So you want to follow your passion and pursue the arts? More power to you. But know it will be a long, tough road, and likely when your friends and family ask, “What’s your major?” and you tell them painting, or pottery, or creative writing, or the flute, you’ll get a blank stare and a slow head nod. But don’t let that discourage you! You can receive a top-notch education in the arts at any of these schools:
1. Rhode Island School of Design. Also known as RISD, this fine arts powerhouse was founded in 1877 and has been churning out internationally renowned artists ever since. Located in Providence, Rhode Island, it’s also located near prestigious Brown University, and the two schools have a special partnership. For instance, RISD students share academic resources with Brown students, which only makes a RISD education extra strong.
2. Berklee College of Music. What do pop sensations like John Mayer and Gavin Degraw have in common? They both attended Berklee, located in Boston, MA. The school is also known for jazz, rock, composition, and more. If music is your thing, then take this into account: collectively, alumni of Berklee have gone on to win 229 Grammy awards. While music is a hard field to break into, if you’re set on pursuing it as a lifestyle, then this just might be the school for you.
3. School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recently, Columbia University conducted a survey by polling America’s most influential art critics, deeming the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) the “most influential art school.” Home to countless art galleries and an expansive faculty, SAIC stays on the leading edge of the art world by offering classes in technology, design, performance, and much more.
4. University of California, Los Angeles. A fact to consider: of current alumni at this west coast school, 120 are currently proud members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Not a straight-up art school, the University of California might be a good option for those who don’t want to spread themselves to thin by attending a specialized institution. Respected especially for their fine arts curriculum, the school is also located in, well, Los Angeles, meaning students have access to one of the nation’s most vibrant, active and cultural cities.
5. New York University. If you’re a thespian, then New York University is your place. Home to the famous Tisch School of the Arts, the school’s theatre program is basically unmatched. Whether you’re into musicals, straight shows, or experimental theatre, you’ve got to love an NYU education. Also, when attending NYU, you’re in New York, meaning you can head on over to Broadway any time.
Published every three years, the College Board’s Education Pays report (last published in 2010) is a good reminder of what impact a higher education has on the life of a student. It contains all the same statistics you’ve heard about future earnings and job stability, which is a welcome reassurance that the price of college is still worth it, but the report goes beyond that and addresses the social and health impacts of getting an education. That’s right. Going to college impacts your health and the health of any children you may have. Read the full report or check out the highlights:
- From 1998 to 2008, the percentage of four-year college graduates who smoked declined from 14% to 9%, while the rate for high school graduates declined from 29% to 27%. That means college grads are three times less likely to smoke.
- The report says, “At every age, individuals with higher levels of education are more likely than those with lower levels of education to engage in leisure-time exercise.” The numbers are more compelling: 63% of four-year college graduates said they exercised vigorously at least once a week. Among high school graduates in this age range, it was only 37%.
- College grads are less likely to be overweight as they age. Among 35- to 44-year-olds, 23% of four-year college graduates and 37% of high school graduates were obese in 2008.
- Mothers with only a high school education are 31% more likely than mothers with a bachelor’s degree or higher to give birth to babies weighing less than 5.5 pounds (a low birth weight, which could have medical implications).
The point here? Going to college isn’t just about your ambition, your salary, or your job. Education affects the way you live. So stay healthy and get wise by going to school.