Saturday, January 23, 2016

College Q&A: The Fashion Institute of Technology


I get a crazy amount of questions on Tumblr about FIT (the application process, the environment, my major, etc) so I thought it would be a good idea to make just one giant master Q&A to refer people back to! Hope y'all find this helpful :)

Q: What is the application process for FIT?
A: It depends on your major. My major is Fashion Business Management (more commonly known as Fashion Merchandising) and all I had to do besides fill out basic application information was submit a final high school transcript and write a 750 (maximum) word essay on why I would be a good fit for FIT and my specific major. Those are pretty much the only requirements for my major and the marketing major. For other majors like Fashion Design and Illustration, you have to submit a portfolio of some sort so the application process for some majors is much more intense. They do not require you to submit standardized test scores for any major. However, you can submit you standardized test scores and they could potentially help you place out of some classes if they are high enough. 

Q: How hard is it to get in?
A: It's actually hard to say. The acceptance rate went down this year but before I applied last year, it was somewhere around 45%. The acceptance rate within different majors varies so much because some programs, like fashion design, are much more selective on who they let in. For Fashion Business Management (FBM), they look at your grades much more than they would for a Fashion Design major. If you don't have great grades, don't be discouraged! The essay is a huge portion of your application and can definitely make or break you so be sure to spend tons of time writing and revising it. I read once on the FIT website that the majority of accepted students made mostly B's in high school so clearly they don't determine your acceptance entirely on grades. Taking advanced classes in high school is good, though, because it demonstrates how you are a hard worker (FIT loves people who are driven). Personally, I had a 3.9 weighted GPA and was in the International Baccalaureate Diploma program in high school (which pretty much involved taking all advanced classes my junior and senior year). My academic success definitely helped make me a strong candidate but I also worked really hard on my essay and talked about fashion blogging a lot to show that I was serious and passionate about fashion. 

Q: What do I need to do in high school to get into FIT?
For students hoping to go into the business and marketing majors, mainly just focus on making the best grades possible. If you have a solid overall high school GPA, you don't have to worry quite as much while you're waiting to hear back about your acceptance. In terms of extracurriculars, the only way FIT will know about your extracurriculars is through what you mention in your essay. They could care less that you were on the varsity soccer team for 4 years, but if you were the president of lots of clubs, talk about that because it shows you're a strong leader that takes initiative. Obviously, it helps if you were involved with some sort of fashion related activity in high school so if your school has a fashion club, it wouldn't hurt to join that and talk about it in your essay. Most of my extracurriculars were things that FIT wouldn't care about so I wrote a lot about having a fashion blog, the companies I've worked with and my experience with social media. 

Q: How much does it cost? Is it easy to get financial aid/scholarships?
I am an out of state student living in the dorms on campus. It is about $30,000 per year for me to attend FIT. That may seem like a steep price but it is so cheap compared to other schools in NYC (NYU is $70,000 per year). To get any sort of financial aid, you have to come from a very low income household so I did not qualify to receive financial aid. What sucks about FIT is they don't give out any merit scholarships to incoming freshmen. However, if you maintain a high GPA while at FIT, you do have a chance of getting at least some scholarship money. If scholarships are really important to you, you can always apply for outside scholarships. There are thousands of them out there that you can find on the internet!

Q: Why did you choose FIT? 
Pretty much all the other schools I applied to are liberal arts colleges in the south. FIT was kind of an afterthought for me. My plan was to major in business and minor in fashion merchandising. The reason I wanted to do this is because so many people told me that it was the safe route. If I didn't end up wanting a career in the fashion industry, I could always just fall back into some other type of business. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized I didn't want any sort of career that didn't involve fashion. I couldn't see myself waking up and being excited to go to a job that didn't involve fashion. To have a good chance of being successful in the fashion industry, going to a well known school is important as well as making a lot of connections in the industry. FIT can provide you with both of those things. It's the #2 fashion school in the country and they provide you with so many opportunities to make connections with professionals and companies and to get great internships. Also, just living in NYC alone can potentially help you to make connections and meet the right people. LA is another great place for fashion but I knew I didn't want to be on the west coast because it isn't really my culture. Also, it's twice as far away from my home (Atlanta, GA) as New York is. The other school I looked into a bit was Parsons (it's supposedly the #1 school for fashion but personally I think FIT is better for fashion business/marketing). However, Parsons is about $60,000 per year which was way too expensive for me. So ultimately, FIT was the best school for the best price and that's why I chose it.

What's the social environment like?
FIT definitely has a social environment like no other college. For one, it's right in the middle of New York City so you're bound to get people from all walks of life. Yes, FIT is an artsy school. There are some very interesting people here that you would not see at the majority of colleges. It's an arts school in the middle of a very urban area so many people embrace the grungy/punk/street looks. You will also occasionally see a boy wearing high heels or makeup. Things you're sure not to see a lot of are blonde girls in oversized t-shirts and norts or boys in polos and backwards hats. Although I don't share the style of many people at FIT, I've liked almost every single person I've come into contact with here. Everyone is extremely nice and down to earth! Probably one of the reasons we get along so well despite our differences is because we all share a common passion for pursuing a career in the fashion industry. That's the main thing that makes FIT's social environment the way it is. People don't come here for the "normal college experience," they come here ready to work hard and pursue a career in what they're passionate about. With that being said, FIT is not the type of school where people party and get drunk five days out of the week. Don't get me wrong, people at FIT like to have fun (we live in the most fun city on earth) but we find a good balance between work and play. 


7 comments:

  1. I love this Q&A! I want to do fashion merchandising and was thinking of FIT as a college choice, so this helped a lot!
    xoxo,
    Enfiniti| www.touchofenfiniti.blogspot.com

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