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Seeking Funding/Career Advice


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I am graduating this semester with a BA in Studio Arts. I plan to take 2-3 years off from school before applying to an MFA program.  

With the knowledge that my desires may change in the future, I am currently interested in going to RISD for graduate school. I have not yet decided if I will apply for an MFA in painting or an MFA in photography. (Again, I am taking several years off to figure out what it is I really want.) 

When I do finally apply for an MFA I know I want to minimize the number of loans I need to take out. I know that RISD is not known for their generous funding...

Does anyone on these forums have advice about how I might (in an ideal world) make myself a candidate RISD would want to fund? 

Aside from the obvious advice of being a good fit for the school personality wise, and having a good portfolio... I am looking for some insight about how to "make it" in the art world before graduate school. ( By "make it" I simply mean: I want to be making a living doing something I find rewarding or engaging and also have time to be consistently making my work. ) I have my own ideas about what I am going to do next but I am always looking for people more experienced than I to pass down their wisdom.

Ultimately, I wonder, do I need to achieve something amazing in the next 2-3 years to receive a scholarship for RISD specifically?

What kind of graduate students get scholarships at an art school like RISD?


Thanks in advance for anyone who takes the time to think about this. :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

 Hello Lilybet,

Have you considered trying to get a job at RISD? A friend of mine did just that at Penn. She hopes that in a few years working at Penn she will be able to work towards her MFA. You can research  Grants and Fellowships and other scholarship outside of RISD. Fellowships are the closest you can get to a similar experience you might find in an MFA program. They are a wonderful way to explore which direction you like to take and certainly look good on your application. Every university told me that you apply for a given program, however ones accepted you can pretty much select anything they offer in their MFA program. Some apply in a program with lesser applicants rate in order to get into their dream MFA program after they have been accepted. 

Best of luck,


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