Portfolios are a Primary Criterion to Evaluate Applicants at College Visual Art, Architecture and Design Programs.

Portfolio preparatio is most important for applicants to take seriously. Most Bachelor's of Fine Arts (BFA) programs weigh the portfolio heavily in admissions consideration. This is particularly true of Master's of Fine Arts (MFA) programs. 

Applying to a college art or architecture program is usually more involved than applying to study other subjects. The requirement of submitting a portfolio of artwork is in addition to completing other college application requirements; standardized tests, transcripts and essays.

What Is a Portfolio?

A portfolio is simply a selection of an artist's artwork. A portfolio containing artwork that does not represent an artist's strengths or does not demonstrate skills needed to succeed in each college often prevent students from being accepted.

Why Portfolios Are Required and Why Portfolios Are Important

Most quality colleges of art and most BFA programs require a portfolio for admission because previous experience in the visual arts is required. This helps ensure all students are committed to the arts and ready to successfully enter an intensive art program during the first year. 

1. Portfolios Ensures Students Accepted to a College Have the Visual Skills Needed to Succeed at the College. 

Freshman year art classes, usually called foundation classes, and freshman architecture classes are particularly demanding and can overwhelm students who do not have much art experience. No college wants to accept a student who is not prepared to succeed.

When Students Are Not Accepted to a Program Requiring Portfolios, It Does NOT Mean They Do Not Have Talent.

A denial usually means that the college did not think an applicant was  sufficiently prepared to succeed in the program compared with the rest of the applicats who applied. Students who are not accepted need to spend more time preparing art or design projects to reapply.

2. Portfolios Demonstrate Student Commitment and Interest Level in Their Chosen Area of Study

You can not decide one day to create a portfolio. The best portfolios often  take several years to produce, representing numerous classes or self-investigations. 

3. A Well-Prepared Portfolio Offers More Financial Opportunity- Excellent Portfolios Often Receive More Scholarship Funds!

Financial aid in the form of merit-based scholarships is usually based on the quality of an applicant's portfolio. Having a portfolio that is thoughtful, professional and well-conceived can provide more merit aid. 

I have seen this numerous times over the years as my students have received large annual merit scholarships, including scholarships like the Presidental Scholarship at Pratt Institute.

Portfolio Preparation from College Admissions Professional 1+510/ 725-2780