Niche’s 2014 College of the Year: SCAD


Savannah College of Art and Design was chosen as Niche’s 2014 College of the Year in the inaugural Niche Madness Tournament after more than 60,000 votes were cast. Here’s a deeper look at this unique college.

SCAD Fast Facts

LocationSavannah, GA
Founding Year1978
Acceptance Rate56%
Average Net Price$35,307
Male-Female Ratio36% to 64%

SCAD: Young But Experienced
Savannah College of Art and Design may not be as old as other design schools, but it’s still rich in history.

Shortly after being legally incorporated in the state of Georgia in 1978, SCAD purchased and renovated the Savannah Volunteer Guard Armory for school use, an 1892 structure that’s included in the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it’s called Poetter Hall (after co-founders May and Paul Poetter) and is home to the SCAD welcome center, department of admission, and shopSCAD.

It doesn’t have any nicknames like other colleges, except for its convenient acronym, but it could be called “The Little Design School That Could.” With more than 40 majors and 60 minors, SCAD has become a well-respected destination for students interested in studying the arts and related subjects. While the school consisted of just 71 students and eight majors in the early ’80s, today more than 11,000 students from almost all 50 states and 100 countries attend the college, so the size has increased considerably since its inception.

What SCAD Students Do & Where They Go
In a 2014 alumni report, 93 percent of undergraduate and graduate respondents reported being employed and/or pursuing further education within 10 months of graduating. The most popular majors for SCAD students include illustration (5 percent); graphic design (5 percent); animation, video graphics, and special effects (4 percent); and cinematography and video production (3 percent).

Notable SCAD alumni include Mir Zafar Ali, a visual effects specialist who’s worked on movies like Frozen, Life of Pi, and The Golden Compass; Heidi Elnora, “Project Runway” alum and star of TLC show “Bride by Design”; Leigh Poindexter, property and set decorator on Fox’s “Glee”; Feifei Sun, fashion editor for TIME magazine; and Bryan Godwin, visual effects creator for films like Argo and The Muppets. SCAD alumni are all over the world, starting their own creative businesses, as well as working in Hollywood.

Niche's 2014 College of the Year: SCAD

SCAD hosts an annual sand festival on Tybee Island.

10 Fun Facts about SCAD & Savannah
1. The SCAD mascot is Art the Bee, and the school’s colors are black and gold.
2. It’s no wonder Niche ranks it so highly for diversity—SCAD’s student body is about 23 percent international.
3. In addition to Savannah, the college has locations in Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Lacoste, France.
4. When Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996, Savannah was chosen as the destination for sailing competitions.
5. SCAD students are required to focus on three areas of study: foundation studies, liberal arts, and their major.
6. SCAD hosts two unique arts festivals in Savannah, including the Sidewalk Arts Festival, which consists of chalk-drawing competitions, and the Sand Arts Festival, which features sand sculptures on Tybee Island.
7. Savannah is the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of America.
8. Nearby colleges include Armstrong Atlantic State University and Savannah State University.
9. The famous park-bench scene in Forrest Gump was filmed in Savannah’s Chippewa Square.
10. Despite being a young college, SCAD is located within one of the largest historic districts in the United States.