How Much Does Art School Cost?

Art schools offer those who are artistically-inclined the chance to hone their craft and become better at something they love to do. More importantly, they enable students to create their portfolios and get their degrees which will allow them to get a job in the advertising, education, publishing, public relations and motion picture industries. Whether they want to major in the visual or the performing arts, art school will teach them the concepts and skills that they need to know so they can find work in these highly-competitive industries.

Like any other student contemplating a college degree, the cost of going to art school is certainly one of the top considerations that will be foremost in your mind when choosing a college. The cost of tuition, fees and books as well as the living expenses while one is working towards that degree certainly needs to be prepared for.

The cost of a bachelor’s degree in general visual and performing arts can range anywhere from close to $13,000 to more than $60,000 depending on whether you are attending a public school or private school and whether you are studying in your state of residence or not. In-state students typically pay lower tuition than out-of-state students in public schools. The fees for private institutions are usually the same for all students whether they are state residents where the school is located or not.

One of the cheapest bachelor’s degrees in general visual and performing arts is offered by the Mississippi University for Women. The total annual cost to get this degree is $12,823 for in-state residents. This covers tuition, other fees, room and board and books and supplies. For out-of-state students, the annual total is $22,543. In New York, one of the more affordable schools offering this degree is SUNY College at Old Westbury. The total cost for in-state students is $17,324 while that of out-of-state students is $26,574 annually.

Private schools charge more because unlike public schools, they typically don’t get taxpayer support. At Brown University in Rhode Island, for example, the total cost to get a visual and performing arts degree is $62,694 annually. This covers tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies and personal expenses. At DePaul University, another private research university located in Chicago, the total yearly cost to get this degree is $50,791 for students living on-campus and off-campus.

For students living in their own homes, the cost is cheaper at $40,039 because they won’t have to pay as much as the others for room and board. This calculation includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses and transportation expenses. At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, another independent school that also known for its excellent art programs, the total annual cost for a visual and performing arts degree is $56,515 inclusive of tuition, other fees, housing, food and books and supplies.

If you don’t want to take a four-year bachelor’s degree because you want to get to work right away, you can opt to get an associate’s degree in visual and performing arts. Usually available in community colleges, this typically takes two years to finish and cost significantly lower. On average, the total yearly cost for an associate’s degree in visual and performing arts range anywhere from about $8,000 to about $20,000. You should keep in mind that many employers still prefer students who hold bachelor’s degrees. If you have the skill and a great portfolio to go with your application then you should still have that competitive edge.

One final note: You shouldn’t get disheartened by the prohibitive tuition rates at private art schools if that is where you want to get your degree. The costs mentioned above are those that are given before any financial aid is deducted. Many students qualify for financial aid which greatly brings down the cost of tuition and other fees. You can also find part-time work to help fund your college education.

Career Spotlight: Art Director

Art Director

Art Director

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