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Should ordinary people apply to programs that accept 10%?


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there are a bunch of popular art grad programs that accept only 10-20% or so... both big name and not-so-big name schools.

ummm if you were just one of average art undergrads that made "ok" or "better than average" work, with no publically recognized professional experience.... should you even apply and throw your 50+ bucks?

I get the impression that those programs just take in extraordinary people ( judged either by talent or experience or both) 

Still hope for a miracle? :D


Edited by pbnc
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Perhaps unpopular opinion—I think you shouldn't waste your money on a program that you don't think would like your work. This isn't just about your perception of your work's quality or the prestige of a program. You should be applying to schools that you feel would play well with your work and that house students & professors whose work you admire. It's a bit late in the game to visit schools if you're applying for 2017, but it's definitely the best way to get a sense of the program. There are a few programs that I visited that had a <10% acceptance rate where I didn't really vibe with the work. There have been some smaller, less exclusive programs that I have been super impressed by. I was happy to save my money by throwing out schools I wasn't completely happy with. Given that getting an MFA is a huge time & money commitment and there's no real rush to get your degree (I met with students who were in their 40s), I personally feel like I should only apply to schools I would be enthusiastic to attend. 

If you're not confident in your work, I would always question why you feel now is the right time for grad school vs continuing to work on your own. Do you feel that your work has improved since undergrad? Is your confidence more rooted in external validations? Even programs like Yale aren't just looking at your CV—the most important thing is your work. Going to Graduate Portfolio Day can be a great way to gauge if your work is ready for grad school—you'll get honest feedback that can potentially boost your confidence a bit.

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^ That's some really good advice above. Going to portfolio day was a good experience for me, I was able to solidify my decisions on schools I was looking into getting feedback and meeting faculty. And yea what I've gotten was your CV doesn't matter too much, they're interested in your work and if they think you could benefit from their program. I've seen programs that have accepted students with extensive career development and  that have accepted students with very little experience and not as developed portfolios. They really want to see interesting work and an essay that sticks out and personable, as well as strong letters of reccomendation from former professors.

Look into faculty from these schools, are there faculty members who you feel you could learn from?

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I think you should look instead to current students work and see how you compare. I went briefly to a selective arts undergrad and honestly think ego must get in the way of good applications cause our admit rate was low but still saw a wide range of quality in incoming students 

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