How Much Does Costume Design School Cost?

Designing costumes for theatrical and movie productions is without a doubt the best career for the artistically inclined individual who loves these kinds of presentations. If this describes you then you’re probably thinking of pursuing this profession with iron-clad determination until you finally get to be part of a major Broadway or even Hollywood production. To do that, you will need to go to costume design school.

Just like anyone wishing to obtain a college degree, you are most likely concerned about how much it would cost you to get a bachelor’s degree in costume design. This is a legitimate concern inasmuch as a career as a costume designer isn’t especially lucrative while you are still a beginner and still establishing your name in the industry. If you understand the challenges that this career path brings and are still willing to pursue it then the expenses associated with going to design school should be one of the things that you should prepare for.

How much you spend for tuition will depend to a large extent on whether you will go to a public school or a private school. If you want to save a lot on tuition, try to look for a public costume design school in your state of residence so that you can avail of in-state student discounts. For example, the cost of tuition and other fees for in-state students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts taking up an undergraduate degree program in costume design is $8,363 annually. For out-of-state students, it is $23,847.

Many schools offering a bachelor’s degree program in costume design are private schools that charge the same tuition for all students regardless of residency status. At the California Institute of the Arts (CalARTS), the tuition cost is $41,700 annually. Webster University in Missouri, meanwhile, charges a yearly tuition fee of $23,700. The cost for tuition at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) for its one year film and TV costume design course is $30,000.

Tuition is just the tip of the iceberg. You need to factor in the cost of books and supplies as well as the amount you would have to spend for room and board. At CalARTS, this can range from $1,000 to $2,000 a year while at FIDM, books and most supplies would cost $1,850.

How much you would pay for housing and food would depend on whether the school offers on-campus housing or not and the part of the country where it is located. Some states have a higher cost of living than others. At CalARTS, undergraduate students can pay anywhere from $5,900 to $8,600 a year for on-campus housing and budget about $4,500 for food. At the University of North Carolina School of Arts, the rooms can cost anywhere from $4,178 to $6,325 a year. Meals can range from $3,054 to $4,392 depending on the plan. Aside from housing and food, you’ll also need to factor in your personal expenses as well as the cost of travel, especially if you are not living on-campus.

Many students are recipients of some form of financial aid that help bring down the cost of their tuition and other fees. Check with the financial aid office of your school to see if you are eligible for scholarships and grants. You may also work part-time so you can help fund your college expenses. One way to bring down the cost of your yearly college expenses is to stay with your parents while you’re working towards getting your degree.

As a last option, you can also get a student loan if you really need it to finance your undergraduate degree in costume design. Keep in mind that any student loans you take out must be repaid when you start working.

Career Spotlight: Costume Designer

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