Oliver Padilla San Francisco CA

Oliver Padilla
Was it hard to get into CCA?

Well this is by far the toughest question I’ve had to answer. It’s really hard for me to say how hard it is. First of all, the way I applied to CCA was not the most conventional way.

I decided to apply with a week before the application was due. It was a priority/financial aid deadline. CCA accepts applications on a rolling basis but I need financial aid if there is any way I could have a realistic shoot of attending the school. So with a week left before the deadline and during midterms no less, I buckled down and cranked out what I need: One portfolio, one personal statement, one official transcript, two letters of recommendation, and an application form. I got it all done along with my midterms. It was the toughest week I’ve ever had at CCSF. However, looking back on it, the CCA application was not a truly difficult task for me. It was more of organizing everything together and making sure it presented well when they saw it.

I was curious to find out how difficult it was for other students to get into CCA. I decided to ask a few fellow incoming students and find out their take on how easy it was. Almost all of them said that I was pretty easy, but they went on to explain that they have either been working on their portfolio for the past year or that they’ve been planning everything out for a long time before it was time to apply. What it comes down to is that they were all prepared. One student that I talked to was telling me that she even earned a ‘Creative Achievement’ award.

Now my situation as a little different, with only a week left it seem like didn’t give myself much time to prepare. However, in the end I realized I was prepared. I already had a portfolio; I just tailored it to what CCA wanted. I’ve had so many different work experiences and good relationships with instructors that I could easily get two letters of recommendations. The only thing I really had to work on was my personal statement.

My official answer to this question is this: Yes it is easy to get into CCA, but you have to have your shit together, you have to be prepared, and you have to be qualified. If you feel that you have all of that then it should be a walk in the park. But if you don’t stay on top of your work or you don’t keep your shit together, then getting into CCA will be difficult.

If you aren’t sure about where you are artistically or if you need help with your portfolio, have your art teachers look at it. You can also go to national portfolio days where people review your portfolio and provide helpful feedback. CCA has admission counselors who can take a look at your portfolio before you submit it. They were extremely helpful when I meet with them and gave me a clear picture of what they were looking for.

I hope this was helpful, as always please feel free to leave questions and comments!

Thanks for reading!

-Oliver Padilla

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Oliver Padilla
San Francisco, CA
(415) 617-9285

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