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.
Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, has put together this nifty infographic for students who are wondering whether or not they qualify for federal student aid. The good news? Most students qualify. Check it out.
The cost of tuition is like an endless elevator that’s always going up. That’s why it pays to save on all your other college costs. Here’s how:
1. Compare student loans. Before you even step foot on campus, get the biggest bang for your buck by obtaining a loan that has affordable interest rates and favorable repayment options. But finding that perfect loan doesn’t have to be hard—just use our free and easy Student Loan Comparison Tool.
2. If you have a meal plan, use it. If you’re paying for a comprehensive meal plan, skip the off-campus restaurants. While delicious, neither fast food nor restaurant faire treats your wallet kindly.
3. Consider living off-campus. Fees pertaining to room and board are costly. If you want to save big, research off-campus housing or apartments opportunities nearby. Then ask around to find some roommates so you can split the rent and you’re on your way to saving hundreds.
4. Don’t drive a car. To avoid the temptation of spending cash on gas and parking tickets, leave your car at home. If you need to get around, use public transportation, school shuttles, or your feet.
5. Find a job on campus. Most college campuses have facilities such as post offices, snack bars, libraries, dining halls, art galleries, and department and administrative offices. Often, student employees compose a large part of the campus workforce. The best part? Getting work means getting paid.
6. Stick to your budget. There’s nothing wrong with going off-campus to enjoy a movie or a night out, but remember that moderation is key. Keep track of your spending money and self-enforce a monthly limit.
7. Use the library. The school library houses tons of free resources: books, movies, music, online databases, internet, study space, etc. Why buy a book, rent a movie, or pay for your own internet connection (or expensive cell phone data plan) when it’s available for free?
8. Brew your own coffee. Buying even one cup of coffee per day at Starbucks or even at a café on campus packs a financial punch that’s hard to recover from. You could easily be spending $100 a month without even knowing it. To save, invest in a coffee pot and brew your own.
9. Use student discounts. If you need to spend money on getting a haircut, or if you want to visit an off-campus resource (e.g. a museum), then show your student I.D. You might just score a discount.
10. Plan your week. Small expenses add up, so plan accordingly. For example, wait until you have a full load of dirty laundry before you feed the washing machine your quarters. Remember: every penny counts.
With graduation around the corner—isn’t that horrifying?—something called “the real world” is waiting. That’s right, college seniors, I’m looking at you. Have you applied to graduate school? Have you applied for jobs? Both? If so, then odds are you have no idea how to pick between them. And that’s okay. A little mystery in life is never a bad thing, but to help relieve your stress and potential stomach ulcers when faced with the decision of continuing your education or getting a job, consider the following:
1. What are the short-term and long-term benefits of each choice? If you think entering the workforce is your best bet, then by all means: go for it. On the other hand, if you think that in the long term you’ll be better off if you have a graduate degree, then, well, by all means: go for it. It’s a judgment call that only you can make. The important question you need to answer, though, is whether you want to stay in school for a reason or just because. If an advanced degree in your field leads to an increased income over your life, for example, it may well be worth it.
2. Can you manage more debt or do you need income? Practically speaking, you need to consider your wallet. You don’t want to be living in your parents’ basement for the rest of your life, do you? If you need to take on more loans in order to attend graduate school, then you might want to think twice about enrolling. It’s also important to remember, should graduate school prove to be the route you take, that many schools offer fellowships, tuition waivers, and stipends to graduate students. That’s why it’s important to apply to schools with adequate funding.
3. More schooling or work? Before deciding on which path to take, ask yourself some honest questions. Did you apply to grad school because you felt like you had to? Similarly, did you apply for a job for the same reason? Think of it this way: if you think grad school is for you, it might be, but only if you truly love school and have a reason for being there. Really, graduate work is an extension of college, except more focused and more advanced. If school is not for you, then grad school definitely isn’t either.
4. Both are possible. If you’re an impatient type, and if you want to have the best of both worlds, then make it happen. For instance, you can work a job and also attend a graduate school part-time, or else attend a school that has classes only at night so you can work during the day. True: your schedule will be packed, and sleep will be hard to find, but no one said the real world was easy, right?
Getting the interview is only half the battle. Making a good first impression is the other. In light of that, here are a few tips on how to impress your interviewer–whether you’re trying to score a scholarship, internship, or a full-time job.