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workshopComparing Art Colleges: Where to Start and What to Look For (Part II)

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When Dr. M and I first met Jacob as a junior in high school, we recognized his strong artistic talent in experimental animation. We also realized that he had no idea how to create a best-fit school list or package his impressive work. Not a problem! A year later, when admissions announcements came out, Jacob was accepted to and received scholarship offers from Pratt, SAIC, SVA, SCAD, and Ringling!

How did Jacob’s vague but promising application material transform into a scholarship magnet? As a former admissions counselor at one of the top ranked art colleges in the country, and a current independent art admissions counselor, I’ve worked with hundreds of students in Jacob’s position and seen them succeed.

The process of applying to art college can be especially overwhelming, but we’ve helped students like Jacob who have started from square one find their unique artistic voice and become competitive candidates for the nation’s top art programs. And we can help you, too!

Let us help you in a step-by-step way, starting with finding the right art school. First, how do you know which art programs are qualified?*

In Jacob’s case, we helped him organize his preliminary research into art schools by starting with three key strategies that you can use too:

  1. Checking accreditations
  2. Determining whether the school is non-profit or for-profit
  3. Conducting quantitative data research using Student Consumer Info.

Let me tell you why these three strategies are important, and show you how to get started:

1. Accreditation ensures that a college is held accountable for the quality of its programs.

2. Non-profit colleges must be fully transparent about budget and operations.

3. Student Consumer Info. gives you a side-by-side look at comparing quantitative data from each college.

*This process involves more than just program rankings. Maybe you’ve seen U.S. News & World Report’s list of best fine arts programs. But keep in mind this applies only to graduate schools, and shouldn’t be your only means of comparison.

Ready to start exploring art colleges? Contact Blue Stars to learn about advising and mentoring services for art students!

About the Author: Amy Morgenstern

Dr. Amy Morgenstern, affectionately known as Dr. M, is the founder and CEO of Blue Stars Admissions Consulting. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and an MFA in contemporary art. A former professor of philosophy, honors program associate director, and assistant to the director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Dr. M brings a wealth of academic and multicultural experience to her practice.

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