Ringling College of Art and Design
Sarasota, FL, USA

Reviews

Ringling College of Art and Design
3.89 Average Rating

Phillip from Punta Gorda, FL

a current student here
40 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Having only finished my freshmen year, I have only learned what Ringling taught me for their 1st year CORE Studio program, which is drawing (still lifes, etc), figure drawing, 3D studio, 2D art, color, history, and others based on your major. Mine was Traditional Animation and History of Animation because I'm a Computer Animation major. BTW, Ringling is generally referred to as the best art school in the country and has the world's best animation program, according to 3D magazine.
Am enjoying being here
Most of the professors are very nice and the campus is beautiful. This is a residential campus so most people live here, but some of the buildings are really old and not that nice. On the other hand, the campus has been expanded greatly through the construction of many new large buildings. These buildings are beautiful. The staff in all offices are very friendly (I deal with them because I work with the campus activities crew) I've made many friends here and spend most of my time with them when I'm not packed with work. Years 3-4 are extremely work intensive, whereas year 1 is only moderate. Sometimes I really get sick of being on campus and go to downtown Sarasota (which is gorgeous) or St Armand's Circle (shopping, dining), or lido beach, also, not too far from famous Siesta Key beach.
Bang for the buck
The one really negative point to make about this place is the price point. When all charges come together, the price tag is about 40,000 a year. This is bad for me because I have to pay for school with mostly student loans considering bright futures does not pay that much for private institutions, nor do my scholarships. Then again, this is one of the most prestigious art colleges in the world and the incredible career services pretty much guarantees you a job by the time you graduate. Companies like Pixar to EA to Hallmark to the CIA come here to recruit students. It really is world class.
Tips for prospective students
Unfortunately, whenever you have a question for a staff member or administrator when not on campus, they are always unavailable and can only be reached by email, never phone. It's very annoying. Also, work hard because it is a very competitive environment within the respectful majors.
Great for these types of students
Anyone with talent and interest in animation, illustration, photography, interior design, fine arts, business of art and design, graphic design, etc. Besides that, anyone is welcome.
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Joanna from Riverview, FL

a current student here
14 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
As anyone who has heard of Ringling College of Art and Design will know, Ringling is one of the top colleges in the WORLD for artists and designers. Everyone at the school begins with the same curriculum-- basic studio classes such as drawing and 3D are required (however, next year the curriculum is changing, and many core classes will not be required anymore e.g. Film majors won't need to take drawing). These basic classes start everyone off at the same page. If you're someone like me, who hasn't had any formal art education before Ringling, you'll definitely be brought up to speed by professors who are high-quality, well-known professionals in their own fields. If you're a bit more experienced, there are plenty of school competitions and opportunities for you to stretch your creative muscle as well.
Am enjoying being here
The atmosphere at this school is great! There's the warm and sunny Florida atmosphere most months of the year, the gorgeous campus, and most of all the diverse and creative student body. The beach is not far away at all, Downtown Sarasota is beautiful, and the cultured city of Tampa is only 45 minutes away. The student body is very small, and everyone seems to know each other. If people don't know you, they will definitely come up to you and say hello! There are plenty of fun events on campus, especially those run by the Resident Assistants of each floor in the dorms. Resident Assistants are extremely helpful and will make the dorm experience as fun as possible. In addition, the cafeteria has vegetarian, vegan, and omnivorous options for the widest range of student diet. You'll meet friendly people from the other side of the globe here, and you'll be so inspired by the brilliant artists that call this school home 8 months of the year.
Bang for the buck
This school definitely has some of the highest quality technology for every major, great food and facilities, an extensive library, LEED certified buildings, and highly qualified staff. The one downside to all of this is that all of the money you spend to go to this wonderful school is used to improve the technology and facilities for future students, but little financial aid is provided. However, for prospective artists (ESPECIALLY Computer Animation majors) the name of this school on your resume will get you further than nearly any other art school in the United States. Well-known creative companies such as Pixar, Disney, Blizzard Entertainment, Dreamworks, Hallmark, and even the CIA come to Ringling to hire graduates straight out of college, with the likelihood of a pretty hefty paycheck, because they know and expect that Ringling College students are the best of the best.
Tips for prospective students
Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships. It is imperative that you apply for any and every scholarship you can. You will have to scour the Internet and spend hours applying, or you will likely never be able to afford this school. The price we all pay for having the highest-quality education in the world is the enormous cost of tuition and fees. And although paying back loans after college for 20 years seems like a horrid idea to you, it will be well worth it when you get hired and have money in your pocket. Going to lower-quality art schools will not save you money because you will NOT be making any money when you graduate.
Great for these types of students
If you are open-minded, off the wall, friendly, and like video games, you will definitely be welcomed here. Actually, nearly any type of person is accepted by students at Ringling College of Art and Design. However, if you tend to create drama, talk behind people's backs, or don't try your best in class, students will definitely have a problem with you. You don't need to be Da Vinci to be accepted at this school, but you MUST try your best, fail, learn, and try again until you achieve the success that is inevitable at Ringling College.
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Chelsea from Jacksonville, FL

a current student here
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The amount of amazing knowledge handed to students at Ringling has always overwhelmed me. It is mostly thanks to the help of some of the best professors within the art and design field. Its no joke when you realize improvement over your own work as each year rolls by. How many people contribute to your growth. However, the learning doesn't just start and end within a classroom. You'll find that day-in and day-out the people you socialize with help you grow tremendously: be it classmates, friends, or upperclassmen. Everyone within the Ringling family sticks together and looks out for one another. You will quickly get to know how openly friendly others are and also how willing they are to inspire you to be better at whatever it is you do.
Am enjoying being here
The relatively small, quiet campus is beautifully set nearby beaches of the Gulf Coast of sunny Florida. It is very environmentally friendly, built around some beautiful old trees, newer buildings being awarded LEED gold certifications, and designated smoking areas to keep the campus clean. Classrooms can be open until 2am during weekdays if you need all night to cram. The actual campus is very safe during all hours, security always patrolling and newly installed emergency call boxes in various locations. There are some very student friendly eateries within walking distance that are very forgiving to your wallet. You are also given three on campus locations to eat from if you are on a meal plan or just need a quick meal, a small but efficient gym to work out in, and lovely meeting areas for social interaction within their new Goldstein Residence Hall. It has two giant HD TVs, pool tables, and table tennis open for anyone to use. Also, I must mention taking a look at our Quidditch matches is always quite the spectacle (go armadillos!) and various student clubs.
Bang for the buck
Although I think the price tag could be cheaper, the money does not go to waste. Students are provided with top of the line technology in every classroom. You are provided your own personal macbook computer within your first few weeks of being on campus which you use for your entire four years of being a student. You are provided excellent care from food to career planning. Professors are very top class professionals from various fields who love to teach. Students are provided numerous resources at their fingertips to help with any project. Various art galleries, company presentations, and high class visitors visit campus happen all throughout the school year.
Tips for prospective students
Visit campus and ask a lot of questions. Look at a lot of different majors than your first choice. Live on campus for your first year and make a lot of friends. Do not skip out on all the presentations and meetings, they are very important to attend if you are serious about getting a good career. Always be working on your portfolio; make class assignments polished enough to use. Never print things before class, printers aren't always your best friend.
Great for these types of students
Generally, I would say creative people who love to work with others. A willingness to put effort, a hunger to learn more, and limitless imagination will take you very far.
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Stephanie from North Port, FL

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am a rising junior in Ringling. Each year I am improving greatly in in my artistic ability. The teachers challenge you and help you reach your potential. I started off thinking I did not have much to learn, but it's amazing how much there actually is. I've learned so much about the human anatomy and what I've done shows through in my work. Not a day goes by when someone does not comment on how much I have improved.
Am enjoying being here
All of the teachers are great, understanding, and nice. The whole school is a welcome environment and it's hard to feel left out with how nice everyone is. I commute and even the commuters are not left out in anything! They make sure you are notified with campus activities. With all of the work the students do, there are plenty of events to relax and have fun! We may not have the best sports teams, as we hardly hear of them, but we have the best Quidditch team around!
Bang for the buck
The school is expensive but you pretty much get what you pay for and how much you put into it. You have to work hard and ask questions. Their staff is extremely helpful and I don't mean just the teachers, I mean the academic advisers, financial aid, and career services staff. They do all they can for the students and to help them prepare for the upcoming years and the future once they leave the school. They work for you even after you graduate, helping you to find jobs!
Tips for prospective students
This school can be difficult, but it is a lot of fun. You have to work hard; ask questions, you cannot expect all the answers to just come to you, it's up to both you and your teachers to work together to achieve your goals.
Great for these types of students
This school is great for dedicated, hardworking, creative, fun, and open students.
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Alan from Bradenton, FL

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
immersion in fine art and all other arts related degrees. amazing guidance and leadership, along with the most amazing support staff any college could ever dream of having. opportunities abound for work, work study, gallery shows, sales, and scholarships and grants.
Tips for prospective students
come to ringling in sunny florida, where you will learn that the starving artist is a thing of the past, and you will find your own personal path to success through learning the ins and outs of the business, from running a gallery to managing a movie to running your own business to working for a legendary company, this is the place to make it happen.
Academic Rigor
i won't hide the truth here. you will work harder than you ever have in your life. but, that's what you need to learn to do in order to be successful in such a competitive business. you'll find yourself creating miracles out of nothing, and learn how to do so in a responsible, environmentally friendly way!
Dorm Life
dorm life here is great. about 90% 0f the students live in the dorms their first or second year. but, with a little success, i see that many kids have earned enough money to actually live off campus by the junior or senior year. but stay close to school, because you will still have lots of extra curricular activities to do on campus and off.
Food and Dining
the school itself has 3 good restaurants. one is a cafeteria style place, with excellent gourmet chef created dishes. the other is more of a cafe, with great sandwiches, hot meals, and starbucks coffee!! off campus, there are numerous good restaurants really close by: burger king, taco bell, and mcdonalds are all close by, and there are three great chinese places nearby, too. as well as a subway, an new fancy italian ($$) restaurant, and several independent gourmet places up and down us41.
What to do for fun
sarasota may be a smaller town, but honestly, there is so much you can do here. from local night spots to the beaches, you will find plenty to to. heck, just on campus alone, every week you will have opportunities to go to gallery openings from great artists such a jmwturner, his work is showing here at the selby gallery this week. last month, we had henk pander, a legendary dutch artist, and the list goes on and on. we also have, almost every week, a private screening of movies before they are issued to the public. we also have had speakers such as steven spielberg, jeff katz (who's son attends here) to peter jackson, to elijah wood, who was here last week also, and martha stewart, and the list is endless! stars, directors, artists, musicians, interior designers, and more. the college just started building a new movie studio, with the help of two great hollywood directors involved, which has the agreement with many hollywood studios to bring movie projects here. it is state of the art, and every student is issued a macbook pro when they arrive, to keep the entire time you are here!
Bang for the buck
you just can't find a more involved, focused group of educators and staff than we have here. plus, you get career services for the rest of your life, where they will advise on portfolio decisions, will help you write a killer resume, and will assist you in finding a job no matter how long you've been out of college.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
well, here, we have florida al around. we are on the northwestern edge of the everglades, where nature is abundant. we also have throughout the school year, excursions to do things like kayak the mangrove tunnels, explore the bayous, go on deep sea marine expeditions through mote marine, as well as the florida aquarium in tampa, which is only about an hours drive from here. also, rcad is opening the new smoa (sarasota museum of art) which used to be an old fashioned huge high school, where they will conduct classes, hold special shows, and draw in big name artists. we have sarasota international airport, or drive to tampa, one of the largest airports in the world.
Great for these types of students
art, graphic design, illustration, motion graphics, interactive design, digital film (the biggest draw right now,) interior design, tv and movie productions students, sound design students, fine art students, and students how may be creative, but undecided.
Clubs and Activities
lots of clubs and activities to do, such as quiddich, which rcad is the most recent (2011) champion, sga, volunteer services (something rcad is big on!) and a lot more.
Greek Life
seems art students aren't really into greek life here, although i think there are a few greek groups here.
Campus Safety
campus safety is excellent here. at night, there are at least 8 or 10 guys who do nothing but cruise around campus, and keep an eye on things. we also have, in every parking lot and public space, large blue lighted emergency phones. these large blue light poles aso have cameras, which are monitored 24/7. although i am not sure of the number of employees our safety and security has, i know they are always everywhere i go, anytime i go there.
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Christian from Puerto Rico

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Ringling is an amazing experience. You will watch your skills as an artist and scholar grow immensely over even the first semester. You will create lasting connections and find your ideal career.
Academic Rigor
You won't need to do that much studying per se, but you will have to put in a LOT of work. Every subject has at least 8 big projects, and you'll basically hit the ground running, not stopping until the final day.
Dorm Life
The facilities are excellent, very comfortable and very pretty. There aren't that many school-run activities but the students like to keep busy and your RA's are always open to suggestions. There's almost always something to do.
Food and Dining
There are two main dining places on campus: a buffet-style cafeteria called the Hammond Commons, and a café style place called Brickman Café. The options and variety are great at Hammond, but the quality can go up and down from week to week, especially during finals. Brickman is consistently great, but there's less variety: there's basically 15 different sandwiches on rotation, 4 soups, and other options will come up every so often.
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Karrie from Wapakoneta, OH

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Ringling is an incredible school, built on a solid foundation and teachers that do a phenomenal job at upholding such high standards. The program for Interior Design received outstanding ratings by CIDA, the accreditation committee who regulates the standards by which Interior Design students are taught. Each teacher cares immensely for their students and works closely with each individual to ensure a proper education.
Tips for prospective students
Do your research! I looked at one school prior to beginning college, and it turned out to be a flop - I transferred in the middle of my Junior year and it was such a headache. The worst part of it all, it tacked on another year to my bachelor requirement! That's time and money that I never anticipated on.
Academic Rigor
Ringling is intense - no need to sugar coat it. It's a ton of work, very little sleep, a few tears, but in the end, you have phenomenal work to be able to put into your portfolio and show to future employers! The teachers work you to the bone, but at the same time, they are very understanding and give a little slack when needed.
Dorm Life
The dorms at Ringling have a huge variety of options, which help you pick the right one to suit you best. Most of them are equipped just like an apartment would be - kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, living areas - And there is a ranking for dorms, so the higher grade level you are, the better dorm you can receive.
Food and Dining
I did not have a meal plan, but I have been able to go to the cafeteria a handful of times to eat. The food is typical college cafeteria food.
What to do for fun
The beach is a hop, skip and jump away! It's absolutely amazing to be so close to the ocean. St. Armands is right over the Ringling Blvd. bridge, which includes little shops, cafes, and roof tops bars to use to your advantage. The beach is right off of the main drag.
Bang for the buck
Life on the ocean is a bit more expensive, but I know I'm getting exactly the education I'm paying for here.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The ocean is usually where I find myself hanging out with friends.
Great for these types of students
Ringling is great for incredibly talented students who want to be able to graduate and start a career doing what they love to do!
Clubs and Activities
There is a long list of activities and clubs to participate in during your free time! I never got around to doing much, but when I do, there's a handful that could suit me.
Campus Safety
Campus safety is right there every time you need them! They are out driving and walking around 24/7. At night, they will give you a ride on the golf cart to your car or dorm if you are uncomfortable walking alone. They also check up on those students using the labs about once every two hours between the times of 2am and 8am. They're all very friendly and can be reached at any time for any reason. Campus is also equipped with emergency posts, lighted bright blue and security arrives shortly after pushing a giant red button.
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Nery from Pembroke Pines, FL

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
This is a highly demanding school, but I have learned a great deal, and all is important and relevant for my professional development as an artist.
Am enjoying being here
Although I am to poor to enjoy Sarasota, I enjoy the college, its teachers and the other students. Everyone is very serious about their studies. It is a very diverse population and I really feel at home.
Bang for the buck
A rather expensive school for my means, but you get what you pay for. Most graduates go to work for some of the best illustration and graphic arts companies in the world.
Tips for prospective students
1. Work hard.
2. Work hard.
3. Work hard.
4. Work very hard.
Great for these types of students
Students for a passion for art!!
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Anonymous

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Ringling has a beautiful campus. It's very easy to fit in with other students. If you don't work hard, don't expect to make good grades.
Tips for prospective students
Make sure your portfolio is top-notch when you apply! Ringling bases some of their scholarships on your portfolio, so try to include a lot of gesture drawings or artwork that shows you have potential at the college!
Academic Rigor
If you work hard, you'll make good grades. Don't expect to be able to do every project last minute, because teachers really can tell when you've done the entire project the night before. It'll kill your GPA.
Dorm Life
Some of the dorm halls are better than others. Noise from other students is usually the only issue. The school offers a lot of activities for students on campus.
Food and Dining
The commons don't usually have great food. Sometimes it's phenomenal, but other times it's just plain disgusting. Brickman has really good sandwiches though. The meal plan isn't that great.
What to do for fun
The college provides a lot of activities throughout the year (usually free). The beach is also really close. There are always a lot of festivals going on in the area (art/music festivals). There are plenty of museums nearby, too.
Bang for the buck
Ringling is EXTREMELY expensive, and chances are, you'll be at least 100,000 dollars in debt by the time you graduate. This being said, Ringling is a great school. The teachers actually care about your success and most of the teachers are absolutely amazing. The education is worth the price.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There's a big graffiti wall on on end of campus that anyone can place their art on. There's also a really big banyan tree on the other end of campus that provides a lot of shade.
Great for these types of students
This school is great for dedicated art students. The campus is very inspiring and the environment is perfect for working.
Clubs and Activities
There are a lot of clubs to choose from. There aren't many sports at Ringling (the only official team they have is a Quiddich team). Most of the clubs are student-run, but chances are, you'll definitely find something that interests you.
Greek Life
There's no Greek life at Ringling.
Campus Safety
The campus is really safe. A lot of people complain about the area that the college is in, but honestly, it's not that bad unless you drive far from the college. Campus security constantly patrols campus and they take extra precaution to make sure you're safe.
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Lucas from Crestview, FL

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Ringling College has great teachers who work hard for their students. The admissions faculty can be difficult to work with, but once enrolled you rarely have to deal with them again. Any student willing to put in the work can be successful at Ringling College.
Tips for prospective students
Be prepared for hard work and long hours. But you will be rewarded for your hard work with a very enthusiastic teaching staff who will bend over backwards to make sure you become successful in your chosen field.
Academic Rigor
Ringling College is work. Look forward to many all-nighters and little to no downtime during class. You gotta work and Ringling gives you more than enough to do.
Dorm Life
The dorms are very safe and accommodating to all lifestyles. The more social students will find plenty of people to meet and get to know, while the more introverted students are given plenty of freedom and space. the dorms are all very clean and modern, with everything you need to be comfortable.
Food and Dining
Avoid the cafeteria at all costs. You could get healthier food at the Burger King across the street.
What to do for fun
More than I can list. Every weekend has various clubs, school functions, parties, and shows to attend. You'll never run out of things to do when you have the time.
Great for these types of students
Artists, philosophers, writers, stoners, and anyone else who tends to follow the beat of their own drum.
Clubs and Activities
There's a club for almost everything.
Greek Life
None anymore. I heard a rumor that we used to have fraternity's back in the day, but they aren't around anymore.
Campus Safety
The school is very close to the wrong part of town, but you wouldn't know it by being there. The campus security keeps things very safe and are always nearby no matter where you are on campus. I've never heard of anything bad happening to anyone on campus.
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