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Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Bentonville AR home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Bentonville Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Bentonville AR school you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arkansas or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Bentonville AR business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Bentonville AR schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Bentonville AR programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Bentonville home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bentonville AR, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.