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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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