TL;DR if you plan to go to RISD and it's going to lead to a high paying job, you should apply. If you plan on going there and have no clear path towards paying back those heavy loans, you need to consider how much that is going to financially burden you for the next twenty years.
A few thoughts:
What are your career goals after college?
What is the average salary for that career goal?
Does that avaerage salary enable you to pay back your loans in a reasonable amount of time?
Something I feel personally strong about as someone who runs a creative team is that I don't care about how/where you gained your skills, I care that you have them. The school you are looking at is incredible and could lead to some amazing positions in the future, but that isn't the only way you can grow as a creative professional. There is something special about being around other amazingly talented people that pushes you to be the best you, but unless you are willing to push yourself to the next level no amount of schooling is going to matter.
Please let me know if this was helpful and if you have follow up thoughts that I might be able to work through with you.
Jonathan recommends the following next steps:
- Explore expected incomes for the types of jobs you want to have when you graduate from college.