Art School: 6 Reasons the Price is Worth It

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Take a look at these big, scary numbers:
· $30,510
· $14,100
· $38,340
No, these are not the prices of new cars or showcases on The Price is Right. These are the respective 2013-2014 admissions costs for Savannah College of Art and Design, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For this tuition, you get 30 hours of education. Add in room and board, supplies and at least one fun night a semester, your costs can easily push $180,000 for an entire Bachelor’s degree.
artistic graffiti
So, are the benefits of an art degree worth the enormous cost of attending one of these institutions? Following are eight reasons that it is:
1. Arts-Focused General Education
Art colleges, while fun, are not all paint and games. For all accredited B.F.A. degrees, there are still English and social studies requirements. Some schools have math and science requirements, as well. As a benefit, in specialized schools, these basic courses are often taught through the lens of art. For example, a political science course might look more heavily at political symbolism and representations of politicians in art than it does the core political structure.
2. Resources
Imagine this: you want to be a sculptor. You’ve sketched numerous designs. You’ve narrowed down these designs into something you want to create. Now what? Do you know where to get specialty wood for your project? How about how to obtain a sawzall without paying store prices? Do you know your closest sculpture center? No? These are all things that quality education can make available to you.
3. Camaraderie
Art movements are created by two or more artists comparing ideas and learning from each other. In order for a movement to exist, they not only have to be in contact with each other, but trust each other. This foundational trust and camaraderie is supported in the campus environment. (Just make sure that you don’t try to create a movement with the slackers.)
4. Exposure
Do you know the names of ten local artists? Even better, do you know the galleries they last showed in? Could you identify their work in an artistic line-up? With graduate education, you will familiarize yourself not only with artistic giants but your region’s local masters and up-and-comers. You will meet them in person, have opportunities to discuss their work and be inspired by them.
5. Foundations Classes
Foundations classes are invaluable to novice artists. Most art schools stand by the belief that it IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for a sculpture student to take classes in graphic design, for an illustrator to take sculpture courses, and for painters to learn illustration. And they are right to think this. Learning different tools from different disciplines teaches them new methods of producing their creativity. At the very least, it gives the the ability to “think outside the box.” For some budding students, foundations courses help guide them to choosing a major.
6. You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
If you want to be an artist, the number one reason for choosing a degree at an arts college is this: you don’t know what you don’t know. Your education will open your eyes to a world of art that you haven’t known previously.
Paul Stephen is from the highly respected Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University. A Bachelor of Education degree, or advanced degree, provides the foundation and training that can lead you to many different careers.

Academy of Art University79 New Montgomery, San Francisco, California 941054-year, Private for-profit
New Hampshire Institute of Art148 Concord St, Manchester, New Hampshire 03104-48584-year, Private not-for-profit
Savannah College of Art and Design342 Bull St, Savannah, Georgia 31402-31464-year, Private not-for-profit
Pacific Northwest College of Art1241 NW Johnson, Portland, Oregon 97209-30234-year, Private not-for-profit

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