If you’re artistically inclined and are thinking about applying for visual effects schools in your area, there are some important things to keep in mind. You may already realize that there are many visual effects schools available, but choosing the best one for you can be a challenge. It is difficult to describe exactly which visual effects schools are the best, but if you know what to look for you will save yourself a lot of wasted time. Some of the topics to keep in mind are school specifics like location, cost, financial aid packages and extracurricular.
Since you will be spending a majority of your time interacting with your prospective school’s faculty, you want to make sure that these are quality people. Have any of the instructors produced any successful visual effects or other artistic works on their own? Do they have real-world knowledge and experience to offer you as a student? It helps to ask about these things when looking through the faculty list, as you will want to get the most from your education.
Also, what is the school’s location like? Is it a long commute for you, or are there any satellite campuses closer to your home? If the school’s location is difficult to get to, you may find yourself with future commute issues. For those with limited transportation options, you can also look at available long distance correspondence options to start out with. Some schools even offer online courses that you can take in the comfort of your own home. Online courses can be very convenient if you are good with managing your time. They are every bit as challenging as the on-campus courses but will help tremendously with transportation issues.
Along with location, you also want to take a look at the costs associated with the prospective school. The availability of financing options is important if you will need assistance with tuition and books. Most schools have federal financial aid options and scholarships or working internships that can help students with financing their education. Look into any school-specific scholarship options that are available through the student financing office. Sometimes you have to ask for specific financing options as they will not always be listed on the school’s website or promotional materials.
For those who are looking at getting a more well-rounded education, it will be critical to inquire about any other extracurricular or non-academic activities. Does the school have any student groups or sports activities available? How active are these groups, and are they enough to meet your extracurricular needs? Some students find that non-academic activities help them keep a balanced student life. You may also be able to list these activities on your future resume to demonstrate that you were able to obtain other skills outside of the classroom.
A good Art school will have a solid visual effects program as part of their curriculum offerings. Some schools focus mainly on being the best photography schools or the best fashion schools. However, the traditional program offerings will normally include programs in photography, fine arts and graphic design. Again, keep in mind that artistically active faculty members can usually provide great insights into the real world of visual effects work. Post-graduation job placement might be something that interests you, so get the details on what your prospective school offers. Some schools do not offer much by way of job placement so always do your due diligence.
In summary, the main point to keep at the forefront of your mind is: always ask for details! Although identifying the best visual effects schools can be difficult at first, there are always ways to make sure that you are going to get what you need out of your time there. Get all your facts about the faculty, the location and the financial aid options that are available, and you will be able to make a more informed decision about the best visual effects school for you.