Choosing where you continue your education after high school can be tricky, but you have to remember that the choice is yours, and yours alone. As is the case with all schools, you must take several factors into consideration before you embark on your higher-education journey.
Determine which accredited animation school is best by taking location, cost, faculty and setting into account.
If you wish to stay closer to home, find the best animation or graphics school you can within a two-hour radius. By being willing to commute to class, you will save money on room and board, as you won’t have to pay for a campus dorm room. If cost is no concern, nor is location, find the top graphics programs in the country and find out what you will need to do to attend. You might be required to prove your animation skills through a portfolio you’ve already created, or you might just have to earn a certain score on the ACT or SAT.
Whatever the case may be, if it is your dream to get into an accredited animation program, research each school’s requirements before your apply. You don’t want to risk being shot down merely because you should have taken a different class in high school, or taken a differen admissions test.
School, however, is about more than what graphic design techniques you learn in the classroom. Make sure the animation schools on your short list have enough to offer in the way of programs, sports and campus entertainment to make your animation school experience well-rounded. The location of the school will help you best determine what you will expect on and around campus.
If the animation school is in an urban setting, you are more likely to have more to keep you busy than if the school is located in a rural setting. However, if you’re looking for a quieter campus with a tight-knit community, a small art school hours from any city might be the right school for you.
Research possible grants and scholarships that will help you pay for the animation courses. Chat with admissions faculty and ask to be put in contact with alumni who successfully completed their graphics degree and talk with them about the best ways to break into animation. Alumni may even be able to help you land an internship or entry-level job at a video game developer’s company or an animated movie studio.
Top animation schools are also likely to have accreditation for their other art programs, such as photography, time arts, interior design and visual communications. Taking extra classes in other arts will make you more desirable to future employers, as they will be be able to see that you are open to new ventures, and you have training and experience in more than one core subject.
Whatever accredited animation school you choose to attend, you are sure to get a quality education, but school is what you make of it. Take advantage of the opportunities presented to you, you will go far in the graphic animation field.