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January 16, 2013
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Pratt Institute: Any Advice?

:iconjessekatelyn:
JesseKatelyn Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student General Artist
Hey hi hello!

I'm going to be graduating from high school this year, and I've been looking into a bunch of different art schools that offer animation, and Pratt Institute is my top choice. I've wanted to move up north for some time, and living in Brooklyn will mean I have some family nearby (my older cousin). I know that Pratt is costly, and that's the only reason why I'm so... hesitant? nervous? worried?

If you've gone to Pratt, or know someone who has, could you answer a few questions I have? I'd greatly appreciate it.

What is the curriculum like?
How has life been outside of Pratt? Y'know, after you'd graduated. Was getting a job "easy"?
Is it worth the cost?
How badly are student loan debts affecting you?
If you don't have any debt, how did you avoid it?
Is it easy to make friends at Pratt? I know that, in the art/design world, it's best to make friends fast and keep them.
How are the professors?
What is/was life like while attending Pratt?
What is some of the best advice you can give to someone wishing to attend Pratt?


Thanks, guys!
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:iconimperf3ction:
Imperf3ction Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I been to Pratt it's a nice campus but I feel SVA (where I got accepted and going) would be more up your alley with animation. I feel Pratt strong focus is in it's arch/design aspect...plus...Pratt's Campus is the only nice thing....outside of it, it's meh..and not exactly a safe area. Look up SVA , it's in the city but it's more ideal in my opinion. Knew a few students who had one on one sit in's with people from Pixar.
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:iconmew-sumomo:
Mew-Sumomo Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student General Artist
Oh hey, I'm a junior ComD-Illustration major at Pratt. :D

What's the curriculum like?
That depends entirely on your major. My major is called Communications Design, which encompasses illustration, graphic design, and advertising. Basically every program except for writing, architecture and fashion will be taking standard foundation courses, which will include drawing, LCD (light/color design, basically color theory), 3D design, and 4D design (time-based digital media such as music and videos). For all majors, you will also be taking art history up until your junior year. English 101/102 is a standard, as well as 2 semesters of world civilizations, and liberal arts/social sciences/math and science requirements. The non-art or program-specific courses are pretty easy compared to other schools; I recently took an evolution course which was sort of dumbed down but I learned quite a bit and it didn't impede on any of my other core classes in terms of the workload.

Is it worth the cost/How are student debts affecting you?
I figure I might as well combine these. My case is a bit interesting, and, admittedly, I'll rack up about $30k in loans by the time I'm out. There are people who have quite a bit more debt and I have a good amount of federal grants and miscellaneous need- and merit-based scholarships from inside and outside Pratt. I'm also an RA, so that cuts a good $8-9k off my bill as well. I was concerned with the price of attending art school, but at the end of the day I think that the experience is worth it. I wouldn't trade my program for the world right now. The thing is, it'll be worth it if you're totally sure of yourself. Lots of people are proponents of taking art courses at a cheaper state school, but Pratt is definitely a school for people who are dead set on a career in the arts. There are also some wonderful facilities to take advantage of, such as the computer and printing labs. I do know people without debt and I honestly haven't sat down and asked them since I'm a little nervous to, but I can ask if you want. Pratt also does have its downsides, such as less than exceptional administrative offices, the financial aid office being a huge bitch, some buildings/rooms being more run down than others... but I've been able to deal.

Is it easy to make friends at Pratt?
Yes, definitely! Orientation during the first week and socials conducted by building RAs plus the amount of clubs for students to join make it pretty easy. I'm a bit of an introvert so making friends is less easy for me personally, but another plus about Pratt is that it IS located in NYC, so there are plenty of opportunities to branch out beyond Pratt and meet people from all over. My core group of friends are actually scattered throughout Brooklyn and Queens, but I've met more people than I thought I would here. Foundation year is also a common ground for most Pratt freshmen, so there are a ton of people to relate to right off the bat. The student body is quite diverse and there are lots of different people to meet. I've met some extremely talented people here that I would love to connect with post-grad.

How are the professors?
Ratemyprofessors.com is going to be your friend. It really depends, since a professor can make or break a class. I've had some that are okay, but plenty that are really great. For the most part, the art and design professors have years of experience under their belt so they're extremely knowledgeable. Most of them are also easily accessible and are always willing to help as long as you're willing to ask for it. Your foundation professors get chosen for you in the first semester unless you decide to switch out (not recommended unless you have a legitimate schedule conflict) and there are definitely quite a few snobby attitudes amongst them, but I haven't had any huge issues personally with them... save for an overly eccentric 3D design professor.

What is life like while attending Pratt?
Like any school, your experience is what you make of it. You won't be babied here, so if you have good work and study habits and motivation, you'll have a great time. It also depends on your major. Campus life is relatively chill; plenty of people dorm and use the facilities on a regular basis. There's a gym, 3 places to get food on campus (Steuben cafe which is sort of walk-through, the cafeteria which sadly closes at 5, and the PI shop/"Gallery Cafe" which is open until 11 and recently started selling crepes but mostly has pizza, smoothies, ice cream, pasta, ___ carbs), 2 main computer labs, and plenty of department-specific facilities available. Student Involvement throws events on a regular basis, from mind-reading to silent discos, Holi, Pratt Night Out at DUMBO and Fall/Spring Fests. Dorm life... it depends on the dorm. I lived in Cannonneer Court so we were all in very close quarters, shared bathrooms and everything... and now I'm working there again as an RA. =P We also have plenty of rich kids, but again, the student body is diverse so it isn't ALL rich kids. Also, there are plenty of cats (Pratt Cats, all have different names/locations on campus) and when the weather is nice you DO see people using the grass and everything just like the brochures show you.

What is some of the best advice you can give to someone wishing to attend Pratt?
Nobody died in the old pool, don't ask.
Don't be afraid to make your voice heard by the higher ups. A huge issue here is that the administration fails to address student concerns, but since I've been here there's been quite a bit of progress made on that (keep in mind that the Occupy movement happened while I was still here).
The financial aid/bursar runaround is the worst, expect it.
Pratt is what you make of it.


Sorry that was a lot. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask, or PM me if you'd like. :nod:
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:iconmew-sumomo:
Mew-Sumomo Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student General Artist
Oh oops, just realized that your major is animation. Do you know if you will be doing traditional or digital? Digital animation students have the luxury of Myrtle Hall's new labs and facilities, which I hear are open 24/7. Sounds like a sweet deal.
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:iconravynnenevyrmore:
RavynneNevyrmore Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Why Pratt over any of the other art schools in NYC?
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:iconjessekatelyn:
JesseKatelyn Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student General Artist
My cousin lives in Brooklyn (about 3 miles from the Pratt campus, so she says) and I like the fact that it's an enclosed campus.
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:iconravynnenevyrmore:
RavynneNevyrmore Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Ah, okay. Well I don't know anything about Pratt but if you consider SVA I could answer some questions about that. I'm a graphic design junior at SVA. We definitely don't have an "enclosed" campus but I love it here, and couldn't imagine being so far removed from the city myself.
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