Neeti Banerji (RISD '17) talks about what excites her about studying in an art school in the US.


What did you find most challenging about the college app process?

All the work I had to put into the essays along with getting a hold of all the necessary documents. Obtaining my transcript and academic records was the only part of the process that was out my control. The earlier you ask for the transcripts, the better. 

What was your SAT and Subject Tests prep strategy?

Practice, lots of it. After I grasped the basic principles of maths and the language that the SAT would be testing it was simply the format which separated the SAT from any other test. I ended up taking several tests, as many as two a day. The test taking in a test day simulation comprised ninety percent of my preparation and I ended up learning how to manage the time available for each section.

Similarly with the Literature and World History tests, I took several practice tests. However in this case, the material mattered more than the format. The only reason I took the practice tests was to learn how to manage time better, which was a major issue. 

How did your college list change over time?

My safeties and dream colleges remained more or less the same. My target colleges changed as I steadily eliminated colleges based on various factors. For instance, I wanted an art college that had on campus housing which eliminated quite a few design schools. Also, once I had my SAT scores it became easier to see where I stood. 

What advice would you give future applicants?

Begin as early as possible. Preferably give your SAT while you're in the eleventh grade so that you can dedicate as much time as possible to other aspects of your application. 

What are you looking forward to the most about college?

Generally, just the very fact that I'll be living in a different environment for four years; meeting different people, coping with a new climate. More specifically all the opportunities that an art school in the States offers. 

What major/s are you considering? 

Illustration is my first choice but it's very likely that it'll change as I get exposed to a whole range of choices once the term starts. 

What excites you about the courses you'll sign up for?

The sheer variety of courses available ranging from printmaking to liberal arts courses. Even at a specialized design school, the importance of liberal arts is not undermined. 

What are your plans for summer? 

Applying for a student visa will take up a fair bit of my time but apart from that I intend to enjoy myself swimming and meeting friends. I have found a few odd jobs here and there for NGOs to keep me occupied but I primarily aim to just relax considering that the summer post twelfth grade is the last summer I'll be free for a very long time.