1. Parsons School of Design: Located in New York City, Parsons offers a plethora of programs in various disciplines. I personally studied Communication Design & Technology here, and I absolutely loved the experience. Parsons is especially renowned for its fashion school, but it also offers outstanding programs in Fine Arts and numerous other fields.
2. California College of the Arts (CCA): Based in San Francisco and Oakland, CCA is another excellent choice for Art and Design enthusiasts. Many of my colleagues who attended CCA have praised the quality of its programs and the overall educational experience.
3. CalArts (California Institute of the Arts): Situated in Valencia, California, CalArts is a superb choice if you're particularly interested in Animation or experimental art practices. The college is famous for nurturing creative talents in various art disciplines.
4. Pratt Institute: Located in Brooklyn, New York, Pratt is a fantastic art and design school that offers comprehensive programs and fosters a vibrant creative community.
5. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD): With campuses in Georgia and other international locations, SCAD is renowned for its dedicated approach to art and design education and state-of-the-art facilities.
6. Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA): Based in Baltimore, MICA consistently ranks among the top art colleges in the U.S., offering programs in various art and design disciplines.
7. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD): Founded in 1877, RISD is one of the oldest and most prestigious art and design schools in the country, located in Providence, Rhode Island.
These institutions are primarily private colleges and universities, but numerous public schools also offer outstanding art programs. When choosing a college, consider the specific discipline of art you're passionate about, and focus on finding schools that excel in that particular area. By doing so, you'll maximize the value and impact of your education.
Best of luck with your search!
HOWEVER, those colleges are severely limiting by cost and distance. If you don't live near these colleges, it will be an extra fee to have a dorm room that will go on top of your already massive tuition fee. Plus, art (whether it's graphic design or fine arts) is an expensive thing to study and supplies are expensive. Another note to take into consideration is that, especially in art, nobody really cares about what university you went to. They care about your portfolio and the quality of that portfolio. The prestige colleges are great for networking and making those first steps into a professional industry but that shouldn't make or break your decision. I've been in the design field for ten years and I have yet to meet anyone who went to any of the listed colleges. I graduated with a dual degree of fine arts and graphic design from a small state college which had a relatively unknown but very good art department.
As Alec said, a lot of public schools have hidden gems of an art department and it will take some research to learn more. You definitely have the perks of living in a large city and populous state where you can probably find a lot of alternatives. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can always do undergrad at a smaller university and go get your specialization at one of the fancier schools as a masters. I had many classmates who did that.