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Graphic Design
Frisco TX

My Big 1,421 Mile Decision

Andrea Shaver on Friday, 29 April 2016. Posted in Visiting RIT, Admissions Process

Choosing a college is no easy decision. There are so many amazing universities that offer great programs and resources, that finding one that's a perfect fit for you can be a daunting process. I never thought that I (a Texas girl) would end up in Rochester, NY of all places for school—but RIT being the perfect fit for what I was looking for has really made me a more successful student than if I hadn't gone outside of my comfort zone. Here are the major reasons I made the big decision to move to New York for school:

Student Work
A major motivating factor for choosing RIT (especially as a graphic design major) was looking at the work that students are producing. A way to figure out if you will like the coursework is to see what kinds of projects students are currently working on. If you're looking into an art or design major, I would recommend heading over to This site has links to a lot of student portfolio websites, which are cool to look at.

Imagine RIT
The first Saturday of May each year, 35,000 visitors come out to the RIT campus and see all of the amazing projects that students, faculty, and staff have worked on over the past year. Projects range from things like creating your own typeface with your handwriting, to start up businesses, to a robotic s'more machine, even giant roller coaster models. Imagine RIT summed up RIT and the types of people that I would be going to school with. The "nerdiness" of the school has just enhanced my experience here :)

Andrea's first time at Imagine RIT

My first time at Imagine RIT as a junior in high school.

Diverse Student Body
You can be in a dining hall and have an opportunity to sit down and talk with an Environmental Sustainability, Health, and Safety major, a Computer Science major, or an Illustration major. I have met students from all over the world (RIT is 10% international students) and deaf and hard of hearing students (over 1,500 students on campus). There is also a lot of diversity in the number of majors offered on campus, and the opportunity for collaboration on projects was a major plus for RIT!

Entrepreneurial Resources
My first time on RIT's campus was actually for a business plan competition. I was exposed to the resources that our Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers for students. Students have the opportunity to get funding for businesses, co-op credits for starting and running businesses over the summer. RIT has a Tiger Tank competition, business plan competitions, Hackathons, and a BUNCH of other awesome resources and things that you can do and utilize.

Non-traditional Art School
Since I am interested in business, web development, and advertising and public relations, having the opportunity to take classes in all of those disciplines was a big reason I chose RIT. If I was at a traditional art school I might not have had the opportunity to take classes in so many areas of study. My design classes are very similar and comparable to classes I might take at a college that focuses just on art majors, but at RIT I can pair that with business and computing, which is a really unique opportunity.

Big School Resources, Small School Feel
You have the big school feel with so many different types of people and resources, but small school feel in the classroom. Most of my classes (labs and studios) are less than 20 students, which means that I know everyone in my major really well, and I know my professors well also. RIT has over 250 clubs and organizations, so there is plenty to do around campus. You'll never be bored and you'll always have a variety of food options—that's where being at a big school was important to me. :)

While this is just my reasoning for choosing RIT, there are many other reasons why students choose RIT. Job opportunities, co-op experience, being able to participate in intramurals and/ or NCAA sports. RIT is a big place, so let me know if you have any other questions! I am more than glad to help.