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Paint by Numbers: S.A.I.C. Is the Most Expensive Four-Year College


An Index of Education, Employment, and Action by Students and Artists

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is currently the most expensive four-year college in the US, according to a recent article from the Washington Post. 

This ranking was generated by the Department of Education, based on institution’s tuition sticker prices and subtracting the average amount of government and institutional grant and scholarship aid. This reveals an incontestable instrumentalization of education to serve a market-driven system, the assumption being that high price tags on education lead to high-paying jobs. However, many of us working in the arts are far less driven by economic incentives.

Artists often work second jobs to support their practices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that up to 50% of artist income is derived from secondary occupations. Alternative models of state-provided education that serve quality of life and the life of the mind, rather than the size of the pocketbook, are still extant in several places around the world, notably Europe. Recent cuts to government funding to education from the state in the UK, Greece, and Chile prompted widespread student outrage and large scale protests, whereas in the US, the student body seems far more complacent in accepting the exorbitant costs of education. 

This prompted F Newsmagazine staff to look at educational models around the world and share some facts about government incentives to support art making on an educational level, and help artists survive through tax breaks. We also noticed that there are students in the US speaking out about the dramatic inequality evident in the cost of education. Here, we share our index that we hope will provoke thought about the status quo in education.

Infographic by Christopher Givens.

Infographic by Christopher Give

Infographic by Christopher Givens.

Infographic by Christopher Givens.

Infographic by Christopher Givens.

Infographic by Christopher Givens.

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