The fashion industry is constantly changing and expanding so it can be hard to break into it. Thankfully, many excellent fashion institutes can help you start your career in fashion. If you have great style and love being creative, a fashion degree may fit your interests. Continue reading if you want to start a fashion education but don’t know how to get into fashion school.
We will address many important aspects of the admission process, such as fashion school requirements for admission and tips to increase your chances of acceptance. Follow this step-by-step guide to find out how difficult it is to get into fashion school as well as how to choose the right school of fashion for you.
How Difficult Is It to Get Into Fashion School?
It is difficult to get into fashion school, as many programs have low acceptance rates. Each fashion school is different and has its own admission requirements. If you decide that fashion school is the right choice for you, you need to prepare for your application. You need to do research and organize all the necessary requirements.
Common Fashion School Requirements
- Submit your school transcripts or GED. Most fashion schools require you to submit proof that you completed high school or an equivalent. You should submit high school transcripts detailing subjects taken and your GPA. If you completed a General Educational Development (GED) test instead, you must submit supporting documents.
- Complete an application form. You need to submit an application form with your documents to apply to a fashion school. Application forms typically include intended major and contact details.
- Pay an application fee. When you apply for a fashion degree at a fashion institute or any other higher learning institution, you will often need to pay an application fee. This fee for processing your application is usually around $50. Application fees are typically non-refundable.
- Write an admission essay. Fashion school applicants need to write an essay of 500 to 750 words. The writing piece should address why you have chosen that specific institute and why you are well suited for your chosen major. You can also detail what your individual approach to fashion is.
- Submit SAT or ACT scores. Some schools of fashion do not require you to submit Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT) scores, but those that do, have a minimum requirement. The minimum requirement for SAT scores is between 560 and 1060, and ACT scores should be at least 21 or higher.
- Submit recommendation letters. Recommendation letters are not mandated, but they can increase your chance of admission. An employer, teacher, or colleague should write this letter for you. You can submit multiple recommendation letters.
- Show your portfolio. An essential requirement to get accepted into any fashion institute is a portfolio. Different fashion schools have different portfolio requirements. They may give students assignments to include in their portfolios or ask for students to select their best work to display. Portfolio work must be 100 percent original.
How to Get Accepted Into Fashion School: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you are a fashion enthusiast wanting to start a career in the fashion industry, follow this step-by-step guide below to begin your education in fashion design. Once you graduate, you could become a fashion designer, fashion merchandiser, and more.
Step 1: Decide on a Fashion Major
Before starting your college admissions process, you need to decide what kind of fashion degree you want. Your decision will depend on what aspect of the fashion industry interests you. The field of fashion is vast and offers broad career opportunities. The most common fashion undergraduate programs offered include fashion design, fabric styling, fashion journalism, fashion merchandising, and fashion marketing.
Step 2: Make a Shortlist of Schools
When you have decided on a major that best suits your career goals, you will need to find a school. Research schools and make a shortlist of schools that offer your preferred major. Having more than one option is always a good idea. Top fashion schools in the US include the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Parsons School of Design, and Kent State University’s School of Fashion.
Step 3: Research Specific Admission Requirements
Once you have made a list of schools you would like to apply to, you can start doing requirement-specific research. Visit each fashion institute’s website and make a list of all the requirements. You can cross out each requirement as you collect it. This will help your application process go smoothly.
Step 4: Complete the Application Form and Gather the Admission Fee
The first step to start applying to schools is to complete the application forms. An application form lists personal details such as your contact information, birth date, and preferred major. Applications are usually available for completion online. It is also a good idea to set aside your application fee, which will likely be around $50 if there is one.
Step 5: Write Your Admission Essay
You need to write an admission essay to enroll in any fashion institute. Essays vary in length and subject depending on the schools you apply to. The word count can range from 250 to 750 words, and each fashion school has its own guidelines on what to write about. Usually, a strong personal statement addresses why you are perfect for the school, where you see yourself in the future, and why you have chosen a specific major.
Step 6: Collect All Other Required Documents
Now that you have written your essay, you are one step closer to submitting your fashion school application. It is time to gather all other essential documents, including SAT or ACT scores, recommendation letters, and transcripts from your last year of school or an equivalent such as a GED.
Step 7: Put Together Your Portfolio
A portfolio is a crucial part of an application for a fashion design education. Each school has different portfolio requirements, but it should be a professional display of your best work. Quality is much more important than quantity. Usually, a portfolio consists of eight to 20 pieces of your best art using a variety of media. Some institutions have extra challenges that you need to complete and include in your portfolio, such as a sewing project.
Step 8: Explore Financing Options
Higher education is costly, and fashion school is no different. There is a wide variety of financial aid that many fashion schools offer. This could come in the form of a scholarship, grant, college job program, payment plan, or loan. Visit each school’s website to see what financial aid they offer. Some schools also have financial advisors available to give advice to students.
Step 9: Submit Your Application
It is time to submit your application. You usually have to send your applications for fashion school online, but you may be asked to send a physical copy to the admissions office as well. Be sure to research the application deadlines of all fashion design schools so you can submit them in time.
How to Choose the Right Fashion School
Finding the perfect fashion school that fits your interests can be a huge struggle. You can look at several factors to help you narrow down your list. You should consider your career goals and the fashion programs available at each school. If you want to become a fashion merchandiser, you will need to look for programs in fashion merchandising.
Other factors to consider are school location, accreditation, and whether the tuition fits your financial resources. Looking at the successful alumni can also help you make this challenging decision. It will give some insight into what you can aspire to. For example, Donna Karan is a famous fashion designer, and she studied fashion at Parsons School of Design.
Top Tips for Getting Into Fashion School
- Tour fashion school campuses. Visiting campuses will help you choose a school with modern facilities to match the ever-changing fashion industry. This is your opportunity to talk to fashion design seniors, learn about their experiences, and scope out the fashion community at your future school.
- Apply to multiple fashion schools. You will boost your chances of acceptance into a fashion institute when you apply to more than one. So keep your options open and prepare applications for a few schools.
- Ask a fashion school student to look at your portfolio. When you have completed your portfolio, ask someone attending that school to look over your portfolio before submitting it. They will have insight on how to improve and perfect it. If you don’t know any current fashion students, ask a friend or family member instead.
- Prepare yourself for an admission interview. Certain fashion institutions require an admission interview. If you want to gain admission to your top school, you need to prepare for the interview. Do some research to find out about possible questions and think about how you will answer.
- Stay up to date with fashion trends. It is crucial to keep up with all the latest trends in fashion if you want to be a successful fashion student. You can create innovative designs that are relevant to current trends to stand out.
- Practice sewing to improve your skills. Whip out your sewing machine and start practicing. Fashion design is a crucial part of fashion. In fashion school, it will be a big bonus to have at least basic skills in sewing when you start your fashion degree.
Will I Get Accepted Into Fashion School?
Yes, if you have prepared your application and portfolio well, there is a high chance you will get accepted into fashion school. Some schools in the fashion industry are competitive and have a lower acceptance rate, but the majority of schools have high acceptance rates. For example, Kent State University has an acceptance rate of 84 percent, making chances of admission into its school of fashion high.
Fashion apprenticeships and internships are an excellent alternative for fashion lovers who don’t want to attend a fashion school. Some of the best fashion designers like Diane von Furstenberg and Ralph Lauren started without a fashion degree. Fashion jobs use creativity, and if you are creative and innovative, it is a great career.
Is Getting Into Fashion School Worth It?
Yes, fashion school is worth it if you love design and fashion and want a fun career in the business of fashion. There are a few crucial skills you need if you’re going to be a fashion design student. You should pay close attention to detail and have good communication and time management skills.
There are many wonderful careers in fashion that you can go into. Job opportunities in fashion include working as a fashion designer, fashion merchandiser, and fashion buyer. After graduation from fashion school, you can earn a very favorable salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the average annual salary for fashion designers is $75,810.
How to Get Into Fashion School FAQ
According to Indeed, the highest paying job in the fashion industry is a design director. They earn an average yearly salary of $97,530.
Yes, you don’t need sewing experience to get into fashion school. If you are interested in a fashion journalism or fashion history degree, it’s unlikely that knowing to sew will be relevant. However, general sewing knowledge could be a huge advantage for fashion design degrees. When attending fashion school, you will learn all the necessary sewing techniques.
Completing a degree in fashion can take two to four years. An associate degree will take two years, while a bachelor’s degree will take you at least four years to complete.
Professionals involved in fashion buying are responsible for selecting accessories and apparel but are not involved in the design process. They usually work on behalf of department stores and boutiques. They choose these items and decide which apparel collection best fits each store.
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