Choosing A California Fashion School

If you are considering fashion school, then California might be a good option. There is a good variety of Californian fashion schools to choose from.  Some good, others not so good but, with a little help, you'll soon find the right one to suit your situation. 

How to choose a Californian fashion school?  Consider these tips and standards for starters.

1) Location – some may not care too much about where the school is based provided it's in California.  However, be aware that in the eyes of industry insiders not all locations are equal.  When you seek employment, you may find that the reputation of your Californian fashion school is being judged by its location.

Look first for a fashion school near to the California fashion centers. You want a school located where the action is. Proximity helps a student on many levels through exposure to what’s going on in the industry.

California is a beautiful state and some students seek a school there in a situation which will inspire them. For example, by the sea or near to nature. 

It's true that students can gain inspiration from their surroundings to stimulate creative works of fashion.  But equally they gain stimulation from exposure to the industry - and on balance we favor industry proximity over enviromental beauty.

2) Affiliated or Independent – should you perfer a Californian fashion school part of a prestigious university, or choose one that can stand on own reputation?   There are advantages to either option.

Sometimes the reflected glory of the parent university can help a resume.  However, the more knowledgable employer will also value the merits of an independent specialist Fashion School which has proven it can hold its own against the big name colleges.

Another thing to consider is that in a prestigious university you will pay for the overall name of the institution and not necessarily for the quality of education in your departmental specialty.  So, you are paying a premium for the prestige of the university in your resume. Sometimes a prestige name will indeed provide a competitive edge in seeking employment - but don't place too much currency on this.

The fashion industry rarely cares too much for a big name university if it's fashion department does not perform competitively. If you feature the name of a good specialist independent fashion school on your short list, by all means go for it.  You might even find it easier to land that first job.

3) Cost – this a serious consideration.  Californian fashion schools just do not come cheap.  Fact. Breathe deeply.  Next question....So how much will it cost?"

Well there are schools offering discounted tuition. Some may be experiencing a slump in enrollment (Why?). Some may have a new fashion operation and will discount to break into the market until they are better established.

By choosing a discount school, you could save plenty.
BUT you should review carefully what qualities you might be risking in return.  If you are not too worried about the shortcomings or simply cannot afford the extra - then go into a discount solution with your eyes open.

If you do opt for a more prestigious school you may be asked a fancy supplement for the privilege. Remember that high price does not always equate to high quality.  You may be paying for a name as well as the education.  Or a reputation may well be founded on past achievements rather than current excellence. 

So assume NOTHING, do your research and ask around.  With the help of the internet you may be able to contact graduates and sound out their opinion with the benefit of hindsight.

As the most famous general of them all said ..."time is seldom wasted on reconaissance".

Selecting your California fashion school diligently may sound like a hard grind compared with the lazy way. But remember that this is one of the most important decisions of your entire working  life.  And a lot of money is riding on your bet both immediately and longer term.

By following this advice and reflecting carefully about what you want, you'll make this an exciting and rewarding experience.