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Old 01-20-2009, 06:24 AM
12 posts, read 49,506 times
Reputation: 11


So here's some basic info:
I'm a texas resident, but I live in Germany. I'm currently taking my first year of college through online classes with the University Of Maryland.

I want to double major in Film and possibly business or Foreign Languages.

I have been accepted to UT austin, which is an amazing school.
The thing is, I want to get my undergrad education for as little as possible and attend a well known Graduate school for my MFA. This presents a problem, because one of the most expensive majors is film.
However, I've been researching the City University of New York system, and I kind of like what I hear....

Tell me where I'm misinformed, and also about the areas.

Apparently they were amazing schools....WAY back when, until they offered open admisssions, they then lost their reputation and academic standards. However, since the ending of closed admissions in 1999 they have vastly improved their programs and the student pool. In another 10 years, they may even become nationally respected universities.
I would either attend the City college or Hunter.
From my research, I calculated that even with out of state tuition, if I could get one of the very limited dorm rooms, then the university would only cost me a few thousand more a year than UT.
I'm a white, 18 year old kid, so what campus would be best for me? bear in mind, I've grown up all over the world, so I really like diversity...but what I mean is, what area is the safest...where I could possible walk outside at night without worrying about getting robbed. Also which one is closest to the young nightlife?

I'm trying to decide if I should move to New York next year or go to UT austin.

I've loved New York since I was a kid, I have family in Manhatten and long Island and I'd be very close to many film oppurtunties.

However, austin is a much more respected school, and a little cheaper for me...but there's very little in the way of filmmaking going on there,(despite popular opinion) and it's too hot for me.

Any extra/corrected information on the CCNYs would be great.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:12 AM
Location: Grand Forks
190 posts, read 814,039 times
Reputation: 93
I went to CCNY and graduated with an art degree. The art program there has really improved and there was a major investment a few years back to update equipment, labs, and build a "gallery." I believe this also includes the film program. The school even has its own tv station.
Hunter has a better rep and is probably the more prestigious of the two. CCNY certainly has the history, but I think Hunter offers better classes and more of a variety.
In terms of safety and proximity to nightlife I would say Hunter. CCNY is in Harlem and borderline Washington Heights. I have never had any issues but I heard things back in the late 90s. Hunter is on the Upper East Side where all the rich people live. The train is right outside the school and takes you to the Bronx on the Northbound side and to the East Village and City Hall areas on the Southbound. I love CCNY but I would probably go for Hunter if I were you.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:00 AM
Location: DFW
219 posts, read 608,694 times
Reputation: 162
I'd recommend UT-Austin. Hunter is definitely good (I have a co-worker who went there) and NY can be a fun place to live, but UT has a stronger Business program and more of a national/international reputation.

Also, you cannot assume your best case scenario with regard to housing at Hunter; you need to assume the worst case: that you would not get a dorm room (and have to rent an apartment) and compare the costs of the two on that basis.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:12 AM
Location: Bronx, New York
4,437 posts, read 7,670,391 times
Reputation: 2054
Since you are a TX resident, shouldn't UT be inexpensive?

A note on residency...in order to get the resident rate for CUNY/SUNY, you would have to be a resident of NY for a year, and will have to give proof of it.

If it's solely a tuition issue, look at and weigh the resident requirements/options of UT v. CUNY carefully. Looks like any choice will have a couple of things you may need to sacrifice. Good luck.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:57 AM
Location: New York City
4,035 posts, read 10,292,023 times
Reputation: 3753
The arts and media have always been competitive and are becoming even more so. I would recommend going to the best school you can afford. It really does make a difference, especially if you want to eventually work in New York or LA. CCNY is a good system, but it's not great, and it's certainly not known for film. If you're going to go through the trouble of establishing residency, you could do better. Perhaps California? Michigan?

UT Austin is a top-ranked school. I know they have an excellent theater department. I don't know what their film department is like.

Here's a tip: With regard to an arts degree, it's all about the endowment. An arts department is very expensive to run. The materials and facilities required are much more elaborate and expensive than, say, an English department. The best programs are going to be at a huge state school (like UCLA) or a very well endowed private school.

Here's another tip: 60 to 70 percent of what you learn in college you learn from your peers/classmates, this is especially true for something collaborative, like film. I would recommend going to the most competitive school you can afford. If it's competitive, you're going to be surrounded with smart, ambitious people who will challenge you.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:05 PM
Location: Brooklyn, New York
467 posts, read 1,865,762 times
Reputation: 172
I am graduating from Hunter in the spring as a media major, so I take a lot of film classes and interact a lot with the department. I don't know about UT's film program, but Hunter's is unlike a lot of other programs in that you get into production right away instead of learning about it for four years before you touch a camera. I think Hunter is trying really hard to continue to improve their program, but Hunter already has a relatively good reputation, and I've enjoyed my time here as best as one can.
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Old 01-21-2009, 02:55 PM
718 posts, read 2,324,664 times
Reputation: 364
Hedge your bets well in this time of uncertainty. Go to UT Austin, it is much better than CUNY.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:57 AM
Location: Brooklyn, NY
11 posts, read 40,303 times
Reputation: 11
I was in a similar situation, jakobw... really wasn't sure what to believe about CUNY schools. I decided to do my master's at Hunter in special education and so far it has served me well.

I got my undergrad degree from a very good (?) school but I was really never doing anything professional or academic off-campus. My professors, however well published and recognized in academia, didn't seem to be connected with the job scene in the city and really weren't helpful when it came to integrating internships and real-world experience into my education.

My work at Hunter so far has been very different in a good way. The real-world networking aspect is much better at Hunter. My professors have all been active in the field and I actually got a good job at a nonpublic school where a lot of Hunter grads work, only a few months into my program.

Maybe this is the difference between undergrad and graduate degrees, but my impression of Hunter, at least in the education field, has been very positive, down-to-earth and employment-focused. So, the buildings aren't ivy-covered and the towers aren't made of ivory, but I'd take a job over a reputation any day.
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