Ringling College of Art and Design is a private, independent, four-year visual arts college accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and School (SACS), and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The Department of Interior Design is accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Research (FIDER) at the First Professional Degree Level. As one of the country’s premier art and design colleges, the College emphasizes quality, innovation, creative expression, and professional success.



Campus Life


Disabilities Services




Student Billing

Student Body & Faculty




What programs are offered at Ringling College?

Ringling College offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (BFA) with majors in:

How does the curriculum work?

The BFA program is a four-year sequence of studio art, art history, and liberal arts general education courses. Approximately two-thirds of the curriculum consists of studio-based courses and the remaining third are academic courses. 

How is transfer credit awarded?

Many of our students have previously attended other colleges. We award transfer credit based upon the courses you’ve successfully completed with a minimum grade of C or better. Studio art transfer credit is based on a portfolio review. We also award credit for specific sCores on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and British A-Level exams.

What about minors?

Optional minors are available in Business of Art & Design, Fine Arts, Photography & Digital Imaging.

Can I study abroad?

Ringling College students may participate in study abroad programs at select locations. Check the Study Abroad section for more information.


How long has Ringling College been around?

It was founded in 1931 by noted art collector, real estate developer, and circus impresario John Ringling – a creative entrepreneur who knew all about getting people’s attention. In fact, we are currently celebrating our 75th Anniversary Celebration Year!


What is the campus like?

Unlike most art colleges, Ringling College has a self-contained, residential campus that closely resembles a liberal arts college. It consists of 78 buildings on 35 subtropical acres.

Where would I live?

First-year students are encouraged to live on campus to experience all Ringling College has to offer. More than half of our students live in one of 10 different residence halls or apartments. For a listing of off-campus housing, visit www.ringling.edu/offcampushousing.

What is campus housing like?

First-year students live in several residence hall buildings, some of which have private rooms available on a first-come, first-served basis. Upper class students live in campus apartments.

Is campus housing guaranteed?

Yes, for first-year students who complete housing contracts and confirm their intent to enroll prior to May 15 for the following fall semester. Upperclass students are assigned apartments by a lottery system. For a listing of off-campus housing, visit www.ringling.edu/offcampushousing.

What about campus security?

We’re proud of our safety record at Ringling College. To access information, including crime statistics, go to http://publicsafety.ringling.edu.

What do students do outside of class?

The Office of Student Life supports a myriad of clubs and activities designed to engage, entertain, and enlighten students. Nearly two dozen academic, leadership, and leisure clubs exist, including two fraternities, one sorority, and a number of special-interest groups, providing a balanced calendar of co-curricular events throughout the year to suit a broad spectrum of interests. Special opportunities exist for students as Residence Hall Advisors, Ringling College Ambassadors, and community volunteers.

What about student organizations?

From our Student Governement Association, to intramural sports, to volunteer organizations, to Greek life, to student theater and dance groups – you can expand your mind and meet new friends by participating in more than two dozen student groups on campus.


Will Ringling College help me in my career search?
The Center for Career Services provides access to 1,000's of full-time, part-time, freelance and internship opportunities annually for students and alumni to contact directly. Once registered, you can submit, post, and forward your résumé and portfolio through our College Central Network. Online tutorials with formats and samples geared specifically to Ringling College students and alumni are available 24/7 to assist you in creating your RESUME and COVER LETTERS. Tutorial for  INTERVIEW strategies and applying to GRADUATE SCHOOL are just a few of the additional resources available on the Career Services website.

From your first days at Ringling College, get ready to take part in recruiter visits, workshops and career conferences that will help you in the real world. When you take the initiative, the Center for Career Services can help you prepare for a career in art and design.

Where are Ringling College alumni working?
Each year, recruiters (i.e. Disney, Hallmark, Apple, DreamWorks, Microsoft, Abercrombie & Fitch) from a variety of art and design corporations visit our campus to interview our students and graduating seniors for internship and fulltime employment opportunities. According to recruiters’ information, faculty input, emails and Ringling College Alumni who respond to our surveys nearly 90% of graduates are employed or in graduate school six months after graduation.

Alumni Spotlight 


How can I get accommodations for my disability?

Whatever the nature of your disability, if it limits your access to Ringling College programs, courses or activities, we will arrange accommodations for you. First, we must receive documentation in accordance with our published guidelines. The guidelines are available from Virginia DeMers, Director of the Academic Resource Center and from the ARC web site. Once we receive documentation, students meet with Ms. DeMers to discuss their needs and arrange accommodations that are appropriate for them as individual students at an art college. After student and Ms. DeMers agree on which accommodations are needed, she will provide letters to instructors and other staff, itemizing the accommodations and explaining their implementation. You may reach Ms. DeMers by phone at (941) 359-7627 or by email at vdemers@ringling.edu.

Where should I send the documentation?

Virginia DeMers, Director Academic Resource Center

Ringling College of Art and Design

2700 N. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34234-5895

What if my documentation is too old or I never received a formal diagnosis?

First every case is different, so do not hesitate to contact Ms. DeMers and discuss your situation and your needs. Often students' needs can be met by other ARC programs. However, some services will not be available if you have no diagnosis or if your documentation is not thorough. If you feel you need more than the college can provide with your present documentation, you should consider seeing an appropriate specialist and receiving testing or examinations to provide it. 

Ms. DeMers can offer names of local testing services for learning disabilities.

Will I receive the same accommodations as in high school?

If the documentation you submit is up to date and thorough, probably you will be eligible for most services you received in high school. However, some aspects of accommodation do change when you enter college because the goal of accommodations changes slightly. In high school and elementary school, students with disabilities are covered by the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). Under this law, every child--regardless of abilities--is entitled to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE). So some children in elementary and high school have individual plans (IEPs) that indicate what progress is acceptable for them--even if that progress is sometimes less or moves more slowly than for other students in the same level. In college, all students must complete the same amount of work at an acceptable standard. Deadlines are very important and curriculum is not adjusted. Disabilities accommodation in college must provide equal access to the same education rather than success in a special education program.

In practice this generally means that students with disabilities must meet the same deadlines for out of class work but might receive extra time on tests. It means that students who  need alternative format for text books will receive audio books but will not be accommodated with a reduced reading load or a different test. These are just examples. Each case is individual and will be decided based on the information available, the student's (your) statements about the disability and the curricular goals and objectives for the course.

Another change is that in college, you, the student take responsibility for the accommodation process: you must request services and inform the disabilities services office (ARC) if services are ineffective or if an instructor is not complying with the accommodations. Again, if you have any questions, contact Virginia DeMers in the ARC: by phone at (941) 359-7627 or by email at vdemers@ringling.edu.

When can I start the accommodation process?

Unless you need supports that take time to arrange such as sign interpreters, alternative text formats or special housing accommodations, you do not need to start the formal accommodation process until you arrive for college in August. However, once classes start you should schedule a meeting with Virginia as soon as possible. Some students like to meet with her during Orientation. Bring the documentation with you to the meeting--or send it ahead to the address above. It's important to notify teachers of your needs as early as possible because they will be working with you and Virginia to make sure you receive the supports for which you are eligible.

If your documentation meets the guidelines, it should generally be sufficient through all four years at Ringling. But in any semester when you need accommodations, you will need to meet with Virginia and repeat this procedure.





What does it cost to attend Ringling College for one year? 

For complete details refer to Tuition & Fees or First Year Student Tuition-Fees.  

How many students receive financial aid? 

Approximately 80 percent of our students receive some form of financial assistance. 

What’s the time limit on applying for financial aid? 

You can apply for aid throughout the year, but our priority date is March 1, the date we begin our awarding process. This means you should transmit your FAFSA to the Department of Education by February 15, or if you’re applying by mail, you should send it by January 15. 

I’m under the age of 24, but have been living on my own and my parents don’t claim me on their taxes. Do I still need to provide their information on the FAFSA? 

Yes. For the purposes of financial aid, dependency status is determined by a series of questions on the FAFSA.  

When will I get a Financial Aid Notification Letter? 

Only after you’ve completed a FAFSA. For new students who have been accepted, letters will be mailed late March and early April.

How do I apply for scholarships? 

With a completed FAFSA, we will consider you for all the aid we have available at the time we receive your application. 

Do you accept outside scholarships? 

Yes. The award will be credited to your bill once we have received the funds from the grantor. 

Do you accept the Florida PrePaid Program? 

Even though Ringling College is a private institution, we will accept Florida Prepaid at a rate calculated according to the Florida statute. The amount is approximately $2,726 per year [subject to change.] 

I graduated from a Florida high school and have Bright Futures; can I use it at the Ringling College? 

Yes, the amount you will be credited will be at a flat rate, not a percentage. For example, the current rate for the Academic Scholarship is $4,138/year, and the current rate for the Medallion and Gold Seal Scholarships is $2,824/year [both subject to change]. 

How do I receive a Stafford Loan? 

Complete a FAFSA, e-sign your Master Promissory Note and complete an Entrance Counseling Session to finalize the Stafford Loan process. 

How do I sign my Master Promissory Note for the federal loan? 

You may e-sign your Master Promissory Note after selecting a lender by clicking on Federal Stafford Student Loans

What is the Entrance Counseling Session and how do I complete it? 

The Entrance Counseling Session is a federal requirement, which informs you of your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower.  You can access it by visiting the Financial Aid Web site and clicking on Entrance Counseling Session.  It takes about 15 minutes to complete, and you will need the names and addresses of two references. 

How do my parents apply for a parent loan? 

Parents: Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan by visiting the website and clicking on Federal Parent PLUS Loans.  

What if my parents apply for a PLUS Loan but are not approved? 

We can then award you an Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan. For 1st- and 2nd-year students the additional amount is $4,000 and for 3rd- and 4th-year students the additional amount is $5,000. 

How does the loan money get to Ringling College? 

For federal loans [Stafford and PLUS], monies are sent to the business office via electronic funds transfer. Many private loans are also disbursed this way, or via paper check. If there is a credit balance after your financial aid has been applied to your account, you will be issued a refund check. 

What if my financial aid doesn’t cover my bill? 

There are two options: 1] you can enroll in the TuitionPay program and make interest-free payments over a 10-month period; or 2] you may consider a private educational loan

What can I spend my loan money on? 

Stafford, PLUS and private educational loans can be used for tuition, books, supplies, housing, food, and other educational expenses.



Where is Ringling College located?

The 35-acre residential campus is located just north of downtown Sarasota, Florida, a city which has grown to be recognized as the state’s cultural capital. Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, brilliant white sand beaches and blue-green waters are just minutes away!

What is Sarasota like?

Sarasota is a unique blend of spectacular beaches and world-class cultural resources. Explore nearly five dozen art galleries, play in the sand or explore one of the world’s great collections of Baroque and contemporary art at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. At the heart of it, Sarasota is a colorful artist’s colony, boasting its own professional theatres, symphony, opera and ballet. For more information, see www.sarasotafl.org or www.visitsarasota.net. Better yet, come visit and see for yourself!

How do I arrange a campus visit and tour?

We welcome visitors. Contact the Admissions Office at 800.255.7695 (Toll-free U.S. only) or 941.351.5100, or click here. You’ll be able to tour with a student guide and meet individually with an Admissions counselor.


Who receives my billing statement?

The billing statement follows the student. Statements are mailed in the student’s name to the student’s permanent address when classes are not in session or are delivered to their campus mailbox during the academic year.

Is my statement available on-line?

Yes, you may access your student statement through Self Service at http://my.ringling.edu.

Can you send a copy of the statement to my parents?

As a student, you are responsible for monitoring your balance and for keeping track of payment due dates. Since you will be the only recipient of the statements, you will need to communicate your account status to anyone else responsible for paying the charges other than yourself.

When are payments due for the 2012-2013 academic year?

Fall Semester 2012:
July 11, 2012 for new students
August 1, 2012 for returning students.

Spring Semester 2013:
December 7, 2012.

How do I figure out how much I owe?

You will receive a statement each month in which there are new or outstanding charges. Please note: Outside resources [i.e. scholarships, private student loans, etc.] will appear on the statement as anticipated financial aid, only after confirming documentation has been provided to Student Billing.

Reminder:  You may view your student account, anytime, through Self-Service at http://my.ringling.edu.


Am I required to make payment if I did not receive my statement?

Yes. You are responsible for timely payment whether you receive a statement or not. If you have changed your permanent address, it is up to you to update that information with the Office of Advising, Records, and Registration Services or via Self-Service.

Should I make a payment if I don’t know what my financial aid package will be?

Yes, if the Financial Aid award has not yet been finalized by the payment due date. You should make a payment based on the previous year, if applicable. If you are participating in the payment plan, upon notification of your award you may either increase or decrease the amount of your contract. If you are not participating in the payment plan, you may request a refund if the award creates a credit balance. Any balance due must be paid immediately to the College.

Is my work study award credited to my account?

Work opportunity authorized by the Financial Aid award does not show as anticipated aid or credit on the bill because you will receive the funds, when earned, through a payroll check.

Will my scholarship show up as a credit?

If you receive outside scholarship awards, you must provide acceptable documentation prior to the published payment deadline. Acceptable documentation includes a copy of an award letter, billing authorization, or sponsorship letter. Unless specifically stated in the sponsorship letter, all outside scholarships will be applied to the fall semester. Providing this documentation will allow the College to defer the amount. If for any reason the College does not receive payment of the scholarship, the student will be responsible for the amount deferred.

Why am I still receiving a statement when I have anticipated aid that will cover the balance?

You will continue to receive a statement until the College has received the anticipated aid amount.

Do you have a payment plan?

Ringling College of Art and Design does not offer an internal payment plan. However, TuitionPay, offers an interest-free monthly payment plan that can make your education payments convenient and more affordable. Instead of lump-sum payments, the TuitionPay plan allows you to pay all or part of your educational expenses in manageable monthly installments. You may use the TuitionPay plan to pay your balance after financial aid or in combination with other loans.

How do I figure out how much to budget with TuitionPay?

For 2012-2013, tuition and fees [not including room and board] for a first-year student is $36,950. This amount with room and board, less any financial aid, if you are a recipient, will determine your yearly TuitionPay contract amount. However, you may contact TuitionPay as early as May to establish an estimated contract. Please remember to budget with TuitionPay for the full academic year. By enrolling in the TuitionPay monthly payment plan, your student account receives a credit each semester for the amount of the semester budget. Student Billing will credit your student account in advance of making all of the TuitionPay payments. Student Billing can provide assistance for determining the contract amount.

I am on the TuitionPay monthly payment plan. Why is there a balance on my account?

If you are on the TuitionPay monthly payment plan and a balance due still remains, you may have under-budgeted your contract. Student Accounts/Bursar will review your account with you to determine the amount outstanding. You can pay this amount directly to the College or contact TuitionPay to increase your contract.

My TuitionPay contract was terminated. How is this reflected on my account? What do I do now?

Once the College receives notification from TuitionPay of a termination or a cancellation, your student account will be updated to reflect the amount paid to date. Any remaining balance is due immediately to the College.

What do I do if I have a residence fine, library fine, technology fine or parking fine on my account?

Inquiries regarding miscellaneous fines should be directed to the respective department:
Residence Fines – Office of Student Life 941.359.1963
Library Fines – Verman Kimbrough Memorial Library 941.359.7587      Technology Fine - Instituitional Technology 941.359.7633
Parking Fines – Public Safety 941.351.4742

How do I receive a refund if there is a credit on my account after payment is made or anticipated financial aid is received?

If you have a credit balance you will receive a notice by email indicating when a check will be available for pick-up in the Office of Student Accounts/Bursar. Checks not picked up within 14 days of the issue date will be mailed to the student's permanent address. If a PLUS loan is awarded and disbursed to your account, the check will be issued and mailed to the PLUS borrower. The amount of the check will not exceed the amount received from the lender. TuitionPay participants must either wait until their contracts are paid in full or they may opt to decrease their budget by the amount of the credit.

Why do I have a hold on my account?

A hold placed on your account is due to an outstanding balance. If you have a hold you may be prevented from participating in pre-registration, room lottery, registration, receiving or having a transcript mailed to another institution, and receiving your diploma. The hold will remain on your student account until any outstanding balance has been resolved or all resources have been received.

My account is with a collection agency, can I arrange a payment plan with the College instead of the agency?

Once your account has been placed with a collection agency, you must discuss payment options directly with the agency.


How many students attend Ringling College?

More than 1,200 students from 47 states, 30 foreign countries, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands were enrolled for the 2008-2009 academic year.

What is the student to faculty ratio?

12 to 1.


What is the student-computer ratio?

Ringling College offers approximately 22 high-end computer labs for student use. We’re proud of our better than 2-to-1 student-computer ratio.

What computer support is available to students?

Students can obtain technical support during regular business hours and extended hours by calling 941.359.7633.

What type of computer should students purchase?

All incoming first year students participating in the CORE program will receive a new MacBook Pro  during Orientation. Transfer students and students who are not first year students should use our computer labs and make a decision as to what type of computer to purchase during their sophomore or junior years. A computer purchased during the freshman year will become obsolete by the time the student reaches senior-level courses.

Does Ringling College offer discounts towards computer products?

Ringling College has partnered with computer vendors who offer educational discounts. If a computer vendor does not offer educational discount, another vendor may be willing to offer the discount. Educational discounts apply to both software and hardware.

For more information about Ringling College technology, visit Institutional Technology at www.it.ringling.edu or contact technical support at 941.359.7633.