Anyone Graduate from Full Sail?

My older son will be getting out of the Air Force in not too long, and he’s looking into attending Full Sail for filmmaking.

Problem is, he’s heard that the school might be A) seriously overpriced, and B) not teach him what he needs to know.

So if you have graduated from Full Sail (or are a current student there), what’s your take on the place?

If you were considering going there, and didn’t, what were the deciding factors that made you change your mind?

He’s looking for clear, objective data. Not “Full Sail rocks” or “Full Sail sucks,” but WHY.

Thanks for any insight you can offer.

 

AFTER SIX YEARS OF LEAVING THIS TOPIC OPEN FOR DISCUSSION, I HAVE NOW CLOSED IT.

Because this WordPress theme won’t allow me to lock a single post, I will simply delete unread all replies to this post. Thanks for not posting.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

118 comments… add one
  • dolo Jul 27, 2012 @ 14:18

    does anyone have a list of the books you need to finish the game design or game art programs at FS U?

  • Brad Floyd May 10, 2012 @ 13:36

    Hey guys,

    I’m a current student and just wanted to mention to anyone who’s a grad and not having the success they’re looking for…Make sure to check out the Full Sail Alumni Events that are happening all around the country right now.

    http://www.fullsailalumnievents.eventbrite.com

    Chicago is on May 15th

    Upcoming Cities are: Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C.

    These are a great way to get back involved in the Alumni community, which is much stronger now than ever before.

    Check them out!

    @brfloyd

  • Ryan May 3, 2012 @ 15:31

    I received a degree in Recording Arts from Full Sail in 2005. I was absolutely unimpressed and quite dismayed at the quality of education, character of other students, and disposition of the teachers/instructors. I learned the hard way at 19 years old that one should really do their research before jumping into things. After having gone on to business school whereupon I had to start all over again due to 0 credits transferring I realized what a joke this establishment was. Luckily I was in the Army Reserve and I had some Army benefits to help me shoulder the behemoth sum that would be my tuition for a 1 year associates degree with no transferable credits.

    These posts keep referring to the intensity of the classes as if that has any bearing on how you and your “degree” will be perceived in the “real world.”

    The truth is the only thing that will get you anywhere in the degree fields in question is EXPERIENCE. The laughable thing is that one can get experience in many of these fields without a degree from Full Sail. So the question you want to ask yourself is: should I go and start interning, getting experience, and learning tomorrow debt-free? Or should I spend thousands of dollars to go to school, lose the opportunity cost of a full year and then start interning?

    As to the ignoramus that asserts that Full Sail bashers have bad grammar and writing skills, I say a chimpanzee couldn’t have made a worse argument for the credibility of the school you defend. Avoid at all costs!

  • Unemployed FullsailGrad Apr 16, 2012 @ 14:44

    For this author.
    This thread? Necro unforunately..
    Sadly I am too late.
    I am a graduate going on 8 years now.
    My ENTIRE CLASS (125 students) only ONE person is employed in the field the school was designed for (Computer Animation) as of 2010 (the year they all pretty much stopped as well as myself)

    THINK of those odds 125 students ONE is employed in the field.

    My dad and I routinely curse this shithole school for racking up insurmountable debt (62 grand total!, yes SIXTY TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS) For which he is now helping me payback, your kids burden has now became your burden.
    Sallie mae (The Student Loan-Sharks) are a bunch of VULTURES late ONE DAY of payment and you will get (no exaggeration)
    A phone call to yours and or/ cosigners PLACE OF BUSINESS embarrassing the crap out of them or you (if you even have a job at all) A phone call or Text to your cell phone, and mail sent to every cosigner.

    The “85% placement rate”
    Completely made up.
    They tried to place a friend of mine who graduated from the Game Design program…
    AT GAMESTOP.
    F THAT! He took it as he was broke considered him “Placed” and then encouraged him to become a Lab Assitant graveyard shift at Fullsail. OH GEE the Corporate wheel is a turnin!

    Oh then theres the ignore factor of just about every major buisiness entity, they dont respect, or CARE about fullsail. Your not buying a job, because youll never be employed. Its not a blemish on your resume, its like it doesnt even exist.
    I was not chosen for a position at a local firm ran out of a mans house, but the person liked me and went ahead and called me and told me he was going to go for this other guy.
    I try to learn from my failed interviews and decided to ask so what stood out negative or good?
    His first answer was “Well your school has never had much true talent come from it, and I didnt really want to risk it”
    “Ive toured the school on many occassions and have never seen a promising demo reel from it to be honest”
    /heart sank
    “Yes well thank you for the interview and thank you for your time”
    8 Years ago and I still remember that whole “oh no wtf did I just graduate from moment” word for word
    That same sentiment seems to be shared by all the major game companies.

    This stupid school is like the ax murderer from a psycho slasher, it just keeps coming back to kill you over and over and over.

    Oh YES BUT HERE is the kicker…
    YOUR CREDITS ARE ALL WORTHLESS..
    Wait what?
    Yep its a fact. The school is accreddited.. Too bad any university doesnt give a crap.
    Oh wait did I say university? , NOPE even COMMUNITY COLLEGES WILL NOT EVEN ACCEPT CREDITS FROM THIS SCHOOL!
    Not even ONE credit transfers.
    WOW, a 62 THOUSAND dollar piece of gold seal stamped TOILET PAPER.
    Want to start over in another field? Too bad, your starting from scratch. I attempted to transfer my credits at the start of both trying for UFC and then SCC (community college) neither of them would take ANY of it and ladies in both offices laughed (yes Laughed, in my face) that I was even trying to do so. “Credits from Fullsail, HA dont think so” Still remember those words like an evil echo from a super villainess.
    This school is a joke dont care if they have masters programs now, that school was built on the sweat and blood of a legion of graduated alumni mcdonalds workers.

    I met up with a favorite instructor by chance as I was working my stupid almost minimum wage stockboy position so many years later.
    He had quit the school for two reasons
    One he got offered a higher paying job in the games industry.
    But TWO…. is what really stood out.
    He was about a day away from quitting anyway he told me he saw how they were suckering kids in with “promises of dreams but give nothing in return It doesnt work out for really any of them. Hell even for me it didnt work out.”
    He quit his high paying job because he himself was burned out only two years back in the industry.
    83 hour work weeks and no time off will do that. And this was an industry veteran.
    Phew, Now I can only wish someone out there read this. But really im just a ghost and im sure Full-scam will keep suckering more dreamers into its “Real World” Wood Chucker.

    • Monti Jun 14, 2012 @ 2:33

      I read it bro. And I have heard horror stories like this. So yea I won’t be going to this school.

    • Jimmy Nov 20, 2013 @ 15:33

      Sounds like you haven’t tried hard enough. I have already had 2 jobs working for movies being filmed 1 was in Cincinnati the other was in PA which I had to drive a bit for. I was also offered an internship at Manhattan Beach studios and if I had the money to uproot my life to California I would have taken it, also have a paid internship at the public access channel. Oh yes, did I forget to tell you? I’m only a Sophomore. So I don’t know maybe they have improved drastically since you have went but if you look heard enough and have a degree with the Full Sail name on it you will find work.

    • Jhonathan Ibáñez Aug 14, 2014 @ 15:39

      This thread must be even older now, but I have to say it.

      THANK YOU!. You have no idea how much good your comment has done to me. I thank you had the hope of someone reading your post, I am from a foreign Country(Colombia), I wished to go to full sail, but when I read your comment I definitely will have to think in something else. If I had not read your comment my mistake would have been huge. I have no help from my parents to take any other degree, I work but payment in Colombia is not even close to fair when compared to USA payment for the same job, so all my money (and let me tell you I would have to save a lot of monery during bunch of years) would have been a big waste. Thank you again

      • Stephan Garcia Dec 11, 2014 @ 12:25

        This is a Colombian grad. (http://www.andressaavedra.com/) Had been awarded three Grammy’s and is nominated in 2014 for another one. Jhonathan, there is not a school in the planet that will guarantee you a job. YOU and only you are the one who will build the success you want. Everything that you read here are personal opinions. From a bunch or lazy students. How did some Full Sail grads receive Emmy awards, Grammy awards, Oscars??? because the came to Full Sail? because the work with a “can do” attitude? positively? Think about it. I could easily say that Harvard was a bad school because I was expelled for bad conduct or didn’t get the GPA they were expecting. Do not go by review bro, visit the school, work hard and stop listening to lazy people.

        • Lisa Atkins Dec 29, 2014 @ 15:48

          We read many things about FullSail and was even warned about sending our son there but didnt listen. A year into the course of programming and he learnt nothing! He along with 40% of the other students were “let go” and I even called and spoke to someone there asking how they can get away with this…and his comments were they want that 1% that can carry their name…From the moment he started to attend that college it was a battle, no tutors on hand just other students all trying to help themselves, which dont get me wrong I am all for that but there has to be input. We did the whole FullSail visits a few times and they talk a good game but they do not follow through. Now we are being hit with legal letters for payment of a semester that he did not attend as he was canned by them! So people beware…..It is not for the fainthearted
          If your into film it seems this what they want if your into gaming then go elsewhere

    • Dennis Braxton Jun 16, 2016 @ 15:00

      Thank you for your candid answer. I was FullSail University ad on LinkedIn and was considering it heavily since I want a degree in science so that I may work in the field of my passion. Seeing your story has saved me and my family a great deal of hardship. Your experience is helping others. Thank you for sharing. I hope you do find employment that is satisfying for you.

  • Rissa Jan 13, 2012 @ 13:53

    I am less than 60 days from graduating with a Masters in Creative Writing from FullSail. They are accredited or you couldn’t get loans through the gov’t. They are also super intensive classes. You do a semester in a month-if you do not have self discipline, stay away. The tuition covers software,a laptop, books and any extra software. I keep seeing the argument about transfer credits- most of the MFA degrees, will not let you transfer credits. I thought about changing from Akron to another school and nothing would transfer. It’s not that unusual.

    • Grace Warren May 29, 2012 @ 14:55

      Rissa,
      I am looking at starting the Creative Writing MFA this summer. I am very excited about it. I agree with you about MFA degrees won’t let you transfer credits. Also, all online programs are more pricey than community colleges or state colleges.

      • Randy Jun 4, 2012 @ 13:50

        I attend Full Sail online and I have been to the school a few times. The price of the school isn’t really that bad if you look at everything your getting. Plus most don’t bother with going back to the school to get help with employment. The school will help you, at no extra cost. I am in the Cinematography program, granted some of the classes are super easy, I still have learned a lot about the industry. Plus I have already after 6 mths of being there received contacts for a 2 year paid internship with a network. I am not going to just take the classes and expect to get a job in the field when I graduate. I’m working on setting everything up as I am going to school. I have seen many people not do the simple work and fail classes. If you want to be successful do the school work and start preparing yourself right off. Don’t push things off, procrastination gets you no where in any of the degrees offered at this school.

        • Ta Jun 25, 2012 @ 17:58

          Right On! the most expensive programs are 80-85k and that is cheaper than schools like Harvard that take 4 years and still not all get career jobs. Its the people and what they do. not where they get their degree

        • French Burke Jul 4, 2012 @ 11:33

          Hi my name is French Burke and i’m in my 10th month in the film degree program and i wanted to start now and prepare for internships. Do you have any tips for me

      • Jimmy Nov 20, 2013 @ 15:37

        I’m taking Digital Cinematography I received a Macbook Pro with Adobe CS6 Master Collection, Office for Mac, a Sony NEX FS100uk (about $5,800 camera when they sent it), Manfrotto tripod, Tiffen filter kit, 3 piece lighting kit, $120 Sony studio headphones, Sennheiser microphone, cables, and a great camera bag. That is all part of the cost of tuition. I’m not sure what other programs get but I say that my degree program gets a lot of great stuff totally makes the tuition worth it.

  • Netronda Nov 8, 2011 @ 15:51

    I’ve a highschool senior and FSU and SCAD representatives came out to my school last years and talked about what their school had to offer. Everybody’s concern was the money and if they would get their money’s worth.
    your son sounds like a bright talented young man and i’d suggest exploring more options

    but since this question is kind of old i’d like to ask you a similar question.

    Did he decide to go to FSU if not, what school did he find?
    i’m interested in creative writing and screen writing

    thanks for listening!!!…^_^

    • Holly Nov 9, 2011 @ 5:57

      He wrote several screenplays while he was in the desert, and started a novel. He’s working on revising the screenplays and finishing the novel right now.

      He’s holding school as a backup plan while he does the work. The last couple years of Real Life provided an education he couldn’t have paid for, and he’s putting it to good use.

      (And I read and critted one of his screenplays. I hope he can sell it. Once he’s done with the revision, it will be a fantastic movie.

      • Patricia Apr 15, 2012 @ 12:10

        I am getting ready to take the MFA in Screenwriting Program. Will I still have time to write fiction? Will this look bad on school records, if I choose to take a traditional MFA program later? Or regular resume’? Thanks.

  • Vector Nov 4, 2011 @ 21:46

    In searching for a college to fit my needs I’m astounded by the debates I run into about the credibility of FSU.

    There is a common trend that I see on both sides of the argument for or against this institution.

    Look at the grammar and spelling skills of the haters.
    Look at the grammar and spelling skills of the supporters.
    If I need to say more to get my point across then you probably belong to the former.

    Some haters use the argument that Full Sail University is not a “University” and that they are breaking some holy moral code by using this term.
    Have you ever used a dictionary?

    Come on people, how did you even get through high school?

    The fact that so many people are hating on FSU is testimony to their credibility.
    That statement becomes clear when you consider FSU’sopen enrollment.
    Let me explain before you get your panties all up in a bunch.
    Almost anybody with a GED can get into FSU.
    Pros? They give everyone a chance.
    Cons? The serious students have to put up with the idiots.

    Couple that with extremely rigorous and taxing courses and what happens?
    Well, most humans are stupid, especially ones that just got out of high school.
    FSU gives everyone a chance, therefore most students who enroll are stupid.
    Yep, that’s life. We are a pitifully stupid race. Don’t agree? That’s because you’re stupid.
    The good thing is most of the stupid people drop out. Some may sneak through and still get a degree, but they are no match for the serious student that applied themselves who didn’t expect to be handed a job after graduation without more effort. The slackers who graduate will cry even harder than the drop-outs when they can’t get a job, and will blame it on FSU when it’s their own fault.

    That is why there are so many haters. It’s the way the world works. What a bunch of whiners.

    They expected to buy a ticket on a fancy train that would take them to their dream career, and all they would have to do is sit and enjoy the ride.
    Wrong.
    ANY college is just the train tracks. YOU are the train. The college simply helps to guide you. YOU must shovel the coals into the furnace, YOU must pull your own weight, YOU must gain enough momentum to take you over the massive hill at the end of your journey. Just sitting on the tracks will get you nowhere.

    The whole point of going to college is to prepare you for the workforce. Do you think anyone will want to hire you if you didn’t work your way through college and continue to work as hard as you can to get a job afterwords?

    The Job Placement program is the same anywhere. They simply point you in the right direction and give you tips. That’s the way it is supposed to be. It is YOUR responsibility to search and actually apply and present your portfolio and strive to EARN the job to show that you really want to WORK.

    Very successful people in the workforce have come from FSU. They were taught by the same people that taught the whiners.
    Who’s to blame?

    Squid launcher! oh-yeah!

    • Randy Jun 4, 2012 @ 13:53

      Well said!! Everyone that I know that has complained about the school did it to themselves. They chose to fail in getting a career or say doing there school work. It wasn’t the school, I have a ton of opportunities already only being 6 mths in.

      • Holley Oct 8, 2013 @ 1:49

        Hi, im Holley a current film student at Full Sail University now 15 months in, 2 years to go. I have nothing to lose or gain from writing in this forum, so that should encourage you pertaining to my honesty. Yes, Full Sail IS ACCREDITED. .they have been since 1983, public info, go look it up. Full Sail is THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE FOR MYSELF! Im a woman, who left my entire life behind in CA to relocate out here to put myself through this school and i dont have any family helping me pay for any of it. No living expenses, no extras. I came out here all on a haunch that it was worth the chance – this actually might be a great thing….what if things actually go really well? ….and not worst case senario. It really is what you, the student chooses to make of it. It IS tough, but it SHOULD BE, its college, its not a place for kids and college is for adults.It seems like people eaily forget these logicical facts. Nothing is handed to you, dont expect it..those bitter people who back slam Full Sail tend to be the ones who just slude thru with bare grades get to grafuation hold out there hand and say “ok, so wheres my job?” Thats not the way and college student or graduate should ever conduct themselves! If they do, theyre really NOT REALISTICALLY PREPARED for this industry or the real world. To be honest, have some integrity, work for it. This school is considered the Hardvard of Film schools, and there really is no better way to describe it.

        I actually know quite a few people / classmates I have become friends with and worked along side who are extreamly successful- working for artists like Pitbull, Madona, places like Club Med, NEP,Cannes, big gig and real life things they are doing because they got their education here. You see people graduate every month and you hear how they are doing and see their updates, they are so positive, and there are so many of them. All of us want a career, it makes no sense to thru the journey of college just to then give up and not end up somewhere better then before you began. So no, the talj about a low success rate is just not true. Please remember, this college gives you the tools, many many tools- its up to you as to what you do with them. Thats your choice. Not the schools fault.

        You know I see a lot of bashing on this forum, and like said above, those who speak so harshly about this college usually had some bad expeirence due to something they did, they missinturprited, they made a mistake or something and got bitter over it and now the feel justified to talk shit. No, its them not taking reasponsiblity for whyever it didnt work out for them or they did wrong (a mistake they made in the industry and maybe got fired for?) and they just got butthurt over it. Its true anyone can go if they can pay for it, but those who cant handel it, wont be in these classrooms six months from now. It is an excellent media college, the most thurough I have ever seen and worth the money. I will admit to you, I started my film degree at the Art Institute of Sacramento and left after a year to switch to Full Sail and the Art Institute costs SIXTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS MORE than FS! At $96,000.00 and no laptop or any gear included, + their campyses are 2 floors in a multi business high rise in a business park, Full Sail was hands down the best choice. Thank yoy for reading.

        • Ayannah Love Aug 16, 2014 @ 19:10

          Hello Holly I am currently in high school looking into attending full sail and I’m worried that it won’t be worth it…. I’d love to talk to you if you could give me some advice. Let me know 🙂 thank you!!!

          • Holly Aug 18, 2014 @ 12:03

            Hi, Ayannah,

            I asked this question when my own kid was considering Full Sail. I don’t have any answers—he didn’t go there, and I don’t have any insight into the school aside from what folks who have gone there have posted here over the years.

            I’d recommend checking the school out thoroughly and in person before committing to going there. But I’d recommend that for any school to which you were entrusting your education and your future.

    • Scott N Jul 17, 2014 @ 9:21

      I agree with you, nobody will hold your hand and just give you a job, you have to be a go getter and in any college or university you have to work hard and maintain your grades the cost of the cost is no differnt than UCF UF etc, job place will give you leads help you with your profilo give you job interview tips but it is your job to sell yourself and thell the company you are looking to work for what you have to offer them. I graduated college in special education but ended up in the law enforcement field. My son is atteneding Full Sail now and I told him he must put max effort in all his classes to get were he wants to go to in life and in the job he wants. All I can say is work hard each and everyday .

  • Jeremy Jul 11, 2011 @ 14:58

    @yolanda I’m in the military now and want to go to Full Sail. Did all of your benefits pay for your complete tuition?

    • john pickens Nov 28, 2012 @ 7:00

      Between using TA and your GI Bill, you should be more than covered. Also apply for Pell Grant… you should get it. I’m a SSG, dual military and my wife is a SGT and we both still qualified for Pell grant on top of the VA benefits. So I say go for it.

  • yolanda Jun 15, 2011 @ 18:57

    I am a Vet’s kid and I attend Full Sail University. My benifits work just fine, F.Y.I.

  • Jessica Alexander Apr 14, 2011 @ 4:03

    Oh my goodness, I cannot say enough things like another of those above. The program is intensive, and perhaps expensive, but it’s AMAZING. I love every aspect of it, with each class geared towards your degree with friendly, extremely talented teachers.

    For example, I’m going into Computer Animation, and one of the first classes I took was psychology. Not only was the teacher a woman who’d done Computer Animation, but she was a psychologist as well. Rather then the typical examination of the general world, it focused on applying the mind of those around you and the who/whats/and whys, to the characters you create. So we were taught to give our characters valid personalities, and then how that translates into the way they dress, speak, behave, and walk.

    I’m absolutely in love with this school.

    Best of luck!

  • Tom Feb 24, 2011 @ 0:55

    The school is a joke it cost way to much money. And when you get down you can even transfer you credits if you want to get another degree. They look at you and say full sail what’s that. Believe me I know I graduated in 05 and when I came home (I’m from Boston MA) When I went to go transfer all my credits to go for my masters at BU they told me that could do it and I’d have to start off back at a community college. Plus you really need connections or no people in high places cause once your down they don’t care your on your own. So is full sail worth it if you rich sure but no it’s not full sail wants your money that’s it. Go to a real college get something worth wild even in these times. Stay away from full sail. Good luck

    • Chad Feb 12, 2014 @ 3:18

      First of all, let me state that I apologize for commenting on such an old post. I am in the online Game Design program and will graduated in April of this year. I read all of these comments from people complaining about their experiences with Full Sail. I have loved every second of my time within the program. After reading many of the disgruntled posts, including the one above, I have come to a very serious conclusion. If you want something, you have to work for it. It doesn’t matter if you go to Full Sail, Yale, Harvard or a backyard community college. You will have to put in the time and effort after graduating to achieve great things. If everyone would put forth the same amount of effort finding a job, that they do bashing Full Sail, we would have more individuals placed within their respected industries. Also, take a long look at your resume. I hope it is much more grammatically correct than your posts are. Thanks, and have a nice day.

  • Full Sail Mom Jan 12, 2011 @ 14:50

    My daughter is entering her final five months in the Full Sail film program. She has worked very hard and discovered career options that she is very interested in pursuing. While it is true that some instructors are sub par, she has enjoyed using the state of the art equipment. She hopes to eventually obtain an art direction position.

    Unfortunately, I lost my job a couple of months ago and have been unable to gain similar employment. My daughter’s tuition is paid through student loans that we will be a huge burden when she completes her education. With my diminished income, I cannot sign for her final loan. She will be forced to quit or take out an outrageously high-interest loan to complete her bachelor’s. I certainly hope it will be worth it. I hate to say it, but if we were doing it all over again, I would tell her to find a different school, one whose credits would transfer.

    I wish your son the best of luck in following his dreams. If he will pursue it with all his heart, I’m sure he will do well, regardless of the path he takes.

    • Andrew B. Sep 15, 2011 @ 17:04

      Full Sail University is now an accredited university, I don’t see why credits wouldn’t transfer.

      • nancyeford Sep 19, 2011 @ 11:46

        Full Sail is a nationally accredited school… basically a vocational school calling itself a university. No other school will accept their credits or recognize degrees from Full Sail.

        • Holly Sep 26, 2011 @ 8:43

          Who cares? If you can learn the skills you need and can go to work in the field you want, who gives a shit if other schools recognize the degree? That’s only of interest to people who don’t actually want to DO anything, who just want to be perpetual students.

          • Misty Jun 17, 2012 @ 1:52

            I know this is a bit out of date… I don’t normally comment, but I saw this and felt the need to stress that this is simply not true. It’s essential to know if the credits will transfer for many, many reasons.

            It’s not just lazy people who transfer. Perfectly hard-working, well-meaning, intelligent young people often find that what they decided at 18 isn’t necessarily what they want at 20. A lot of growth happens around this time! Anyone over the age of 20 should know this well. The person of this age who really does have it all planned out and actually follows through on that plan is fairly rare, in my experience. The traditional university system is set up to allow for a certain amount of this kind of flexibility. I would heartily discourage almost all young people from choosing a university that is designed to punish personal growth in this way, particularly if it involves taking on large amounts of student loan debt!

            But of course, that’s just my two cents…

            • Troy Sep 21, 2012 @ 14:45

              That’s true, Misty. The 18-20 window is one of great personal discovery — I know, because my own ideal career trajectory changed right around then.

              Many of my friends at Full Sail that went on to do big things were a little older when they enrolled. I was 25 when I went in, and had a much better handle on what I wanted than I did at 18.

            • Michelle Sep 18, 2014 @ 12:58

              I never comment in these things but I feel like it’s necessary to point out a very important detail regarding transferrable credits. This should only concern you if you’re interested in an undergraduate degree. I transferred credits 4 times until I finally got my BA (not in FS), so yes, it happens and if the school you’re looking into doesn’t help you there then you should look into something else.

              Graduate credits, however, very rarely transfer for any degree or university regardless of its accreditation. It just doesn’t happen. Then again, if you’re a graduate student you should know this already, but just in case 😉

      • Holley Oct 8, 2013 @ 2:52

        Yes Ben, it actually has been accredited since 1983. Its not a new thing, but an established one.

  • Armin Z Dec 21, 2010 @ 6:49

    I attended Full Sail University and graduated from the film program in September of 2009. Full Sail University has a new class entering every single month. Class sizes are known to be around 100 students strong. I’m afraid that most of these students attend because of the idea of making films and not because of the necessary drive and dedication to see it through. Out of those 100 students only 15 will be of the grain that filmmakers are made out of. These fifteen people (out of my class anyway) are worth attending for. I have my own issues with the school, but that doesn’t negate how impressive the talent that attends will be.

    One of my former classmates is now an associate producer for the Discovery channel, bringing in more money than he could’ve dreamed of at 22 years old. Another classmate worked on “The Mechanic” (a film that will be in theatres soon) and “The Green Lantern” for Warner Bros. Yet another one of my classmates works for “The Onion” in NYC. Four of us (yes, four) are working on the new Twilight film currently in production.

    I’m afraid that Full Sails reputation may be marred by the hundreds of former students who would never make it in this industry no matter what school they had attended. Likewise, those of us who are succeeding may have succeeded anyways. The film industry is a harsh business, but it can be done – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The moment you give up your dream is the moment the nay-sayers will gladly tell you “I told you Full Sail was a bad idea”.

    My advice to your son (if he decides to attend Full Sail) is to network with everyone: every student in his class, every student in the recording arts program, every student in the computer animation program and every teacher. As soon as he arrives I advise him to set up a work study (where students can work around their class schedule as a paid intern with one of the courses). I strongly recommend that his work study be with 35mm film production. This course is one of the final courses that film students are taught and therefore, your son will be exposed to some of the more complex aspects of the curriculum the entire time he is attending.

    Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to maintain a job while attending Full Sail (I did it). I wouldn’t recommend it though if possible. This is a time to buckle down and network with the students who live and breathe film – not the students who are there because they think making movies would be cool. Your son will do great things if he continually applies himself.

  • FSISBS Dec 10, 2010 @ 17:16

    I was enrolled in the film program for seven months. Seven months in 2009. Biggest waste of time and money I have ever experienced. This is a business first and foremost. If they could make the film program 100% on-line, they would. They just introduced a digital film degree that is completely on-line. This video will probably raise some questions….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b1A8tVsSFI
    And this is what the industry thinks of a lot of the graduates…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e96QD_QeDFg

  • Kathryn Sep 12, 2010 @ 21:06

    I’ve been a graphic designer and print production manager for 20 years. I am considering Full Sail’s Media Design Masters degree, so I can augment my print background with Web design. I can tell you no one has ever asked anything about my Bachelor’s degree. It all comes down to the almighty PORTFOLIO. Whether you’re a film student or a graphic designer, you’re going to have some collection of your work, and that’s all the employer is concerned with. I would advise you to get DETAILED course objectives, not just the brief summaries Full Sail provides on their Web site. Be very clear exactly what your money is going to buy your son. Good luck!

  • edward Aug 27, 2010 @ 2:11

    Your always going to find more people willing to bash a school than give it praise. It’s human. When your happy with a service, you might recommend that service to your close friends. When you are unhappy with a service you will more than likely tell the world of how horrible the service was (i never trusted “rateyourteacher dot com” because of that nonsense). So far I am enjoying full sail. All higher ed is expensive. And a film degree from NYU is not going to line you up for the next oscar (I’ve seen some crappy work out of some of thier students for the price tag on their degree. Not to say the other colleges do better or worst, it all depends on the talent. Having Brad Bird as an instructor is not going to make you a JJ Abrams.)

    Education is what you make of it. You could graduate from a small town college and make it big or go to an expensive college and have to live in your moms basement. By the way, this whole accreditation thing is pure bull. I know people that move from a City college to a state college or non profit college to a public college that face the same garbage trying to transfer credits. rule of thumb is always GET THE DEGREE! You will always lose money and time transferring. If you are in a two year college that offers an associate, get the associate then move to a 4 year, versus not completing the associate and moving to a 4 year, just to be knocked down to a freshman again because the school (non profit or not) will only accept a handful of classes. Every school feels their curriculum is better or at least more well rounded. I have not seen someone go from an IVY League to a community college, but I have seen MANY from reputable (NYU!) colleges lose butt loads of credit transferring to City College. But in those cases I understand since CCNY is much cheaper and has adjuncts teachers that also teach at Columbia or NYU, and has faculty that have graduated from Yale.
    Don’t let the accreditation thing bother you. It is a mess and a nightmare either way.
    I like the way full sail works with charging the whole program upfront. lock in the cost rather than the having to worry about raised tuition every year. And unfortunately huge college debt is the way of the land in the USA. Ask your doctor about that sometime. Military is paying a good chuck of the coast. you can use tuition assistance and use your gi bill to top it off if needed. you might come out of it with little to no debt after all is said and done and you’ve applied the money properly (i’m a coast guard reserve and my gi bill is much smaller).

  • Daniel Aug 22, 2010 @ 17:46

    I have been thinking about the MFA in Media Design at Full Sail. I was surprised to find out that the school is not fully accredited. I read somewhere that it is ranked as the #3 new media school in the world behind MIT and NYU. If this is true it’s impressive stuff. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can get over the accreditation thing. I’d be interested to know if there is or has been any push for the school to become fully accredited.

    • Alec Sep 28, 2011 @ 12:57

      the school is fully accredited it has been for some time now, and there programs are top notch. the only thing that is really different is going through a semester worth of material in a month with a crazy schedule….but that is how the real world is you could be up till 5 in the morning finishing a project for work

  • Kayneisha Aug 22, 2010 @ 16:02

    I’m actually about to register for their online MFA in Media Design. I’ve been trolling the net trying to determine if its worth it for me to drop $40k for this program. When I think about it, I spent close to $80k on an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited school that wasn’t at all what I wanted to study. A decade ago, if Full Sail offered degrees, it wouldn’t have been right for me. Today it is. If your son knows what he wants, I think Full Sail will be all right. It’s for the driven, definitely. If I didn’t need to work, I’d go the campus-based route.

    Re: ongoing investigation into non-profits.

    No one has been pressuring me to go into Full Sail. I’ve been speaking on and off with an admissions counselor for almost a year, asking the questions to see if Full Sail is legit, and right for me. The accreditation issue sux, but its the subject I want to study, and like any school or program, I’ve been doing my research. I’ve already gotten a B.A. and M.A. from non-vocational schools. If there’s ever an issue with accreditation on the resume (but what jobs actually in the media field ask which body your school was accredited by?) I can fall back on those. No matter the school, it’s caveat emptor. I went to a private, non-profit, where the resources were lacking, and the student body was essentially slave (over-exaggeration) labor. You get what you pay for.

    • edward Oct 19, 2010 @ 15:21

      may i add that the price tag includes the books and pimped out mac book pro?
      So far I am taking the Entertainment Business Masters and it started easy the first month but quickly crept up to the ‘kicking my @$$’ point.
      The program itself forces you to put a portfolio together while you are going through the program (and in my case a business proposal), so when your done you should have a nice package showing off what all your time went into.

      • Danielle Oct 4, 2012 @ 17:53

        I am interested in attending full sail as well but online. I am looking at the entertainment business degree. Is it worth to get from them or should I go to a traditional university. This is all so very confusing and I just do not want to make the wrong choice because I am uninformed.

  • Troy DeVolld Aug 18, 2010 @ 19:32

    Correcting myself:

    “Full Sail tuition figures at the time of my education in 1995/6 and to this day cover the complete costs of books and equipment, up to and including the loaded Macs and accompanying software that are included in certain programs.”

    • Dave Oct 18, 2010 @ 23:13

      Troy,
      I’ve been a writer for almost 15 years (BA in English) and I’m considering the Full Sail MFA (online) to augment my career path. If you’re willing, perhaps I can ask a couple brief questions off this BB so as not to hijack it?

      • Troy Oct 19, 2010 @ 13:02

        Dave:

        Sorry couldn’t figure out how to contact you through your blog link or info here… happy to take this offline at realitytvtroy@gmail.com.

        -Troy

  • Troy DeVolld Aug 18, 2010 @ 19:30

    I keep popping up on this thread like a bad penny, but I keep getting notices about new adds and wanted to address Laura’s concerns about for-profit schools as they may or may not relate to Full Sail.

    Fifteen for-profit schools were recently investigated, according to the Reuters article I just read, and key offenses included strongarming folks into enrolling, deception regarding total tuition costs, and encouraging the “fudging” of applications for loans/aid.

    Full Sail at the time of my enrollment in 1995 and to this day cover the complete costs of books and equipment, up to and including the loaded Macs and accompanying software that are included in certain programs. My admissions rep, Kevin Barrett, has since moved on from the school but was very straightforward about the rigors and demands of the program during my first interview. I felt no pressure to attend, and know of folks who’ve checked out the programs and decided, after talking with reps, that it just wasn’t for them.

    The financial aid folks were also similarly direct, and did a great job of letting me know what kind of financial obligations I’d experience after leaving the school.

    Again, no duping, no pressure, at least in my own experience.

  • Laura Aug 18, 2010 @ 19:04

    I know it’s probably too late for this but a word of caution on entering for profit schools right now. There is an ongoing investigation intiated by the government into for profit trade schools. There is a good chance that some of them will be losing access to federal student aid and GI Bill. I would hate to see him lose access to his GI Bill part way through the program and be unable to transfer all the work he has put in to that point to another school.

    I don’t recall seeing Full Sail in the list of schools investigated but the reputation of for profit schools is only getting worse. There will be a trickle down effect from this on the reputation of many for profit schools.
    Links:
    http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-948T
    http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:BT-CO-20100804-712937.html

    • Admin Feb 1, 2012 @ 12:20

      The funny thing here is that I’d trust a for-profit school over a not-for-profit school any day.

  • john Aug 14, 2010 @ 2:13

    I just cannot see myself spending 75K+ for a degree that is not accredited.

    Just the interest the first year on the loan is 4500 bucks. Scary to start out an adult life with not even a home, nestegg etc.. and in such deep debt.

    • BeccaBooG Aug 16, 2010 @ 19:12

      Yeah, that’s what I figured too.

    • edward Oct 19, 2010 @ 15:11

      you have plans on transferring out before you get in?
      FYI even if you decided to transfer out, whatever school you would have lost a bunch of credits regardless if Full Sail was recognized at ever school and you would have lost more money to begin with. For film schools I am big on pushing community colleges since it doesn’t matter if your taking a class with a professor from a 100,000 a year school or 5,000 a year school, it’s your talent and ability to sell and market yourself that gets your foot in the door (aside from knowing someone… I am still shock about two people that I know, that have no film background WHAT SO EVER have gotten work in post production for a major network and film company?! In my opinion they just knew who to sleep with…).

  • AFK Aug 12, 2010 @ 18:36

    Hi, it’s the Air Force Kid. I’d like to thank every single person who posted on this discussion over the last four months. The amount of information in these posts, both pro and con, is astoundingly more useful in the decision-making process than on any other site I’ve visited. Thank you, thank you for taking the time to give these detailed responses to my question. I’m very greatful! And Mom, thanks for putting the question out there for me in the first place.

  • Sue Aug 7, 2010 @ 22:48

    My son just graduated with a bachelor of science in film from Full Sail University. It’s only a school for a student that driven and knows what they want.. You can’t have a job while in school because of there class schedules being so intense. He’s walked out of school with a strong sense of pride a portfolio, demo reel and already has companies that want to interview him. We we extremly happy.

  • Levi Schutt Jul 14, 2010 @ 15:26

    I did not attend the Film program, but I did graduate from the Audio Recording program. The biggest piece of advice that I can give you and your son is that a lot of people will try to bash Full Sail because they weren’t handed everything on a silver platter. I’m not going to lie, it’s tough, but you must persevere if you choose to attend. Once you’ve graduated you will more than likely have to plan your life around your student loan. However, the education I have received, the experiences I’ve taken part in, it’s all worth every penny. I know that I have a leg-up on a lot of the people just starting out because of the amount of work I put into my education at Full Sail.

    The teachers are awesome, the staff is helpful, and try to tip-toe your way past the naysayers. Your education at Full Sail is really dependent upon how much YOU want to work.

  • Carina Jun 16, 2010 @ 10:13

    I am an Admission’s Rep at Full Sail. I noticed that you asked for graduates and you heard from an Emmy winning Full Sail graduate. You are an inspiration, Troy. I have worked in Admissions for 10 years and I do not know who “Jaime N” is. If you look at my Facebook, you will see a ton of my very successful and happy graduates. They are not a “quota” to me. I have never done anything shady and we do have an interview process. Your son is a vet and he can use his Post 911/yellow ribbon. The VA does recognize Full Sail.

    All schools are a business. Even UCF. They all have budgets, expenses, etc. Unlike most schools, tuition is locked in for a current student. Most schools raise tuition each semester/year no matter how long you have been with them. Tuition includes all your books, materials, lab fees, etc. Placement does not count working at Best Buy unless they were “trained by your degree”- example- a web designer for Best Buy not a sales assoc.

    Your son should visit. Talk with current students, ask to talk to graduates and do the research. Full Sail is not for everyone but I can tell you from experience that if your son has passion, can work hard, network, and have a great attitude, he will be a great example of a Full Sail graduate.

    • Holly Lisle Jun 22, 2010 @ 13:17

      In fact, from what he’s discovered, he’s determined to attend Full Sail. He’s very good at working hard—LOTS of experience in the military.

      Thank you very much for your post.

  • Kyle Jun 8, 2010 @ 13:14

    It really depends on what he wants to do as a filmmaker. I am about halfway through the program and I have learned a ton of information for practical use but very little in terms of theory. If he is more interested in technical positions, he will most likely learn a lot of useful information, assuming he pays attention. Someone like myself, who wants to be a writer/director, will probably be more disappointed in the experience; however, there are opportunities for the creative side. I recently wrote and directed a short for one of our production classes.

    While I have learned a ton about film and the industry, what really bothers me about Full Sail is the business aspect. They are gradually raising tuition while putting a ton of classes online to save money. They seem to care more about your paycheck than you. Another problem is that a majority of the instructors are failed industry dropouts who seem to have a negative attitude. After all, they are teaching future filmmakers the knowledge they need to usurp their jobs.

    • Troy DeVolld Aug 16, 2010 @ 21:47

      I’ve already replied earlier, but wanted to address Kyle’s note here — Full Sail has recently added an MFA in Creative Writing to their curriculum, but for the most part (as Kyle states) the school is more about practical technical education than theory… so be sure your son (or anyone else considering the school) is aware that Full Sail is very much a hands-on, “here’s how this thing works” sort of place ideal for some, but not for others.

      Great for getting an overview of the tech end of the industry for aspiring producers, though.

  • Ron Heacock May 28, 2010 @ 13:41

    I don’t know if this is still current for you, but I have a friend in Franklin TN (south of Nashville) who started a film school called NFI. She worked for years with the founders of SAE (www.sae.edu) a sound engineering school like Full Sail. The is a new school. She sent my wife a note yesterday about 2 of her graduates landing a film writing and directing contract. It is an intensive short course (9 months). It might be of interest.
    http://www.thenfi.com/

  • Kevin McLaughlin May 21, 2010 @ 14:42

    I can’t, unfortunately, speak too much about the film dept at Full Sail. As someone who’s worked in and around game development, however, especially in art – Full Sail is pretty much to game art what MIT is to engineering. There’s a few other top level programs out there (SMU’s GuildHall program comes instantly to mind) but FullSail is one of the most reputable colleges on the planet for game art – a name that triggers an “ohhhh, you went THERE?” response.

    Can’t speak to their film dept, haven’t worked in film. But my understanding is that they have a similar rep in that field as well.

    Kevin

  • Danzier May 21, 2010 @ 8:10

    I’ll throw a second thought into the mix. I’ve been reading a lot of web comics lately, and Full Sail has a LOT of ads out there. The ads are glitzy, but I could probably make them if I felt like learning how to use photoshop and movie maker. I know I can make power point slides with the same look and feel. If their advertizing is anything to go by, I’d say the quantity-to-quality ratio was a bit fishy. I’ve seen probably fifteen of them in the past week. :/ I’m guessing by this point your son has probably come to a conclusion one way or another, and this is just extra fluff…but it’s possible that someone there may have self-googled and come across a page full of “Don’t Go!” and threw some ads out there to catch some unwary spendthrifts. 😀

  • Jaime N May 21, 2010 @ 1:58

    I Both WORKED at FULL SAIL and was a student, Online, and I can say without a doubt, GO ELSEWHERE!!!
    Aside from the more than shady admissions dept, which I was a part of for a short while, anyone is accepted to these overpriced programs…
    sadly, NONE of the credits will ever transfer elsewhere, as they have a national accreditation.
    Also, the schedule is hell on the students, and their reasoning behind it is B.S.
    Also, the placement record they spiel is a complete lie!
    They say 90% of graduates get jobs in the Biz, but dont tell you that the biz can be at Best Buy, A Gaming store, Blockbuster, etc. Sadly, this is not a lie.
    ive met very few successful graduates, and most companies do not recognize Full Sail as a credible school.
    There are far better schools out there…Steer Clear of Full Sail!!!

  • Monica May 18, 2010 @ 2:45

    I DO NOT recommend Full Sail! It is a drain on your bank account and hardly any one comes out of there with a career in the field they studied. I was a student there and, thankfully, left before the debt accrued to an even more astronomical amount. I know 5 people who have graduated from that school, and most of them work in restaurants.

    • edward Oct 19, 2010 @ 14:55

      Ha! I could say that for three of my friends that graduated from NYU and one from Yale with their Masters (although he is not a waiter, he is now doing an internship with a photographer, although he was architect major in his undergrad at , SUNY Binghamton and Yale.) I have buddies that graduated with me from CCNY working in film and making their own shorts, and 1 that graduated from the uber expensive film academy here as well…
      There are quite a number of people who graduate with a degree and do something else then go back and complain that it was the schools fault. I currently work at a job center at a big time fashion college. There are students that praise the school, and students that blame the school for everything under the sun (and I don’t want to give the impression that the ones that complain or praise or smarter or dumber than the other, it’s just circumstances that have lead them to either hate or love the school…)

      So the question is what school are you attending now?

  • Kaleigh May 13, 2010 @ 9:30

    I know two of my best friends were looking to go there at one point a couple years ago, but they didn’t realize that housing is expensive. You also can’t get Florida residency because you’re technically there for school, so tuition’s pricey as well. I’m not sure how the school compares to others as far as filmmaking, but it sounded to me like they would be taking lots of specialized classes, with entire blocks of time devoting to lighting or sets or something. I’m a film/video major myself and it seemed a little excessive for me, but if that’s what he likes it’s a good fit.

  • Bill May 6, 2010 @ 10:25

    Amendment:

    I later convinced the leasing office to move me to a 1 bedroom apartment after showing them the unreliability of another room mate.

    (sorry for the triple post, feel free to merge my comments)

  • Bill May 6, 2010 @ 10:19

    (sorry, my son ran up and posted my reply prematurely)

    …Not to mention, with the dropout rate; it is VERY advisable to plan around your son living alone. Living at Sun Key was great (wash machines in the apartment, utilities were included in rent), but when my room mate dropped out after two weeks of attendance, I was up you-know-what creek without a paddle for a couple months until Full Sail sent another room mate (who also dropped after 2 months).

    I was a layman at-best when going to Full Sail. The equipment at my disposal was top-notch. The class schedule was HELL, but I survived. About half the teaching staff were totally inept and/or downright rude. Others did their job at an “acceptable” level with little apparent joy. Only 2 of my instructors were truly passionate, good natured, and all-around helpful with my questions involving course work.

    I eventually ended up having to drop out when decided to Sallie Mae decline my application for a loan extension to finish my schooling.

    If your son is a layman, and needs to take out student loans to attend Full Sail… I would most CERTAINLY assert that he should NOT attend. There are other institutions that will give him a longer, more attentive education for less (with easier transfer of credits, and a better degree).

    However, if your son already has experience, knowledge, and an EXTREME passion to overcome any obstacle; then Full Sail may work out. They do have all the toys that fit the programs, that much at least, I can confirm. I didn’t have many friends in film, so I cant comment on the quality of their instructors. However, the few I’ve stayed in-touch with have all mentioned that they feel it was their drive and dedication, not Full Sail, that got them their jobs in “the industry”.

    I know I’m rambling, I’ve been working about 20hrs to hit a deadline on a project, and decided to take a break. However, I would seriously advise him to be VERY frugal about his education’s cost. Look to local institutions and see if they are adequate first. He’ll truly appreciate it in the long run.

    I apologize for the ramble.

  • Bill May 6, 2010 @ 10:00

    I attended Full Sail for a short while back in ’04. I went for the Digital Media program, IE: Graphics/Web Design.

    The school is overpriced, and their recruitment tactics are questionable at-best. Admissions representatives are given incentives, quotas, and constant reminders of “how well so-and-so is doing”. You should be wondering, “how would a student know this?”. One of the few of my truly competent and passionate instructors and I have stayed in-contact over the years. He no longer works there, but gave me the full “scoop” on how the admissions process is a sham. I was also told on another occasion, that their placement statistics would include your son getting a job at Blockbuster as being “in the industry” (I wish to hell I was lying here, but sadly, I am not).

    The school itself is something that looks like it fell out of the newest architectural design catalogue. It is very nice, the class rooms are well-maintained and kept. I’ve also heard that it is bigger, and better since I attended. However, they use this aspect of the school to lead you into believing that it equates to a good education.

    Last I knew, there is ZERO on-campus housing. However, they do help you find a room mate. If your son attends, I would suggest looking at Sun Key apartments on Goldenrod ave. The one bedroom apartment at the time I lived there was around $500 a month. The potential nightmare of a room mate who also attends Full Sail and doesn’t cope well is something to be avoided like the plague. Not to mention, with the drop

  • Troy DeVolld May 3, 2010 @ 21:17

    I graduated from Full Sail’s film program in 1996 and can’t say enough good things about my experience both before and after graduation.

    Full Sail is not appropriate for everyone, however, so any prospective student should really consider their own level of dedication to craft and their specific financial situation before committing to attend.

    Here’s why:

    The film and television industries are tough to get into (courtesy of all that phony but attractive glamour we keep ladling over everything), and breaking in often entails spending a number of months or years interning or working in low-paying positions — no mean feat with massive student loans hanging over you.

    I worked a regular non-industry job for more than three years after graduation, building my “war chest” that could cover my relocation to Los Angeles to seek work in the industry. The first industry position I held was logging (transcribing footage for reality television story departments), which paid just $450/wk. With some $30k+ in student loans to pay off and rent to make, things were slim for some time.

    Worse yet, I was bummed to discover that my degree from Full Sail (as with degrees from almost anywhere) did not have any real effect on my ability to find entry-level story work. Thankfully, my Full Sail education provided me with the skills necessary to slingshot myself up the ladder in much shorter order — measurably faster than many of my coworkers at the same level.

    Know this … it is entirely possible for someone to move to Los Angeles or New York, tap dance their way into an entry level position, and spend the money they would have otherwise spent on their education on paying rent while attending the school of hard knocks by learning on the job. This is the course of action I would recommend to anyone who has even a glimmer of uncertaintly about their desired career path, as it will leave them unencumbered should a revelation strike a year or two down the line that they’d rather be selling sportscars or running a surf shop.

    Warning: It is IMPOSSIBLE to work your way through Full Sail due to class schedules that mimic the wildly erratic ups and downs of real-world production schedules, so that should be a consideration as well.

    If your son can’t imagine himself doing anything else… ANYTHING else… Full Sail is a sound choice. They are big on tech and low on highbrow theory and criticism, which made it the perfect place for me, given my desire (now fulfilled) to become a writer and producer for television. My agenda was to obtain an overview of the process and an understanding of workflow, which I received and have put to good use on more than twenty movies and television projects to date totalling more than 70 hours of produced material. I also work eighty to ninety percent of the year.

    Summary: I loved Full Sail, and owe much of who I am today to the 13 months I spent there. Great school, great staff. Worth the money ONLY if you apply yourself and labor to use what you know once you’re out.

    Non-trade schools I’d endorse as an alternative include USC, Ithaca and UCLA. They all have robust alumni programs — something else to consider when it comes to film/tv schools.

    Good luck to your son!

    Full disclosure: I serve on the advisory board for Full Sail’s online Creative Writing Masters program and am also one of their 2010 Hall of Fame Inductees.

    • Holly Lisle Jun 22, 2010 @ 13:22

      Thank you very much for your post. I’ve been mostly away from the weblog for medical reasons (still ongoing), but wanted to tell you personally that I appreciate your detailed response.

      The kid is determined that he will find a way to attend Full Sail. Your response helped.

  • poppin May 2, 2010 @ 11:44

    My brother goes to Columbia in Chicago (not the Ivy League one) and has learned a lot– the film dept requirements are very focused. But it’s a real college too– actually requires more math than my state U does. I was nervous about it (I mean, you get credit for “Aesthetics of Film”), but it’s accredited and all that.

    What he’s learned is to ignore the students who aren’t really into learning, and focus on the ones who are, and he’s made great friends and contacts for the future.
    Also check the alums of any school– where are they working? You want a network in Hollywood and NY who are working in your field. But also, it’s important to be able to learn the crafts that actually have job openings (sound, etc.), because probably no one is going to hire a new grad as a “director,” but will as a “sound technician”.

    And alums who come back and donate money were pleased with their training– so watch for that. They don’t have to be big names to make clear that the school is worth it.

    But I’d say– accredited only. Grad schools won’t look at degrees from unaccredited schools, and there’s a reason for that.

    • Katie Jun 27, 2010 @ 1:07

      This was from a while back, but I too go to Columbia in Chicago (though not for film).

      We do have our successful alums, some who’ve worked on films like Avatar, which is pretty cool, and we have a program called Semester in LA where you can go and work with people who have tons of experience in the industry, including people from Pixar, Disney, etc. My friend from school who is film has gotten plenty of internship offers from places like Miramax and HBO.

      Not sure about the math comment, we only have to take 3 credits of math and I did that via an online Business Math course that lasted 4 weeks and taught me about taxes and bank statements. Pretty much as low as you can go, and was part of the appeal for me.

      What really is the best thing about this college though is that they try to even make the core requirements applicable to your major (or fun). You need to take a science lab to graduate? How about Acoustics of Sound? Dinosaurs and More? Lasers and Holography? Marine Biology?

      My main advice with this college though is you get out of it what you put in. No real admission requirements mean lots of careless/idiotic students go here, which is why our graduation rate is only 35%. However, the fact that everything is pretty much hands-on rules, so if you are willing to actually do what you are assigned, you get amazing opportunities (also had tons of internship opportunities and portfolio work from even first semester) and I’ve never had a professor or a class that I didn’t like.

      Still, since it is an art school, there isn’t a lot of wiggle room as far as majors go, and they don’t really care about the foreign language program (HUGE minus for me, though they do give free language tutors so I can continue working that way). And a lot of film students will always tell me they are “the best in their department and everyone else is a hack.” I’ve had at least six people tell me this, which is ridiculous, though other majors at my school are also like that, including even people in my own (Advertising). And, like I said before, a lot of people are lazy and drag the dynamic of everyone else down.

      But with the pains of an art school crowd comes the beauty of it. Since everyone wants to do something for their portfolio, they are always willing to help out. You need actors? We got them. Costume designers? Check. Advertisers? Check. People to work on special effects? Check. Composers? Check. Audio students? Check. Our school really encourages collaboration too, through contests and they pay pretty good sums of money for it. We also have a brand new Media Production department with fly wires and our own TV shows to boot!

      As far as Full Sail, don’t know anything about it. Just wanted to talk about my school, haha. Hopefully it helped a bit.

  • WandersNowhere May 1, 2010 @ 23:11

    Hi Holly,
    I don’t live in the USA and I haven’t heard of Full Sail, but I did study film at university, and also worked on a lot of small independent projects outside of it with groups of young filmmakers.
    I’d say to think of studying film the same way as you’ve written about studying writing. It can be one path to success, and certainly since film is a collaborative industry, and a technology-based industry (both hugely so) the networking and mentoring opportunities, and access to equipment, are invaluable.
    But you can go it alone. Look at Peter Jackson as a great example; the passion for filmmaking needs a camera and something to point it at, if you have the will there’s a way. Please pass on my best wishes to your son, no matter which road he takes, may success be his!

  • Bren May 1, 2010 @ 13:40

    There’s a great film school at Chapman University in Orange, California. I know some students who attend and they really love it. One who also graduated from UCLA in scriptwriting and is attending Chapman for another degree, prefers this program. She says the professors are great about social networking with people in the business for the future of students after graduation. She even has an agent already.

    http://www.chapman.edu/

  • Holly Lisle May 1, 2010 @ 12:16

    Have tiny time away from the hospital and the other big stuff we have going on, and I just wanted to thank each of you for your help.

    This should make it easier for Mark to figure out where he wants to go from here.

  • Danzier Apr 29, 2010 @ 2:29

    Ok, I’ll add my two cents.

    I don’t attend Full Sail–never even heard of it. (Yes I’m reclusive.)

    I am a film student, though. I go to the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, and our program is a four-year Radio/Tv/Film program aimed at giving media communications students a thorough grounding in all aspects of Radio, Television, and Film production. We have both a radio station (WRST-FM Oshkosh) and a television station (Titan TV, channel 66) and we also produce films. We have all sorts of media projects win awards at film festivals, including the Wisconsin Broadcasters’ Association and Sundance.

    UW schools aren’t terribly expensive, as colleges go, and it’s a good community and a good institution. Student production is encouraged–often required–and it’s a very professional program.

    So there’s my plug…for a program I’ve been in for six months, that convinced me that if I was going to go to school just so I could do something to make money while I write, this is it.

    Oh yeah. http://www.uwosh.edu/rtf for full details and fun pictures that I’m not in. 😀

  • mikesmish@rocketmail.com Apr 24, 2010 @ 10:09

    hello maybe let your son take heart and go directly to the producer and director who he have had a long admired. and introduce himself to them and maybe get a part time job near them while study in any cimema college.take heart is great .

    • Liberty Apr 20, 2011 @ 14:46

      You’ve hit the ball out the park! Iencrdilbe!

  • Chris Apr 23, 2010 @ 14:03

    er, that is, based on comments from other folks I’d asked in various online fora that were *similar* to those made in this thread.

    That’s what I *meant* to say, but my finger/brain interface is on the fritz, again. :: sigh ::

  • Chris Apr 23, 2010 @ 14:01

    Not the film school, but I have a friend who used to work for Red Storm here in the park (they do all the Tom Clancy FPS games). I asked him once whether a degree from Full Sail would be an asset to an applicant at Red Storm, and he said that Full Sail was treated about the same way that any vocational school was. It wouldn’t necessarily *prevent* an applicant from getting interviewed, but it would necessarily *help* them, either.

    Whether they were called in for an interview would depend more on their portfolio, what (if any) internships they’d done, work history, etc. I was thinking of doing their online Web Design & Development course, and I decided against it, based on some of the comments made in this thread, and research I’d done online.

  • Doug Ortega Apr 22, 2010 @ 12:01

    Hi there. In answer to the filming program, I have heard of Full Sail, but am not familiar with their program. Vancouver Film School in British Columbia is an excellent school. So is New York Film School. UCLA for decades has offered a film program that has brought many well known professionals into the filmmaking arena.

    Sorry I couldn’t help more.

    ~Doug

  • Elizabeth Apr 22, 2010 @ 10:50

    I know several people in the film industry, and they all attended UC schools.

    I took a look at the school (I’m a librarian, and my primary focus is higher-ed options for working adults, fwiw) and saw several red flags. If you get several strong personal reports of awesome, that’s great, but if not….. I’d really reconsider. The red flags are:
    *This school is for-profit, which is quite unusual in higher ed and usually (not always, but usually) means Very Bad Things. The bottom line is that they’re in this for cash, for good or ill.
    *The not-for-profit status brings with it a host of (often invisible but very real) supportive options that many schools rely on to become stronger, better schools, such as belonging to regional conglomerates for library resources or purchasing power from technology or building companies.
    *The school is unaccredited. Yes, they’re sort of accredited, but they’re not accredited where it matters. If your son, for some reason, had to stop half-way through (say he got called back up again) and couldn’t take the classes from THEM, it means that he’s basically hamstrung with a hugely expensive set of partially completed classes that are meaningless. He would not be able to transfer his credits to another school in his region.
    This also means that if he needed advance classes or degrees, he might not qualify for the entrance requirements. If he wanted to attend, say, a UCLA graduate program. (Entrance requirements will usually say something like a MA from a regionally accredited institution.)
    Lack of accreditation also usually means that the program sucks. Er. Sorry.
    Furthermore, it’s going to affect what aid he might qualify for and what scholarship options he might have. I assume (perhaps wrongly) that he’s hoping to use some of his vet benefits for the program, but they may or may not work because of the lack of accreditation and/or the profit status. Just to be forewarned. Not all schools who say they can qualify for these do, and there are many scams. I’m not an expert on the vet benefits, so please investigate yourself; I just raise it as a possible problem.
    *The strange semester startup system is very odd and paying the whole cost upfront is also very odd. There could be good reasons for this, but there might also be reasons that are less good, like the desire to maximize on people’s desire for immediate gratification so as to get their money.
    * Low entrance requirements. Most adult education programs have some kind of entrance requirements, and for many classes, teachers end up teaching to the bottom rung. If the bottom rung of students is a lot lower than your son…. He may not get much out of it. Also, if the fellow students suck, then all group work will be HELL. Adult higher ed is big on group work, especially in pro industries.

    But that’s probably more than you wanted to know. Best of luck to him.

    • RebeccaG Apr 30, 2010 @ 0:03

      That wouldn’t be more than she wanted to know, the more she knows the more she’s happy.

      I am also glad someone else can back up what I’ve heard. The unaccredited part doesn’t just suck for the GI Bill, it sucks because he wants a real degree, not a fake one like I have.

      It’s why I tried to warn him away from them and the PBFS.

  • A Spammer Apr 22, 2010 @ 9:27

    The post you were responding to was spam. I haven’t been around because of ongoing family stuff (have been at the hospital every day since Wednesday and will continue to be absent for at least another week), and this one slipped through Akismet.

    Holly Lisle

    • Michel Futard Apr 29, 2010 @ 23:45

      What does that have to do with what she asked?

    • Michel Futard Apr 29, 2010 @ 23:46

      Wait, wait, a foewword????

    • RebeccaG Apr 29, 2010 @ 23:52

      I am the one that he’s heard that from and I told him what I knew from more than 15 other Palm Beach Film School peeps. People that I have worked with and for and that have worked with and for me.

      Full Sail does not offer you the opportunity to do your own film, the teachers prefer suckups to talent, are intimidated by talent, and they charge way too much. The nickname that I have heard from everyone I have met in person is “Full Scam”.

      More important than my colleagues opinions is last I heard it was not “regionally” accredited. I think that means his GI Bill won’t pay for it.

      But you know how he doesn’t wanna listen to his big sis 😉

      • RebeccaG Apr 29, 2010 @ 23:54

        I don’t know why it replied here. Lol.

        • Mike Jun 10, 2011 @ 12:50

          My friend currently attends Full Sail for the Recording Arts Degree. He is on the GI Bill. I hope I have clarified your uncertainty about that.

          Also, I am transferring to Full Sail from the University of Florida as an architecture student going into video game art. This is a big change. I believe in Full Sail’s mission statement and will follow my dreams.

          I have taken the tours and have seen the prospective students. They do look like skater punks and gamer nerds. However, that does not give anyone the right to judge until you have talked to those students personally. There are too many people that are willing to bash Full Sail and know nothing of its contents or have even been there. Pure slander is what I’ve been noticing. My friends go there and think it’s an awesome school. Honestly, it is not a free ride just because you pay the tuition. Do not expect a degree to be handed out to you on a silver plate. As with any school, including UF, you have to work hard for your results. I saw washouts at UF and my friends talk of washouts at Full Sail, too. I even have friends that shun me for going from such a prestigious college to a ‘scam’ university. I am following my heart. This is my dream and fate from the universe, not theirs.

          Also, the tuition to attend Full Sail for two two-year programs is about the equivalent of a four-year degree at a state university. I don’t understand why people complain about Full Sail being so expensive when it really racks up to be the same. Puzzling…

          After 60+ hours of research on Full Sail, 4 different degree tours, and feedback from current students, I can honestly conclude this: Haters Gonna Hate.

  • Tim Apr 22, 2010 @ 5:00

    I attended The Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University (CDIA) and found it to be a worth while program. It was a nine month /40 hour a week intensive program where every week was a new topic on the curriculum. Its approximately about $25G’s, but I thought it was very worth it because – while its a bit harder now as an alum – you can take out equipment from the school whenever you want.

    This program is great if you want to just cut to the chase, learn what you need to start as a professional digital filmmaker, and avoid going through all the unnecessary class that you get in a four year program.

    The downside of this school is that they’ll accept anyone, which means that you may end up in a class full of skaters and punks who are as motivated as slugs. Also, the whole post-grad equipment situation is frustrating, but if you plan your shoots ahead of time, you can generally reserve the equipment that you need.

    I did meet some awesome people in my class and I learned a whole lot about digital filmmaking. With CDIA, it’s all about how driven you are to get as much out of the well-informed professors as you can.

    As far as Full Sails, I don’t know much. I remember that a lot of people made fun of it at my school. However, they probably make fun of my school at Full Sails, so who knows?

  • Betty Apr 22, 2010 @ 1:18

    This is an excellent question – and I am curious to see if anyone has had any experience with them. I’ve been attending Westwood, but was thinking of switching over (Game Art) and noticed Full Sail’s curriculum doesn’t have all that filler stuff. I spoke with someone in their admission’s department – they are pricey – but it’s probably the quickest degree out there because most of the courses are focused on the field of study.

    It seemed to me the curriculum was pertinent, at least in the area I was looking at. Anyone have any clue what would be a good indicator of quality courses in film-making?

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