Artistic portfolio as an AP test

Her art studio classmate at Longmeadow High School, Madeline Maurer, earned four APs in total. She describes herself as competitive and wanted the most stimulating art class available. “I like to keep going up and up in levels.” Besides, she said, it was fun.


Art academies are receptive to the idea of ​​candidates trained by AP. David Sigman, director of admissions at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, said the courses “bring students into line with what we teach here.” Elizabeth O’Brien, vice president of enrollment at the San Francisco Art Institute, said graduates who took AP art classes “tend to do a little better than other members of their cohort.”

Traditional colleges don’t sniff art in the studio either. “We are very impressed with the applicants who have taken this course,” said Mary French, associate director of admissions at Boston College.

Nat Smitobol, admissions consultant for IvyWise and former assistant director of admissions at New York University, explains why this might be the case. He calls studio art “soft AP,” adding, “But no one is penalized for taking it. This shows that a student is seriously interested in art. (He names environmental science and human geography as soft PAs that are more likely to be viewed negatively. “Take these sounds as if you are dodging the chemistry or biology of PAs.”)

David Dickinson, an art professor at Deerfield Academy, a Massachusetts prep school, recommends that his students send in their portfolios with their college applications, even if they aren’t majoring in art. “A portfolio is a hook – it gets their attention – the same way the butt is a hook at a lot of colleges, or the crew is a hook with the Ivies,” he said. “Seeing a portfolio fascinates them. “

The AP studio can help strengthen an admissions resume, but it may not get the benefits of many other APs: courses, either because they don’t have anything comparable or, for art majors, they want everyone to take the same courses.

“It’s not just a skill set that we teach during foundation,” Mr. Shelnutt said of Clemson’s core courses. “They are instilled in the culture of the program. Instead, students can use any credit they receive for studio art toward an elective course. But since most art majors want to take electives in their area of ​​interest, the credit is unlikely to be used.