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 indie-publish my new ones.


118 comments… add one
  • CurrentFullSailStudent Jun 17, 2019 @ 11:45

    I am a current student at Full Sail University and the truth is this school is not as bad as people are making it seem.I am In Recording Arts.The classes are hands on.Professionals come to this school to work and interact with students.A few weeks ago Producer,Songwriter and Rapper Timbaland was here.He talked to the students and he told us about his career and what to expect in the industry.The reason when you graduate and don’t get a job immediately is because you have to brand yourself and give yourself exposure.Without exposure and getting your name out there employers will look past you and will not take you seriously.I have talked to the alumni and they even said the first few years it was hard to get a job my teachers said the same thing but eventually they found work.And they have worked with artist we know now.I don’t Know about the other programs but I know Recording Arts isn’t a bad degree.I know a lot of people who have found jobs in this degree and are working on project with current artists.

  • Holly Nov 8, 2016 @ 7:11

    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.

  • Reggie Lowery Jr Nov 23, 2015 @ 9:44

    I loved and still love Full Sail it was amazing for me. I took a BS in Show Production and I worked for companies while in school did internships, assisted with projects on campus and off campus,worked in churches for free of course. Because I did all of this for a couple years, I walked out with a Bachelors Degree and two years of experience and landed a job two months before graduating in Orlando,FL. Also I freelance, I own my own company and I am employed by companies. I Seasonally work for Sea World in Orlando. I am a Stagehand and Audio Visual Tech for lots of companies in Orlando, doing live Corporate Events. I love it.

  • jsen Aug 17, 2015 @ 9:15

    let me start off by saying this, i’m a firm believer that you get results based off of the amount of effort you put into whatever your endeavor may be. With that being said, the amount of effort i put into full sail did not equal the results, period. I worked harder than i’ve ever worked in my life @ 18+ hours a day, 7 days a week without a break for weeks at a time. Accelerated program? B***s**t.

    if you looked at before and after pictures of me, you’d think i looked into the ark of the covenant, i went from bright eyed and bushy tailed, to world weary and worn in 14 months, and all for nothing. i did the computer animation program, all they did was teach a software package, the quality of the instruction was incredibly poor, since i was attending the last year they were running an associate degree program, they just wanted us to get through so they didn’t have to deal with us anymore, they passed everyone… Literally everyone.

    there was someone who made a very poorly rendered disembodied foot as their FINAL PROJECT FOR THE ENTIRE DEGREE PROGRAM, guess what? they passed her too. as far as job prospects go? they consider doodling on a napkin “art” and if you do that while you’re working the graveyard shift waiting tables at a denny’s, then technically you’re working in the industry. the three people in my huge class that graduated that got jobs? one is working unpaid for a game studio, two others started working in non art positions as grunts at a game studio hoping to get promoted, one works as a 2d artist because that’s what he did before he went to full sail, and the last person slept with the hiring manager and that’s how she got her position (not being chauvinistic, she was bragging about it).

    with that being said, i’m angry, but im not delusional… getting a job in an art related field is difficult as hell, and honestly the only reasons i’m furious is because i was sold the dream, not the reality of the industry, truth is, you can do it, but it’s hard as hell, you are going to have really hard financial times, and i would recommend damn near any other school than Full Sail, it’s a diploma mill, plain and simple, some places even include “full sail” in the list of keywords that automatically sorts resumes into the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” pile.

    at the heart of it, you can get a better education on youtube than you can at full sail, get into a good art school, learn the rest online and with a student edition of the 3d program of your choosing, because at the heart of it, the art is what you get hired for, not knowing how to use maya. If you’re thinking about going to Full Sail, save your money, i wish i did.

  • Nick Aug 5, 2015 @ 6:54

    Wow. I can’t believe all the negative feedback. Here is the truth about FSU — it requires work! All these complainers have one thing in common — they didn’t get a job in the field they “wanted.” Beside the fact that I have tons of friends who haven’t gotten jobs in the area they wanted from traditional schools, this is an entirely personal experience based off of the opinions of students who just EXPECTED to get a job because they went to school (primarily, they wanted the school to do the work for them). I hate to break it to you, but that is no longer the way the world works. I graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing and have been working in the industry ever since. Did the degree help me get the job? Maybe not directly, but it taught me a ton of stuff I didn’t know. It was up to me to put in the extra work and drive my dream forward — not the school. 90 percent of the population doesn’t know shit. So who are you going to take advice from — the 124 people that didn’t get the job in the their field of study, or the one that did (based off of the stats from @unemployedfullsailgrad). I’ll take my chances with successful people, they obviously deserved it and didn’t blame someone, or something, for their failures.

    • Holly Aug 6, 2015 @ 9:43

      No shit.

      😀 I’d like to the stats on students who graduate from a traditional college and get a job in their field of study straight out of school. A helluva lot of the ones I know are working in retail.

  • TEDDY May 8, 2015 @ 20:20

    Being a Marine I was transferred from several duty stations, so I’ve been to several different schools, What I’ve seen is that if you do just the basic’s and don’t put an effort into learning what your passionate about, then you may still have a degree and just a basic knowledge of the program I’ve seen it at several colleges. If your taking a nursing course at any college and transfer to music or game design it’s not going to be transferable…. I took a course for Java at the local collage and the same year I watched a youtube video of someone’s code at Full Sail I felt stupid because there code was better, at that point I transferred, some classes I had where transferable, but If I skipped the course I would be behind everyone else at the school…

  • Scott May 3, 2015 @ 8:21

    Good day,
    I have been reading all your blogs. I am not employed with FS. I am in Law Enforcement. My has ha been going to Full Sail for the past 8 months. I must say the scheduling for class can be very crazy, But from what I have seen so far that the classes have not been that easy, he has taken most of the core classes that UF, FIU FS UCF give, yes it might only be on a monthly basis but there is no down time, the cost for this school is really no different then any other university except you can obtain your degree in 2.5 yrs if you put the work in and work hard in the field you are in. Nobody will just give you a job just because you have a degree, you will need to network do internship and be a go getter, the fields FS give are not easy fields to get a job, do not think for one minute that job placement will get you a job they will point you in the right direction and what you do with it is all up to you. by the way my son is in the film program and he really enjoys what he is doing. Now. If you look at the cost of Full Sail it seems to look costly. but look at the schools I mentioned above it all comes out the same cost, unless you go to University of Miami which will cost you over $200.000 for a 4 yr education. Again I wish all the students the best and wish them all nothing but success

  • Dan Dec 19, 2014 @ 13:41

    I’m a current student at Full Sail and can offer a bit of insight. I do like it. Granted I have a few months left to go in the Film program, but I’ve set myself up well. I think most people with an issue with Full Sail are expecting the school to do everything for them. Through my time at Full Sail I’ve seen a lot of kids fall behind and have to re-take courses and not graduate with the class. Full Sail’s schedule is demanding and you HAVE to network and redefine what “hard work” really is. A lot of kids that come to this school right out of high school tend to fall behind because they can’t handle the 3-4 hour lectures followed by a 3-4 hour lab. They also get home sick and the coursework takes a toll if they fall behind even the slightest. If you want to attend Full Sail, DO YOUR RESEARCH. If you’re an accelerated student you’ll likely only have Sundays off each month, and those Sundays are usually spent doing projects for class. You’ll have to re-evaluate your sleep schedule. I currently get about 4-5 hours of sleep at night if I don’t have an overnight lab, and I’ll try and get a 20-minute power nap during the day between courses or on a lunch break. Also, live close enough to the school so you can afford to walk to class some days. The little extra cardio will help a little bit in staying healthy because there is a McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Chili’s, Orlando Ale House, and Wing House RIGHT NEXT TO THE CAMPUS. I’ve seen a lot of kids waste money on those places instead of bagging their own lunch and doing their own grocery shopping.

    By coming to Full Sail there are a lot of things students need to do that the school can’t really help you with. You really need to balance schoolwork, personal life, sleep schedule, workout schedule (even 30 minutes of any physical activity is helpful), and utilize any downtime to get work done. As you progress through your schedule it gets harder and it’s more of a grind. You’ll see a lot of your friends fall a month behind you because they can’t keep up, or vice versa. I honestly don’t believe kids should come to this school right out of high school because they just aren’t ready to handle it on their own. I’m speaking generally of course, yes there are some high school kids that come here and do well, but overall I haven’t seen many kids thrive right out of high school. Students that were formerly in the military do very well. They can handle the work and the schedule. I wasn’t military, nor was I here out of high school. I took a few years off and worked in a variety of workplace settings, mostly in law firms. I came into it being able to handle the workload and I’ve lived on my own for a few years.

    This school will give you the necessary tools, but it’s how you apply them and work to expand yourself. You HAVE to network. Get involved with people outside your program. My best friends are actually all outside the Film program. Think about what you can do outside school to get noticed. I’ve volunteered with smaller productions to network and meet people and I’ve even had people call me back to help on other projects that were paid gigs. These only paid about $50-$100 for a day’s work, but it was enough to get me groceries.

    I know this has almost no structure to it, but I honestly believe that people who have a problem with the school don’t ask the question “What could I have done differently?” The school is expensive. It also intensifies as you progress through your program. You only get 4 total weeks of vacation/break time throughout a calendar year. You’re going to be tired and exhausted, but that’s because it’s a grind. The industry I’m trying to break into is a grind and I’ll start at the very bottom. Luckily I’m going to be starting a script editor position at a production company in 3 months in Los Angeles. It’s not sexy, but it’s got teeth. It’s my foot in the door. They told me it’ll be a lot of 12-14 hour days just reading and revising. I love it. I’m hardwired for. I’m ready for absurd working hours (Thanks Full Sail). Did I expect to land a position as a director right out of school? No. Even the PA jobs are tough to land, but it’s not impossible.

    In closing, if you think about attending Full Sail, do your research. Don’t look at everything on their website. Come to forums like this. GET MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES. Visit the school if you can. Their Behind The Scenes tour is great. Also take a look at yourself. Don’t assume you know everything, and don’t assume you’re perfect. Ask other people what they honestly think of you and your work ethic. Don’t be insulted if they tell you that you don’t have much of a work ethic. Get one. I’ve come to this school and had professors criticize my work as much as they’ve praised it. I appreciate someone criticizing me more than I do when someone patronizes me. I want multiple perspectives on my work, and I hope some people think it sucks. You honestly have to give an honest evaluation of yourself because too many people come to this school assuming the school will do everything for them, and it doesn’t pan out like that.

    I’m done rambling, thanks for reading!

  • JB Sep 3, 2014 @ 8:26

    I went to Full Sail and I make a good amount of money. I liked Full Sail and I learned a lot from it. If you go to Full Sail… or any school for that matter… and you don’t learn enough to become employable… what does that say about you? To me it says you are a weak person with no desire to strive harder to work in the field you went to school for. Making media is not easy because if it was… everyone would be doing it. You got to try hard.. harder then the next person to make it. You have to get experience little by little until you can land in a better job later. All these people complaining about Full Sail are just weak minded individuals with no ability to figure out what to do with themselves. You need to grow up, take responsibility for you own future and stop blaming other people for your own personal inadequacies.

  • Caleb Millican May 21, 2014 @ 12:01

    Hello all just a heads up, I’ve been attending full sail on campus studying Game Art for a few months now and thoroughly enjoy it. I’ve actually got to talk with a few people from big name companies like Capcom, Bioware, Blizzard, and many others. It’s really amazing to be able to pursue what I want to do, I eat sleep live and breathe art and it’s always been my passion so my advice to anyone going or planning on going to full sail is to just immerse yourself with people in the same field, get to know people, go to events, just socialize in all respects. My advice to anyone is to just be adamant and determined when it comes to whatever it is you plan on doing at full sail. Currently I’m an intern at EA Tiburon, between school and work. So it all depends on how focused/disciplined/determined you are. Hope this helps someone.

  • Charismatic Feb 12, 2014 @ 1:27

    I just wanted to know what happened to all those people who attended and gave all this praise. In addition, you talked down to those who had a negative comment about the school. Did you accomplish all that you desired. As mentioned before, I know people who have graduated with a BA, and later with a MA after getting sucked in (because they could not attend any other MA program but the one offered by Full Sail). I want to let you know that no their credits don’t transfer (and I work at a community college, and asked one of the finical aid advisors). I mean I graduated from high school with a diploma in Graphic Design and Office Systems Management, but its not recognized on my resume. Thats all Full Sail is, a vocational school. I started out there, and decided to transfer to get a BFA instead of a BA in Graphic Design. I get everything included in my tuition including, the Mac Book Pro and software. However, I don’t pay the high price for tuition, and they are REGIONAL ACCREDITED. In addition, they accredited by Different Art Associations.

    I am not here to bash but to state the facts. First let me say that I started this journey by researching the difference between a BFA and BA. As stated previously, I am a Graphic Design Major. However, they school I attend offers the gaming program as well. When I did my research, one of the things I wanted was a program that “gave” me everything I need for the program (software and hardware), but had “Regional Accreditation”. Next, was I wanted to pursue my MFA, so I needed to know more about what MFA programs where looking for. I also saw the bad reviews about those who wanted to get a Masters Degree, so I researched MA/MFA programs, and requirement. I can tell you that Full Sail isn’t recognized, so you will not be able to get a Maters unless you get it from Full Sail. Which is quite the marketing strategy, because after paying 70k for a BA, add another 40k(estimate) for the MA. Thats about 1k a month to pay back to student loans.

    I also want to express that they don’t offer a BFA, so it is not an art school. The difference is you have to know how to draw, which is very important in any design field (including Game and Animation) . There isn’t any requirements to do this. I also looked at students who where in the MA Media Design program, and was not dazzled by the work that I saw. Most of the skills they were learning was basic skills, or things you could have learned on YouTube. In addition, when I read their blogs I saw a lot of typos that a MA student should not make. I am very passionate about my hobby/skill and Graphic Design, and I found that this was not going to challenge me. Which means that there are a lot of students who are not at the level I am. They let anyone in that can afford to pay, or have finical aid. I had to submit a portfolio to be accepted into my new school. Which I won a scholarship for.

    I suggest that you write out you educational goals, and DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. One of the best things to do is call you 2nd choice, and ask about transferring credits. I would also suggest you call different Master Degree Programs to see if a degree from full sail would be accepted, and don’t be afraid to ask why. In addition, Full Sail has a team of people who comments on negative feedback.

    I also still network on Facebook with a lot of people who have graduated, and I can tell you they are not singing any praises about Full Sail. For example, one of my friends was on FB bragging about having went to Full Sail, and she was 21 with her masters. A few years later, she is working as a prison guard with a Masters. This is a job that don’t require you to even have a BA more less a MA. Yes, they have people who go on to work for major companies, but 2 grads out of 100 animators working on the same project is not a high percentage.

    As an Artist I can tell you having the basic skills in drawing is a major plus, and thats why I went the BFA route for my education.

  • LolHaters Oct 22, 2013 @ 6:39

    The grammar of the people bashing this school is absolutely horrid.
    I went 2 full sail and no i did not get a job when i gradumated. My credits didnt even trasfer. stay away from dis school its a trap!

    Hah, come on guys. If you made it through years of education and still cannot spell or use grammar correctly, I really doubt it is the schools fault. You don’t put in money and magically get an education. It is what you make of it – like anything else in life.

  • Nick Sep 25, 2013 @ 15:37

    Hello Holly,

    No matter what school your son goes to, the film industry or entertainment industry as a whole is really bad!!!! It is really hard or sometimes impossible to gain actual paid employment within those fields. It’s not to bad when trying to get an internship, but really hard when seeking actual paid employment.

    What your son needs to do is to find out if he can use a Full Sail degree if he wants to seek employment in other industries, b/c film and entertainment are difficult industries to gain employment. He might have to look elsewhere. Some companies might have a problem with Full Sail being a nationally accredited institution. It all depends on what the employer wants and is looking for.

    Many people say that you can not transfer credits from Full Sail to other schools, and that is very true, you can’t. At least in regards to going from a nationally accredited school (trade schools) to a regionally accredited one. What they are referring to is going from Full Sail to a regionally accredited school like Virginia Tech, Florida State, Alabama and LSU. Full Sail is a nationally accredited school, sometimes refereed to as a trade school. Regionally accredited schools ALMOST NEVER accept credits from nationally accredited schools (trade schools) like Full Sail. Many people think that it is just Full Sail that colleges don’t accept their credits, and its not!!! Regionally accredited schools ignore college credits from ALL nationally accredited schools (trade schools), not just Full Sail University. I repeat, regionally accredited schools ignore college credits from ALL nationally accredited schools (trade schools), not just Full Sail University!! Some people think transferring credits to a regionally accredited institution is just a Full Sail problem and it’s not, it applies to all nationally accredited schools (aka trade schools). Regionally Accredited schools (UF, LSU, Alabama, Boston College) work with each other in terms of transferring credits. And nationally accredited schools (trade schools) work with each other in terms of transferring credits. It’s very hard to transfer between nationally accredited (aka trade schools) and regionally accredited schools. To learn more about nationally accredited (trade schools) and regionally accredited schools, you can always refer to wikipedia or other sources on the net.

  • Kaela Aug 4, 2013 @ 5:52

    I know this question is old but I felt it needed an updated answer:

    You get what you put into this school. It is NOT for someone who isn’t serious you are also expected to obtain basic knowledge of your primary software before school starts. You also need to learn very quickly and be able to figure things out on your own.

    Some teachers are wonderful, some are beyond horrible. My husband is going to graduated Aug 9th with his Bachelor’s in Game art and Design (he entered before they broke the degree down). 36 months ALL HIS SOFTWARE which was updated every year, expensive website subscriptions, books, laptop and supplies are included in the tuition! That to me does not make it expensive. I was going for a photography degree and had to buy every single item and my software was not updated.

    Also, while you’re in school you can seek out job opportunities; my husband did and now his paint scheme design for VFC12 is on a jet model that is being sold across the entire world!

    Again, it’s what YOU put into it. My husband did all of this while working 12-14 hour days (military) also because of how excelled it is the G.I Bill will not cover everything we had a few 300 dollar payments we had to make but after seeing the work he did in the beginning compared to where he is now; it’s night and day.

    We also know people who went to 4 year colleges and their work is not as good as my husbands (their words, not ours).

    If you are dead serious about your degree then you can survive full sail. If not, do not even try. Of course; I also recommend going to the school in person so you can have access to all the top quality equipment (the new tablets)

  • Davis Meissner May 31, 2013 @ 15:01

    I graduated from Full Sail Recording Arts 3 years ago and have had a lot of success in the fact I have not given up on working in the industry I desired. I interned at 3 studios the first year before actually getting paid to work. Now I am basically getting paid just enough to pay rent in LA and struggle for the basics like food and internet. Forget about buying new clothes. The fact is Full Sail is a business that sells kids the idea that there is a BOOMING AUDIO INDUSTRY when in fact it is dying. There are very few major studios left in Los Angeles and there are kids graduating from schools from all over the country tyring to work here. There are simply not enough jobs for the amount of students these schools are sending out.

  • Prestin Jan 9, 2013 @ 19:41

    I am a student at Full Sail University and I love it! If you have any questions feel free to ask.

    In my time at Fullsail I have learned that you need to be self motivated and work towards what you want to do with your life everyday. I will graduate from the Music Production degree in 2013. In December of 2012 I applied for a paid Media Intern Position. Last week I was accepted and I have been working all this week. I am continuing to build my demo reel and very excited for the future.

    I love being able to work at what I love to do!

  • Jonathan Cook Jan 6, 2013 @ 3:39

    Full Sail is overpriced for what they teach… I would recommend having all of the associate level classes completed to transfer in which will lessen the financial burden and allow him to get more out of the school… Also he should be ready to move to LA or NY when he graduates to get the most out of his degree as far as job prospects… unless he has money saved up to start his own venture in his home town…

  • Holley Nov 17, 2012 @ 15:17

    Hi fellow users, my name is Holley. I am a current film major at Full Sail University. I am 30 years old & moved out to Orlando from My lifelong home in California strictly to attend Full Sail. I see the comments, various opinions, & yes, a lot of bashing on this institution. We all are entitled to what we personally feel, though with all due respect, for me, Full Sail has been the BEST experience of my life. I really mean that, attending this college & the family of great peers & friends I have gained from the positive interaction with like minded fellow students is quite honestly the best thing I have/ could have ever done for myself. I love this school, the work, the class schedule & people & just how positive the campus environment is on the regular. Though, please do not be confused, I am not a pampered, free ride student who is being funded or carried by mommy & daddy…I am 30 & I am besides about $10,000 in federal student loans paying for MY college education by MYSELF. I did spend about 4 months before arriving apply up the rear for every kind of free scholarship or grant towards my tuition I could to lessen my cost of $80,500.00 tuition, yes that’s eighty thousand, five hundred dollar tuition, but it’s also MY EDUCATION! It’s quite frankly no one else’s job to pay for my college degree. I don’t have the option of supportive parents who can just write me /school a check. I support myself, i rent a house with fellow students, we split everything & i do it all on about $600 a month. so i don’t want to hear another word on how hard some kids life is just because his mom didn’t send him the money he wanted to buy beer or some cool jacket at the mall. the struggle IS SO WORTH IT + the struggle of very little money is for now, but because of effort & commitment & drive, will not be permanent. Those who do, 19 year old kids just out of high school, oddly enough seem to be the ones who DO KEEP FALLING out of this school. They seem to lack maturity for the “Real, tough work & commitment” FS really requires. This school is no joke, it’s a great tool to grow a great future, but those who can’t hack it, won’t last. Look, there are great, good, bad & awful things about EVERY college out there. Seriously, the real issue is a personal decision of what does one want out of it? Also, the design is to graduate, & then get working…usually the idea of “transferring credits” may not even be applicable.. With the industry changing so quickly, in a lot of cases, more schooling may not be the best idea in my opinion… Your gonna want to get out there right away & get your hands dirty in the industry gaining work experience! I would do it all over again if I had the choice, I am very happy with my education here. I hope this may be helpful to who reads this.

    ~thank you

    • Holley Nov 17, 2012 @ 15:21

      I apologize for un-typical punctuation errors, I am typing on an iPad + auto correct.

  • SpagCakes Aug 1, 2012 @ 9:49

    Late into the discussion I know, but here’s my $0.02. You don’t need a degree to get into the film and music industry. They are both declining industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they have a lower than average growth rate, lower than average jobs availability, and lower than average salary. The types of jobs these degrees are geared for do not require an education beyond high school to qualify.

    That FILM and MUSIC related degrees. Their Game Development and Computer Animation degrees are fantastic and well worth the money. They are in growing industries with faster than average growth rates, higher than average jobs availability, and higher than average salary. The Game Dev degree far outpaces traditional public university CS and SD programs, hands down and by far. While I can’t speak directly on the Computer Animation program since I was never in it, the demo reels produced by the grads are amazing and if it’s any indication of quality of training, about 60 Full Sail grads worked on Avengers, and 20 on the latest Dark Knight movie, the overwhelming majority of them Computer Animation grads.

    It is expensive, but the tuition is all-inclusive and covers books, parking, tutors, and there is no cost to retake failed classes, and saves you 2-years of living expenses since it’s an accelerated pace that completes a 4-year degree in 2 years. If film or music is your passion and money is not an issue for you, by all means go to Full Sail for it. If you’d have to borrow money to attend, then don’t go unless you’re going into one of the degrees that actually fetches a higher paying job.

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