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College Comparison

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College Comparison

Going off to school next fall; The top choices right now are between Ringling SAD and University of Central Florida. I've heard excellent things about both programs, and I realize that it's me and my talent that make the difference wherever I go. But all things being equal, post-graduate employment rates are a little higher at Ringling, more frequent recruiting, reputation, etc. seem to be on their side.

Anyone from either school (staff OR student) care to make a case? I'm fairly confident about my chances for acceptance either way (But since I send out apps next week that actually translates into I'm freaking out) but when I'm going away to school it's the difference between 20 grand and almost 90. (I base this off of my 48 credits being transferred and how many classes I'd still have to take according to school estimates).

Obviously like anyone else I want to make as "right" a decision as possible (not morally haha I mean in terms of 'what works') and right now have an opportunity like I never will again to make a strong choice about where I want to go in my life as it applies to my career in the industry, and both of those schools are at worst very decent paths to such a goal. All help is appreciated.

All you say is true.

But the questions you need to ask yourself (and not us) are:

which schools students are producing what you want to do?
what school puts you where you want to be in four years?

Good luck,


Department of Computer Animation
Ringling College of Art and Design
Sarasota Florida

If I'm being honest, I've heard almost nothing but great things about UCF, and though my passion is with traditional animation, I know more than almost anything else in my life that all of animation -- including computer curriculums at most schools in preparation for the job market -- is something that I will not only excel at, but completely wrap myself around and use to provide
-back- to the community with. That sounds horrendously cheesy and trite, yes, but as idealistic as I can be I am quite serious. Getting back on topic I only see myself maximized, and I only see myself fully challenged by Ringling.

It's difficult for people to understand me because lately an ocean of interest (relative to the past) has sprung up around the industry, including many who tinker with software and declare themselves animators (which I know is a cliche, but it's still a reality), and of the one major-related school of the two I've been to so far, the "market" of students was -saturated- with those types of kids. There are also people who are "in awe and appreciation" of the art, but it's interest-only and not much of a drive.
There is nothing wrong with all those people. But I am a bleeding-heart. I have the blessing of knowing what I want to do with my life, and I have since I can remember such desires. I always will be. However, there's not much I can say about it because then one gets cast aside with every new kid (or non-trad) trying things out, or with the people who have oodles of money seeking to bathe in the reputation. And we both know where they end up.

Yes, the reputation is nice, but it's -me- employers are concerned about. There is too much overt opportunity and catalogs full of talent I see coming out of Ringling. I see people online for example, that cry during their sleep from the amount of work -- but I want that, because I know that all the work they're doing is interesting and worthwhile. I choose to be challenged in that manner. Ringling to me is the segue toward a personal happiness of career.

I suppose then that my actual question is, "How can I emotionally prepare myself for the potential reality of the second-choice school?" Most of my portfolio is colorless illustration, and while I know I'm intelligent and that I'd be good for the school and it for me, in my mind right now I'm a nervous wreck because I'm a niche talent. Don't get me wrong, the more I work with other media the better I get, but the admissions director says the time to send is now so it's down to what I've got at the moment. I have a gift with what I choose to do, it's simply that having renders and sketches in the high majority in my ouvre doesn't scream "Accept me because I'm well-rounded" =)

We shall see. Thanks for the well wishes.

Vincent Florio

As an off-topic P.S., I am writing from a library because the power is out at home courtesy of Hurricane Jeanne. I am north of Melbourne in a town called Viera (10 miles north of landfall), and from what I've heard the storm really beat up the center of the state as well. I'm not sure what it's like in Sarasota, but my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours for safe recovery if you need it.



I know this is a stressful, but immensely exciting time for you. Please don't fret if you get accepted to your 'second choice' as opposed to Ringling, especially in regards to your belief it may not be challenging enough for you. You have the whole history of animation to gleen an opponent from, or for that matter, the whole history of visual arts.

You're the one who will make the curriculum work for YOU, not the other way around.

And you're completely right, you're very lucky to have discovered what you want to pursue for your life's work, all you need do right now, is go forward.

Good Luck!


I hope it didn't sound like I was dismayed with a second choice on such a level. They're both great schools. Especially since there is so much of a talent pool. Are you kidding? If I managed to get into UCF, I'd dance so hard they'd have to invent a new category. The curiousities are not in whether there -is- a challenge, but what -degree-.

This thread started because the schools are too similar, that's the problem. If it's going to be tens of thousands of dollars difference, I'd want to know what the deciding factors might be that could have me breaking the bank if, heavens willing, -both- schools gave me the thumbs up. How do you make a decision like that? I am trying to figure that one out. The ultimate decision is of course with me, but it never hurts to get outside opinions, especially when there are educator's here.

I completely agree though, like I said to Dan S. a while back, one of the beauties of animation is there is no 'perfect.' There are objective guidelines for effort, but beyond that it's so subjective and style-oriented that it is a truly unlimited art form.

Thanks for all your help guys.