« Great art stems from one of two things: love or frustration. »
This is kind of a tricky one to answer, because I didn’t look into CalArts as much, so I really don’t have that much solid info about it, but I’ll try and help as much as I can!
Ok, so first off, Calarts has one of the lowest acceptance rates around. They are a fantastic school, but from what I’ve heard it’s almost impossible to get in unless you have been dedicated to animation since you were 10. Again, I am not sure if this is 100% correct, but I have heard that they want you to come in basically already knowing anatomy, and bits of animation. If you happen to be one of those people, then props to you! I highly recommend going there, as it is a great school filled with insanely talented people. The second I found that out I was like NOPE, can’t go there, because I just started drawing when I was 15 and had no idea how to really do anything.
SCAD, on the other hand, is one of the easiest schools to get into, which often misleads people into thinking that it is an easy school. SCAD isn’t looking for people who know how to draw, they are looking for people who have the motivation, drive, and creativity to be successful in the professional art world. If they see that, they will take you and train you to be the best in the business. The thing about that though is our freshman dropout rate is 80%. Only 20% of the people who are accepted actually make it to the second year. A lot of freshman will come in and think ‘ah, what this is just fancy art class right’ and then drop out the second they realize that this is a no-sleep, highly professional, 24/7 working university.
As for quality of animation, it really depends on how much work you personally want to put into it. Calarts has fantastic professors, and so does SCAD. I’m currently being trained by two of Disney’s greatest 2D vfx and character animators. When it comes to both schools, the people who make it are the people who are willing to work, and that really can come from any school. We both have alumni working in Cartoon Network right now, so it’s hard to give you an straight ‘GO HERE’ answer.
I recommend going to tour each of the schools and seeing where you feel more at home. I had toured a school that I thought was my dream school, but when I went there it was so corporate and bland and I instantly crossed it off. Then when I toured SCAD, I couldn’t have felt more at home, and fell in love with the people, the city, and the constant creative atmosphere that I was surrounded in.
I wish you best of luck in your decision, as you picked two of the best schools out there! If you have any questions at all about SCAD, please feel free to come off anon and talk to me about it, seriously. I would love to help anyway I can!