MFA Rankings = A Whole Lot of BS

Been researching more MFA programs lately, and attended the SFAI Graduate Portfolio Day yesterday.  A few observations:

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The view from SFAI is both beautiful and ominous. Symbolic in many ways.

1. Researching MFA programs and MFA prospects is inherently depressing. But I was given great feedback on my portfolio, particularly by Scott Hess, from Laguna College of Art + Design, Yolanda Hester from Art Center College of Design, and SFAI. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

2. I met this 20-year old girl from Fresno who had a solid graphic design portfolio, who wanted to learn more about MFA programs but was totally shut down and discouraged by CalArts and Art Center. I told her she’s already ahead of the game by just showing up and putting herself out there, because most artists find excuses not to show up (for a myriad of absurd reasons). This appeared to make her feel better, but it brings me to this point: Art Schools, you are not doing anyone justice by being jerks. Your role is to educate and help. Quit being snobs.

3. Why is US News.com still considered a reliable source for school rankings? Their ranking methodology looks largely like a whole lot of bullshit: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/2013/03/11/methodology-best-fine-arts-schools-rankings

“Schools in the specialty rankings, which are based solely on nominations from school officials, are numerically ranked in descending order based on the number of nominations they received as long as the school/program received seven or more nominations in that specialty area.” 

….Um, Are you kidding me? 

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