Letter: Art school designs on a good job

The Muse Wrap in shades of green and blue designed by Denise Shardlow as part of the Portfolio Trunk Show, which was held at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts this month. (Amy Ragsdale)

A recent news report implied that graduates from art-focused schools aren't able to repay their college loans, but that's not reflective of what we're seeing at Moore College of Art & Design.

At Moore, 99 percent of bachelor of fine arts students receive some amount of financial aid in 2012-13, a significant portion of which is funded by the college. Moore students' loan default rate is among the lowest at 4 percent, well below the national average of 13.4 percent. This low rate, particularly given the average loan amount for those who borrow, is a result of our success in preparing students for inspiring careers in the fields of art and design.

Our students receive intensive, personalized instruction in small classes, providing the skills they need to compete in the workforce. We also require a 240-hour internship as part of our career-focused education. This internship, which we subsidize for every student, plants the seeds early for the dogged determination necessary to maintain a lifelong commitment as artists and designers. Our high job placement rates speak to this.

Sara Lenton, a 2011 graduate, is one of our success stories. A graphic artist with a degree in illustration, she was employed three weeks after graduation. In addition to financial aid, she received a competitive scholarship from Moore which helped defray tuition. That, coupled with her successful career in the arts, means she will be able to pay back her debt sooner than anticipated.

Cecelia Fitzgibbon, Moore College president