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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Is ad school worth the debt?

Is ad school worth the debt?

I’m currently getting ready to start my first quarter at Miami Ad School and I am seeking some unbiased advice on a couple issues.
I recently applied for financial aid and am barely getting any which means that I’m going to have to take alternative loans to pay for tuition. In your opinion (and I know it varies from person to person) will the debt that I’m putting myself in pay off in the end? Combined with my undergrad loans I will owe around $70,000 when it’s all said and done.
I’ve done my homework and I know that Miami Ad School is definitely where I want to be. I also knew that the financial aspect of everything would hit me but now that it is it’s just kind of a shock to me to think that I’ll be this far in debt.
Should I just suck it up and do it? My mind is pretty much made up that I am going to do it. I just want to get a second opinion from someone who is in the business and knows how things works.

intro Is ad school worth the debt?This could fall under “easy for us to say”, but we’d go for it. Miami’s program is among the best anywhere in the world, and there actually aren’t many schools of their caliber. You’ll leave that experience with a big leg up on your competition. Just the name will get you in the door to see the best creative directors. You’ll be poised to dive in the deep end straight out of school. You’ll get a good job sooner than later—assuming you do have one of the better portfolios. Those first years in advertising can be lean ones (though you’ll likely get paid better than the average junior) but you’re likely to advance a lot quicker than the average person and one of the odder things about this business is how handsomely the really good people are paid in fairly short order.

By contrast, many advertising students will take a year or more to find their first job. Their portfolios don’t demonstrate great strategic thinking or the level of sophistication of craft (not even close). They don’t have the broader understanding of the disciplines and may be far behind understanding the current landscape because their teachers may have been out of the industry for many years and aren’t keeping up. Schools like Miami and VCU have exceptional teaching staffs, many still in the business at top agencies. That makes a huge difference, and it’s also one of the reasons the tuition is higher.

You’ve heard the expression you get what you pay for. If you can stand the mental picture of the pile of debt, if you’re fortunate enough to have been accepted at a top school, the odds are good the payoff will be there.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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