Arkansas is home to 51 Title IV degree-granting colleges and universities and more than 20 community colleges. Title IV schools (1) have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, (2) grant an associate's degree or higher, (3) have signed a participation agreement with the Department, (4) offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length, and (5) have been in business for at least 2 years. Because they have met these requirements, Title IV schools are eligible for federal financial aid programs. This means even the most expensive schools are accessible to students with financial need, thanks to access to a variety of financial aid programs.
A number of Title IV schools in Arkansas offer excellent art and design programs. Just a few include the College of Fine Arts at Arkansas State University, the Department of Art at University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the College of Liberal and Performing Arts at Southern Arkansas University. The state is also home to a variety of art centers that offer programs for all ages and levels. A few include Eureka Springs School of Art, Arkansas Art Center Museum School, and The Arkansas Craft School.
Not every Arkansas art school or center offers full programs for animators. They may offer single courses or some programs may offer animation courses as part of a larger related program. Continue reading to find out which Arkansas schools offer animation programs and how much you can expect to pay.
Most Expensive Arkansas Animation Schools
John Brown University, Siloam Springs – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate $23,398, Graduate $9,864 (9 credit hours per semester/$548 per credit hour-PCH) for the 2015-2016 school year
ITT Technical Institute – School of Drafting and Design, Little Rock – Tuition Cost: $10,224 to $16,696 based on 12 credit hours per semester at $426 to $529 PCH for the 2015-2016 school year
Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate $11,480, Graduate $7,838 for 2015-2016 school year
Least Expensive Arkansas Animation Schools
University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Fayetteville – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate resident $7,028, nonresident $20,332; Graduate resident $8,095 (9 credit hours per semester/$449.77), nonresident $18,672 (9 credit hours per semester/$1037.34 PCH) for the 2015-2016 school year
Henderson State University, Arkadelphia – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $4,968 (12 credit hours per semester/$207 PCH, nonresidents $10,248 (12 credit hours per semester/$427 PCH) for the 2015-2016 school year
University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $4,944 (based on 12 credit hours per semester/$206 PCH), nonresidents $13,800 (12 hours per semester, $575/PCH); Graduate residents $5,400 (9 credit hours per semester, $300/PCH), nonresidents $12,420 (9 credit hours per semester/$690 PCH) for the 2015-2016 school year
Northwest Arkansas Community College, Bentonville – Tuition Cost: $75.00/PCH in-district, $122.50/PCH out-of-district, $125.00/PCH out-of-state, $175.00/PCH international for the 2015-2016 school year
More Animation related programs to consider:
- Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, France, and Online via SCAD eLearning
Arkansas Animation Scene
The Arkansas Film Commission has been attracting productions of all kinds from big budget classic films such as Gone with the Wind (1969) and The Firm (1993) to indies such as Three for the Road (1987). The Commission attracts productions by offering a variety of film incentives, and access to one of a kind backdrops such swamplands, pine forests, Mount Magazine State Park, and Mammoth Spring State Park. Because Arkansas attracts a number of productions each year, studios are always looking for talented artists—this includes animators. Animators may find work as part of the production team, in promotions, and in other areas.
Other areas open to Arkansas-based animators include software publishing, advertising and public relations, information services, specialized design services, and even education. Animators interested in teaching may find jobs in the film, fine art, multimedia, graphic design, or computer science departments of many of the top universities mentioned earlier, at more than 20 community colleges across the state and even at some of the state’s 1,100 elementary and secondary schools.
The state is currently home to around 30 salaried multimedia artists and animators and possibly hundreds of independent animators. The state’s salaried artists average $36,390 per year. Nationwide, the mean annual wage for animators and multimedia artists is $69,410 and overall employment for this group is expected to increase by six percent for the 2012-2022 decade.
Job opportunities for aspiring animators in Arkansas can be found at agencies and studios such as:
- 360 Filmworks, Little Rock
- Agency501, Little Rock
- CJRW, Little Rock, Springdale
- Communications Group, Little Rock
- Eric Rob & Isaac, Little Rock
- Point Happy Interactive, Little Rock
- Rockfish, Rogers
- Sells Agency, Little Rock
- Stone Ward, Little Rock
- Thoma Thoma, Little Rock
Animators with a computer science background may find opportunities at one of more the than 600 computer technology firms in Arkansas. While most opportunities can be found in Little Rock, smaller cities such as Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, and Rogers are worth exploring.
Awesome Animation Fact: Warner Bros. animated character Tweety (Tweety Bird) made its first appearance in A Tale of Two Kitties on November 21, 1942. Although Tweety was originally voiced by Mel Blanc (1942-1989) there was widespread speculation that the bird was female. Of course, Tweety is and has always been a male character. -E2=Educational & Entertainment Hub