For Parents

Why Ringling?

Find out what makes us the best in arts education.

There has never been a better time to study art and design. In today’s global marketplace, creativity is a driver of innovation and catalyst for our economy, and recent surveys indicate it is now considered the most important leadership quality for success in business. At Ringling College, we have spent over 85 years educating the leaders of our global creative economy.

Our faculty is a dedicated team of award-winning artists and designers who are just as passionate about teaching as they are about making significant contributions to their fields. They are working artists, designers, and scholars, and their commitment is unwavering. In fact, Ringling College has twice as many full-time faculty members as the average art and design college in the United States. Ringling College attracts instructors with the number one priority of teaching students to find and develop their creative voice.

Our rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and we immediately engage our students through a comprehensive, first-year program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. Our students waste no time before starting projects that pertain to their field of study, and our teaching model, which pairs hands-on studio classes with a comprehensive liberal arts curriculum, ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers.

So why Ringling? Because here, students learn more than the most advanced concepts and professional technical skills in the industry. They work with actual clients, master cutting-edge tools and technology, and create meaningful work with value.

Making our parents proud!

You're Invited

Each academic year, Ringling College hosts a variety of events, both on and off campus, for prospective students and their families.  Be sure to check back often for updated information.

Open House

Open house is a great opportunity to get to know Ringling College from the people who know it best—our students and faculty. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss our majors with faculty members and current students, stroll through our beautiful, sub-tropical campus, learn how to prepare your portfolio, and imagine life at Ringling College!  

National Portfolio Days

Ringling College participates in National Portfolio Days events, where high school students who are interested in studying art or design can meet with representatives from NASAD-accredited colleges from throughout North America. Come with your portfolio and questions ready and get feedback, discuss existing programs and majors, and discover professional careers in your field of interest. This event is free of charge and requires no pre-registration.

Parent FAQ

What is campus residency and student life like?

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 do students live?
First-year students are encouraged to live on campus to experience all Ringling College has to offer. 70% of our students live in one of 10 different residence halls or apartments.

What is campus housing like?
We offer a variety of residence hall and apartment options depending on the student's year in school. 

Is campus housing guaranteed?
Yes, for first-year students who complete housing contracts and confirm their intent to enroll prior to May 1 for the following fall semester. Upperclass students are assigned apartments by a lottery system. 

What about campus security?
We’re proud of our safety record at Ringling College. To access information, including crime statistics, go to our page for public safety.

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. Approximately three dozen academic, leadership, and leisure clubs exist, including 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 Government Association, to intramural sports, volunteer organizations, student theater, and dance groups, you can expand your mind and meet new friends by participating in approximately three dozen student groups on campus.

What if a campus emergency occurs?

Ringling College Public Safety seeks to provide service, safety, and protection of persons and property within our community. Certainly, no one can predict emergencies, but the College does have a Guideline for Emergency Preparedness protocol to assist in the event of an emergency. The College also uses an emergency notification system to notify students, faculty, and staff of emergency situations, by sending messages via text message, email, and office, home, and cell phones.

You can always view our Alerts pages for updates.

What kind of career opportunities exist for artists and designers?

There's simply never been a better time to be creative. 4.7 million Americans are employed in the arts and cultural sector. Businesses that produce software, films, television programs, and other audio, visual, and printed media account for 11.1% ($1.63 trillion) of U.S. gross domestic product. Many leading economists argue that new ideas, rather than machinery or natural resources, are the true source of economic success today. The creative economy is changing lives, fundamentally rewriting tried and true ideas about where people want to live and work and what they value most. That’s a trend that isn’t slowing down any time soon. 

Whether the focus is in art, design, animation, photography, or any of the other majors, we'll help you prepare for a rewarding career. Here are just a few of the many career paths a creative person can pursue.

What health/medical/counseling services are offered Ringling College?

Most common illnesses and conditions can be diagnosed and treated at our on-campus Health Center through an arrangement with the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. Students may walk in MWF 8-1pm or T/TH 11am-4pm without an appointment to receive medical services. Non-urgent medical questions may be directed to 941.309.4000 or to Any services that cannot be provided directly on-site can be coordinated within Sarasota Memorial’s comprehensive network that allows all our students to see a provider for a general medical office visit at the off campus University Parkway Urgent Care Center (5360 University Parkway, 941.917.1234) open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week) with no out-of-pocket costs.

Students can schedule a no-cost confidential counseling appointment Monday-Friday by calling 941.893.2855 or by emailing with their schedule. Our Student Health and Counseling Center is also available for consultation at 941.893.2855 and can help you work through the process of deciding how you might speak with your son or daughter about making an appointment. For more information, visit

How does Ringling College prepare my student for a successful career in the arts?

The moment your student sets foot on our campus, they embark on a journey toward a fulfilling career where they can use their talents to do big things. All of our classes and programs are catered to the art student, from our liberal arts courses to our hands-on studio courses, from their first day on campus. 

To shape and support the career path of every Ringling student, we provide the following:

  • Freshman courses tailored for each area of study, so students begin focusing on their major in the first year.
  • An award-winning faculty comprised of practicing professionals with understanding of cutting-edge industry practices.
  • A Career Services Center that keeps students on track to deliver a professional portfolio at graduation.
  • Professional experience and client-based work opportunities.
  • Recruiter visits from over 70 leading creative companies every year.
  • A job network and career services that are available to Ringling College graduates for the rest of their lives.

Does my son or daughter need health insurance?

All Ringling students must have insurance that provides comprehensive benefits from providers available in Sarasota.

If you wish to enroll your child in the student group insurance plan you need to actively enroll at

If you have other coverage and wish to keep your child on that plan, complete the online waiver showing comprehensive health insurance (foreign traveler’s insurance does not qualify) before the end of the first week of classes. If you fail to take action, a charge to enroll your child in the Ringling College health insurance plan will remain on your bill, and they will be enrolled in our plan for a month after classes begin. Active enrollment is required to ensure you can begin using your insurance if needed immediately.

For more information, visit

What are my options for financing my child's education?

At Ringling College of Art and Design, we realize a college education represents a significant investment in the future and a fulfillment of your student's dreams.

Although the primary responsibility for financing a college education lies with the student and family, the Office of Financial Aid is committed to helping make your Ringling College education as affordable as possible. We are here to help you navigate through the many financial aid options available. Most financial aid at Ringling College is awarded to you based on demonstrated financial need, which is the difference between the cost of attending Ringling College (tuition, fees, supplies, etc.), and what you and your family are able to contribute. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and student employment. You can be confident in knowing the Office of Financial Aid will treat you with customized service for your individual needs. Each student who applies for financial aid receives a financial aid "package," incorporating one or more forms of assistance.

Currently, more than 70% of our students receive some form of financial aid each year.

Learn more about financing your student's education here.

Are there options for storing my student’s belongings over the summer?

Local storage companies are very familiar with Ringling students and have had many as customers over the years. While they don’t generally do a special student deal, they often have great summer rates including the possibility of one month free or at a discounted rate.

Get In Touch

Arrange a campus tour

We welcome visitors. Schedule a tour with a student guide and meet individually with an Admissions counselor. Call 800.255.7695 (Toll-free U.S. only) or 941.351.5100, or fill out the tour request form.

Attend our Admissions events

Ringling College hosts two Preview Day events each year, on weekends in February and October/ November. Visit Admissions Events page for information about upcoming events.

Video chat with us

Request a Skype session and video chat live with an Admissions representative. Ask questions and get information about admission requirements, portfolios, how to apply, and more. If you would like to schedule a session, please e-mail and let us know. One of our counselors will respond to set up a date and time.

Request Information

We can customize a VIP page and send you our latest materials so you can learn more about what Ringling College has to offer. Just fill out this form.