Applying to an Art College/Program
Hi! I know that sometimes applying to (or even thinking about) art school may seem daunting- sometimes it’s not as clear-cut as a regular university, but hopefully what I’ve picked up throughout the process can help you all out a bit!
The first thing I think is important to understand is the difference between an art college and a regular college/university. At a regular university, the ratio of studio-time to liberal-arts classes is about 4:6, whereas art schools emphasize studio immersion and the art-to-academic ratio is around: 7:3. If you want a fine arts degree and crave studio immersion, than I’d say art school is definitely for you!
The next step: when choosing an art school, I’ve come to realize that it’s important to do a lot of research, and be sure to know what you're looking for- avoiding basing a decision solely off of prestige or some other arbitrary factor. Personally, I plan to major in painting, and I've found that certain schools which are great overall may be lacking in certain departments, which should be considered.
Also, art schools are special in that in a lot of the application they admissions officers are assessing your artistic qualities and fearlessness. That idea is a really motivating factor that should encourage you to take artistic risks and explore a bit. Home tests and essays should be problem-solving opportunities that you should embrace, rather than dread. Be sure not to go too far, but don't limit yourself to the mundane, because you're applying to be both a student and an artist at said institution- plus if you’re having fun in your home test or essay, I think that’ll show through.
Another facet of applying to art schools (and other universities in general) that has been instilled in me: grades do matter. Plus, if your grades are good enough, you can rake in some academic scholarship money, which is always nice.
If you take away any succinct advice, it’d probably be organized, be yourself, and be confident. It sounds like a mystery but trust me, it’s not nearly as hard as it sounds. Have fun, and I wish you all the best of luck in all your pursuits! J