how do i do this money thing?
hi, i'm a junior that goes to a pretty broke high school. i come from a poor background, and it's a dream of mine to go to an art school so i can build a career off of it. i live with my single mother and my five year old brother, and both of us were probably accidents. so, you can imagine the situation i'm in. my mom's side of the family seems well off, but it doesn't seem like they care enough to help me pay off my school loans, help me live out-of-state, etc. and it's the same way for my dad's side of the family.
i'm female, mixed, and i believe i'm talented enough to attend SCAD, and i also believe i'm smart enough. though, the ACT says other wise. i am seriously messed up by seeing it's around $49,000/year to go SCAD. and according to this site, there's a 40% chance i'll be accepted.
how am i supposed paid for all of this money with out ruining my credit score in the future? i'm horrified of just trying to go to a private school out of state with no way to pay for it. i'm scared. i don't know what scholarships i can apply to. i know there's apparently scholarships for everything, but i don't believe i have a strong enough of a vocabulary to write an essay and get a scholarship.
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Hey—I'm going to try and answer this as best I can, and I want to preface it by saying that there is no easy or simple answer. It does sound like you would be able to receive a pretty significant amount of need-based financial aid from a lot of schools (this depends more or less on your parental income—any money that your grandparents or other relatives have does not matter—and if your parents are separated or divorced you should be able to apply based only on your custodial parent's income).
But a harsh reality is that dedicated art schools (not fine arts programs at broader schools, but dedicated art schools like SCAD), just on the whole, typically do not give very good financial aid. You should absolutely look into Pell Grants, as well as scholarships that might be specifically available for people of your background (gender, race, combination of both, etc.) since you mentioned that. And there are a lot of schools with fine arts programs that will actually give good financial aid for people with your kind of financial situation. But places like SCAD, MICA, etc. are generally just really stingy with financial aid.
On the flip-side, schools that give good aid will typically be strong all-around universities with really good arts programs or schools—some examples are RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), Virginia Commonwealth University, Tufts, Carnegie Mellon, USC... these schools are not *easy* to get into, but if you're talented enough to attend SCAD and smart enough to get in (and I absolutely believe you), you should have a shot at their art programs as well. And even though their cost might look very expensive on the outside, these schools typically give a lot more need-based aid than places like SCAD. Carnegie Mellon, Tufts, and USC actually will all guarantee to meet a student's full financial need—which means they'll offer you an aid package of scholarships, work-study, and federal loans that cover your cost of attendance up to whatever they've calculated that you can afford—just for getting in. If you want to go to an out-of-state, private school without taking on a serious and potentially crippling amount of debt, that will be more or less your only way forward—getting that money from the school itself. Otherwise, outside scholarships are never going to add up to enough to cover the $50-70k/yr cost of a private college.
And even when applying to a super-competitive school like Tufts, if you apply for art, your portfolio is going to be a LOT more important than your SAT or ACT scores, so CollegeVine's chancing may give you a lower number than what it would look like in reality. You'd still need to hit a baseline score that's pretty strong, but you wouldn't need a 1500 or 34 or anything like that to stand a chance.
With that in mind, while SCAD is a great school, it's not the only way to make your dream of turning art into a career come true. (And, frankly, taking out a ton of debt to get an art degree is going to hurt your chances of pursuing a career in art more so than that actual art degree will help it). Considering what you've said, I'd try to look at a broader range of schools that might offer BFAs (but aren't fully dedicated arts schools), and especially ones that say anything like "meet 100% of financial need" or "meet a family's full financial need" on their financial aid websites.
Hope that helps!
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