Question by lauren m: UNDERGRADUATE FILM SCHOOLS?
im going to be a high school senior this year so im looking at colleges…i would like to major in film and im looking at schools in/near NYC…. I know NYU and Columbia are some of the best film schools in the area but they are also very hard to get into….so what are some good film schools in the area that are also less competitive??
Answer by Global Grad
Congrats on reaching your senior year of high school! Hope it’s a good one.
I don’t think anybody could responsibly answer your question, because so many factors are at work. So, I’m going to offer a framework that will hopefully help you decide:
1. Where would you like to live after graduation, even if it’s just a region?
2. For the aspect of film that interests you, how much money do you expect to earn? Even the most enjoyable job can feel like a burden if too much of your paycheck goes to student loans — be very careful about taking out student loans that will be difficult to repay (and always look at federally subsidized loans first and private loans only as a last resort).
3. Identify 5-10 people in the field who are considered industry leaders. Where did they attend college?
4. After you gain admission, ask colleges some tough questions (or have somebody do it for you): What % of graduates had jobs in the field within 6 months of graduation for the past three years? What was the median (not average) salary? What was the average student loan debt incurred? Do not be afraid to ask these questions — college often costs about as much as a house…would you buy a house without asking questions about its condition?
5. Who are the major employers in your field? What does their Human Resources Department say about the colleges? By the way, this is a great way to network and makes you look like a super go getter!
The main thing is that you keep your student loans down, especially if you want to go into film. Nothing wrong with film, but I don’t want debt hanging over you for the rest of your life. Secondly, find out what employers say about the colleges — which programs do they respect? Finally, remember that just getting a degree does not guarantee what it did for our parents — particularly in your field, do not dare leave college without doing at least 2 internships. In fact, I would suggest trying to work in the field every semester (probably no more than 15 hours per week) after your third semester so you graduate with real world experience, hone your talents, and know how the job market will work.
If you want to check out our college success game plan, go to www.globalgrad.com. We’re also trying to bring together 1,000 pieces of helpful advice for current and future college students on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Global-Grad/100158172475?ref=ts
Good luck to you! Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams — just do so by making well-informed decisions and investing time to figure out the best path.
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