College costs vs. expected financial rewards in the arts are tricky to gauge. Monetary risk is again, a personal choice that should be considered among every other factor when deciding on a school and career.
Financial aid is a reality for almost everyone going to college today, but one should be very careful about high loan amounts after college graduation without a specific employment track. A high debt load after college seriously impedes your financial and business options, credit rating, and future enthusiasm for the art field.
Financial aid comes in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study employment (on-campus student jobs), and/or internships. National, state and personally guaranteed loans can figure into the equation, and when you leave school you have varying time periods to start paying the loan back.
If there is a clear path from your degree to an adequate income, college costs become less of a distraction to your plan. If you're concerned about tuition, fees, and not taking on more debt than you can handle, speak frankly with the financial aid counselors at the schools you are considering. If they can help you, you're probably considering the right schools.
Frederick H. Carlson is one of the most well-known artist/illustrators in the mid-Atlantic region. No venue is too large or too small for his incisively drawn and lucidly painted pieces. He has executed everything from room-sized murals to LP covers. He drew over 150 portraits for National Review between 1990-1999.
Carlson is a 1977 Carnegie-Mellon University alumnus, and has been a freelancer for over 30 years. He has exhibited his art at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, the New York Society of Illustrators Cegep-St. Foy (Quebec), Dubendorf (Switzerland), the Manchester Craftsmens Guild, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and at Daystar/One World Gallery.
Fred was the National President of the Graphic Artists Guild from 1991-1993, the first non-NYC based artist to be so elected. He served on the Guild's Executive Committee for 8 years. He has written extensively and has been published in national publications such as The Artist's Magazine, Communication Arts, GAG News, Artists Market, and his work was featured in ART DIRECTION. He was one of the speakers addressing the Illustration Conference (ICON3) in Philadelphia in June 2003, and he served as a juror the same month at the 44th annual Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, PA.