That is the question at hand. I am currently enrolled in Columbia College in Chicago and am unhappy with it being a commuter. I want to transfer to another school for next fall. Problem is I can hardly afford any other design schools so I would be going to a state school. I trust your guys' professional opinion. Should I stick it out at Columbia? Or is a state school with an accredited design program acceptable as well? Would love to hear your thoughts.
  • TXTSWORD

    Don't go to school.
  • Massanisso

    I wish that was an option haha
  • TXTSWORD

    I went to a pricey art school and came out with a nice body of work etc. Graphic design focus. Haven't found a job in my year and a half of searching and I live in Dallas.
  • Massanisso

    Sorry to hear about the job troubles. That's always a bummer to hear, especially when you go to an expensive school.

    I have it in my head that I need to go to an art school and I'm not sure that's the right attitude to take with my education.
  • William Henry

    How many more semesters do you have left? If its only a few, I'd say tough it out. If its more, then probably switch. Going to an art school is not automatically going to make you a better designer. If you don't think its worth the commute, then don't go. As long as you can progress your skills at another school, you should be fine.
  • Massanisso

    I actually only just finished my first semester. I'm a freshman. Forgot to mention that.
  • William Henry

    Is it the school itself you don't like or is it the commute?
  • Massanisso

    The commute is the worst part. We cannot afford housing or apartments down there for the next three years so I would be commuting for all of my college life. The school itself I was not too impressed with. There is no campus, it's just buildings. I was impressed with the classes, but if I'm miserable at a school, especially an art school where you rely heavily on passion, is it worth it?
  • Zeb Love

    I'd say get out while you can. Spend a fraction of the money on figure drawing books/graphic design books/any of that and try to teach yourself. Don't get swallowed up in college debt. Art is art, you don't need a school to teach you how to express yourself.
  • William Henry

    Massanisso said:The commute is the worst part. We cannot afford housing or apartments down there for the next three years so I would be commuting for all of my college life. The school itself I was not too impressed with. There is no campus, it's just buildings. I was impressed with the classes, but if I'm miserable at a school, especially an art school where you rely heavily on passion, is it worth it?

    To me it seems like you've already made your decision, you just want others to justify it. If you're miserable, then leave. Thats going to reflect in your work and will only hinder you. Try a state school with a design program instead and try to learn as much as you can on your own. That said, I wouldn't leave a school just because the campus isn't impressive. The art school in Philly is the same way and everyone I know who went there loved the experience.
  • Killer Napkins

    Any local community colleges with good art programs? That is all that I did, but was lucky to have a good cheap community college with an awesome fine arts program... may be another option.
  • Silver Tongue

    I go to the Fashion Institute of Technology for Packaging Design. They also offer Graphic Design and Advertising Design after 2 years in the prerequisite "Communication Design" major. A lot of people overlook the school because they think it is strictly fashion, but it is an overall great art school. Because FIT is actually part of SUNY (State University of New York), the tuition is actually really affordable for an art school (About half the price of SVA, Pratt, etc). And if you get a cheap apartment out in Brooklyn after a year you can establish residency and pay in state tuition which is dirt cheap. Definitely worth looking into. Also the Packaging Design program there is the only one in the country as of now and has extremely high job placement. They only take 25 Juniors and 25 Seniors a year. Hope that helps.
  • Geoff May

    Look at some other schools and see what their art programs are like. If someone says that you have to go to an art school to get a job or be taken seriously, they're an idiot. What it really boils down to is the level of instruction and your willingness to put the work in. You'll get out of it what you put into it. If you're at a school you're unhappy with, then you work will suffer.

    Also, though you learn the fundamentals in art school, that's just the jumping off point. What you do after school is what matters.
  • Massanisso

    Yeah it's embedded in my head that I need to go to an art school. And Columbia offers the cheapest tuition I've seen in terms of private arts. All I'm looking for is a school with a decent graphic design program (And Illustration because I'm still bouncing back and forth with what major I should pursue) an AIGA chapter present at that school, a good internship program, and is accredited by the NASAD. I have found some state schools around but am just worried that I'm making the wrong decision. Right now I enrolled in community college to figure it all out. If need be, I can reapply to Columbia for the fall.

    Honestly, thank you guys. A lot of great advice here. I hope anyone else in a similar situation is helped by this too.
  • Colemadethis

    instead of going to school i got myself a fucking job .... oh saved like 80 grand
  • Killer Napkins

    Colemadethis said:instead of going to school i got myself a fucking job .... oh saved like 80 grand

    It would have been awesome if you actually had saved up 80 grand in the amount of time it takes to go through college hah.
  • Massanisso

    Believe me, I wish I didn't have to go to school. This is whole thing is just becoming a mess.

    What should I be looking for in a school's design curriculum?

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