Post # 1
So I’m seriously looking into getting an associates degree (maybe eventually a bachelors) in interior design. Other people aren’t always encouraging about it, but I think it’s important to do what you love, and this is what I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. It would have to be an online program, because there are no schools offering design courses around here, and I would like a accredited program also. I requested information from a couple of colleges the other day. I haven’t heard back from SCAD yet, but I talked to a guy from Academy of Art University in San Francisco today. (Small colleges are so pushy. They can’t mail you stuff, or email you, they just keep calling and leaving messages until they get you to talk to them.) Anyways, the guy was nice, the program sounded good, until towards the end we got to tuition. He’s like, “Oh, it’s about in line with other online schools. For an associates degree you would take 22 classes, and it’s $2,220 per class.” I think I was a bit shocked; it didn’t really hit me until after I hung up. 22 classes, roughly two thousand dollars each = over $40,000. That’s more than my boyfriend’s bachelors in chemical engineering will cost. There’s no way I could do that. Like I said, I haven’t heard back from SCAD yet (although I would think they’re quite expensive), and I’m going to check into The Art Institutes of America to see how the tuition there compares. I just had no idea college was so expensive I guess.
So, any bees in interior design or related fields? Where did you go to school? Any recommendations on programs to check out? And please tell me that isn’t the typical cost for this kind of thing!
Post # 3
I hate to break it to you, but SCAD is around $30,000/year. Its a wonderful school and I’ve had a couple friends go there for various programs, but its expensive. My school has the same tuition rate, but I’m on partial scholarship. There are some schools that will give you a good education for far less, but as far as the way employers look at your degree, sometimes you get what you pay for… Are you eligible for any federal grants or scholarships?
I *almost* went to school for interior design. I did it as a hobby for a couple years, and after my mom had me collaborate with her designers when she redid her house, I had two job offers come in without having any formal education on the subject. But I wasn’t sure that the income would be as stable as what I would like, and since I’m going to be the moneymaker more so than FI, I opted for a different field. Also, I didn’t have nearly as much fun when I was designing for other people as I did for myself 🙂
You didn’t say what type of interior design you are interested in. If it is commercial, then you might want a bigger school like SCAD. However, if you are leaning towards residential, look at your state universities. I live in Kentucky and I have had a couple friends go to the University of Kentucky for interior design and they actually had a decent program. Be careful about some of the smaller schools. Look at reviews for them online. Some of them are not worth your time (I had experience with one of those pushy ones…turns out they were not worth my time or money and I’m glad I found that out beforehand). Talk to your local design companies (have you had any prior experience or do you have a portfolio?). Networking is one of the best shortcuts sometimes 🙂
Post # 4
@Shiner: Thanks so much! Those were some really good points you brought up. At this point it seems pretty obvious that I can’t afford any online degree program in the States, and honestly even if I could I don’t know if I’d want to spend that much (whether my own money or loans – which I’d have to repay someday) on something I can’t be completely sure will pay for itself in a few years. Honestly I think this would be more for my personal enrichment and satisfaction than the money-making potential. Right now if I still decide to do something like this I’m seriously considering Rhodec International. It’s more of a correspondence course than an online course, based in the UK, and their professional diploma (three year program, so I’m assuming the British equivalent of an associates) is recognized by ASID and is eligible for student membership followed by an Allied Membership. And it’s unbelievably affordable. Still doing research, but if I do stick with interior design, that’s probably the way I’ll go. Now I just have to think of a way to tell pushy admissions guy that his college is way too freaking expensive and even the amount of financial aid I could possibly get isn’t going to make it affordable enough for me. 😛