Getting into film school and determining which programs are the best is not easy. While some may be famous for having great film departments, this does not ensure that everyone will do well in the program. Higher education programs are dependent on the student. A student that is passionate about film, wants to learn more and will take every opportunity available will do well at any school. Those that may require more one on one interaction may be more successful at a school with a small film department.
When investigating a film department it is important to look beyond the programs reputation or the school’s name. Check out the faculty that will be teaching the courses and the type of top film courses available. Are there concentrations or different majors within the school? Some students may already know the type of filming they want to pursue and will want a school that offers courses in that topic, while others have yet to narrow down their focus.
Look into the type of equipment and facilities available. Is there plenty of equipment so a student can use editing or filming equipment at any time or are there so many students that it is difficult to get time to use equipment and rooms? Does the school offer equipment and courses in both types of film: those using film and then digital technology? Creating lists of the positives and negatives to each program and comparing this to a list of what the student wants is one way to narrow down which programs will be best for each individual.
Getting into film school is only half the battle. Paying tuitions and fees to attend is another key factor. Besides tuition there are living, transportation and other costs to think about. Living costs in a large city will be much more expensive than in a smaller town. What types of transportation costs are associated? The student may want to fly home each year or need a car if public transportation is not available.
Many times funding and scholarships are available that can ease the financial burden. Besides getting into film school, students want to apply for as much financial aid as possible. There are government programs available, aid from the school itself and private organizations that offer scholarships specifically for film and photography programs. Top film programs typically are well funded and have more financial aid available than very small schools.
Besides the actual film program, students should not dismiss the social aspect of college. Looking at the college as a whole is important. Extracurricular activities, sports and other programs are a great way to meet a wide range of students and gain perspective on life.
Getting into film school may take quite a bit of work. Research at the beginning will go a very long way once in college. Students that have found a film program that fits their needs and desires will not have to worry about wasting time and money. They are able to dive head first into school and will get the education that they want.