Come with the idea of a portfolio that you'd be willing to submit to a school, but don't be afraid to bring pieces you are on the cusp about. The point of portfolio day is to gauge what the school wants, so they could tell you to leave in and take out a piece you didn't expect. ASK QUESTIONS!!!! Ask what they'd like to see, if they have requirements for their portfolio, and don't be afraid to write down what they say.
Go with another person so you both can stand in lines. You can see more schools this way.
DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING. I was insane about double checking, for having a dumb typo in one of your essays is just a gross feeling.
Something you wish you knew before starting the whole portfolio/college app process
Realize the cost of the schools and your budget. That does not mean don't apply to schools you can't afford, because you never know what money they are going to give you. MICA really surprised me with how much they liked me, and I even initially wasn't going to apply. Even though I got accepted into my dream school, I couldn't afford it and that is something I didn't really think about in the whirl winds of applying places. Do not let it crush you because you can flourish in other places. I knew I wanted a city school that was career focused and had a diverse community of backgrounds, majors, and interests. Columbia also fit what I wanted out of a school and so far I am loving my decision.
Be prepared for rejections, and they aren't a bad thing. At least you applied and that is better than nothing. Also Be authentically you in your art and your essays, if you try to be something you are not it may come off strange. Don't sell yourself short either, it may feel weird talking highly about yourself, but don't hesitate to list your achievements.
Did you have anyone at IHSAE review your portfolio
IHSAE has a lot of schools (mostly midwest) that come, and the representatives there will review your work. They are very helpful, and you can just show your work on a phone/ipad if you don't have your physical work with you. I actually recommend a computer/ipad so you don't lug around your whole portfolio at IHSAE. But it's a FREE opportunity to talk with admission counselors of different schools all in one spot, so bring your portfolio.
What was your feeling about Open House Days at the colleges you visited?
Open house days are really helpful if you want to see the student body/environment of the school. This is something you can't see on a school's website. Facilities are also really good to see, because that is where you will be working. Don't feel the need to splurge and visit every school though, just ones you are really serious about/been accepted too. It helps you to see if you would want to be here for four years, and that your work could flourish here. Also some out of state schools will schedule “Come Meet Us” at local hotels in Chicago and you can find this information on the school’s website.
GO TO PORTFOLIO DAY AT SAIC OR ANYWHERE. IT IS SO GOOD AND SO HELPFUL. YOU FIND OUT ABOUT SCHOOLS YOU MAY NOT HAVE APPLIED TO BEFORE, OR REALIZE ONE YOU WERE GOING TO APPLY TO ISN'T YOUR STYLE.
Also they give you helpful ideas, not everything is groundbreaking, and if they tell you to take something out of your portfolio they aren't roasting you they are just being honest and being helpful. You are going there to gather information. GO WITH QUESTIONS. I GOT TO MEET WITH PARSONS AND THAT'S COOL BECAUSE WE DIDN'T HAVE THE EXTRA CASH TO MEET THEM IN New York.
ALSO, some schools you can schedule meetings with, like Pratt I met with the week of Portfolio Day at SAIC. These are usually popular schools that will have a line at Portfolio Day that offer these opportunities. Look around for sign ups, if you don't see any, ASK. Once again these are meetings you have to schedule that are separate from Portfolio Day, but it's more intimate and cuts out the risk of you not being able to see them due to a crowd on portfolio day.
Help! My Child Wants to Go to Art School! 5 ways to prepare your child for art school & beyond. (from College for Creative Studies)