The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (72)
I attended the AI-Online Division in hopes to finish the degree I started at the San Francisco campus. I had been forced to stop school for cancer treatments and after two years was ready to continue. Once I got in touch with the Online Division I was informed that nearly all of my credits from the campus would NOT transfer. After a lot of back and forth, I found one class that I could take online that would count towards the credits I'd already earned. The runaround was ridiculous. Why have schools that share the same name if they are not going to accept each other's credits?? Watch out! If you plan to take some classes through the Online Division and others on campus, they WILL NOT transfer between each other! Nor does the school care if you are forced to stop for any medical reasons. Five years of AI and all I got out of it was a debt of over $170,000 that will never go away.
I decided after moving and transferring through a few schools that I wanted to finish my degree online so that any future moves would not affect my progress. The transfer evaluation progress was unbelievably difficult. The academic team was very unhelpful and I had to repeat information multie times. My academic team also continued to change while I was going though the process and it made it even harder to have to explain my situation to every new person I had to deal with. In the year and a half I was enrolled I went through a total of 9 academic advisors. Each time I was never informed of any changes and it was only when I needed help that I had to contact them and they were not responsive. They offered a academic achievement grant which was helpful for affording the ridiculously high price tag but they would not allow you to take out any funds for living expenses if you were using the grant. All of your financial aid funds will be used by the school. They also make you pay a monthly payment in order to use the grant. What a scam! That is not how grants work. The financial aid department is just set up to get the most money for the school. There were some classes that I learned a few things, but mostly the instructors did the bare minimum of grading and responding to your discussion post assignments. Some instructors were barely there. Overall, the administration is unresponsive and some are incompetent to an unbelievable level. The teachers are not passionate and you do not get the interactions that you need to perform well. There is little help with finding internships. They will bleed your financial aid dry. Do not attend any Art Institute schools, you will end up like so many of us in huge amounts of debt and regretting your decision. I wish I had listened to these warnings before I signed up.
I have currently been enrolled in the AIOPOD for 2 years now and for the most part I have noticed that all the "lectures" works under the assumption that the student has previous experience in working either/both adobe or 3D modeling software such as Maya or 3ds Max, so your are paying one of the most expensive design schools for the oppurtunity to teach yourself. The instructors also seems to want the students to submit professional quality assignment, which would be ok if the instructors weren't grading on the bases that you have been established in your field for 5 or more years. Also, by the off chance that said instructor requests that you resubmitted your assignment they will refuse to adjust your grade practically forcing you to go into academic probation and to loose your scholarships. To the same effect the instructors also want you to describe your experience in completing the assignment using technical jargon that an amatuer would obviously have noway in knowing spell let alone use in written description, so again the instructor would hold that against you. The school's contracted online tutors are even worse, earlier in the year, I had a tutor say to me that "he is not familiar with AfterEffects. Could you please pull up a tutorial video for me?" Are you kidding me!? The tutors are incompetent, the instructors are unwilling to work with struggling students, they give you only a week to decide if you want to drop or keep the class, the accelerated due dates are unrealistic even by professional standards and to top it off the administration is will not contact you in a timely manner after you have voiced your concerns to them. Even though I am only 2 years aways from graduating I am highly considering of starting over at another school, due to the fact that hardly any of their credits are transferrable. In short I would not even recommend a dyslexic comatose patient with down-syndrome to enroll in this school.
I sit here as a confused and hurt woman who thought I was close to achieving something positive with a true desire to accomplish a degree. I am having trouble paying my student loans because I fell prey to predatory practices of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online division. When recruited my recruiter described a high paying corporate job with plenty of support landing a job and securing funding to earn my degree in interior Design. Actually, my degree was equated to that of a doctor! I now know they meant equated to the cost of a medical degree not the earnings of one! By 2011 I was out of money to borrow and had spent the last 7 years jumping thru hoops that the Art Institute had laid out. More then once I was lied to about the class requirements and enrollment policy's. I got tired and fearful of all the policy changes and debt that was growing with each one of these "hoops " I was jumping thru. To stop the chaos I requested to change to Associates degree rather then the Bachelors. Once again I was told "no " because I had attempted to many credits. The information I was given was always unverifiable. I had no recourse but to move forward. Regretfully, in the summer of 2011 I was told I ran out of federal money to borrow. This was not something I was ever told would happen. $60,000 in debt and $13000 out of pocket and I couldn't afford to finish the degree. I asked the school for a ledger. I got lucky and found someone who forwarded to me. To my surprise there are disbursement that had been paid by student loans that are unverifiable. For example, a $2000 stipend that I never had received! Don't know why my financial plan was set up for more then what was needed! I questioned my ledger and asked for an audit. To my regret I never was able to get a response or support. As I reflect on my tenure at The Art Institute or Pittsburgh online division, It becomes real clear that I had been duped. I respected and trusted what I was being told about the degree I was studying for, the opportunities that would be available and policies that were being disclosed were honest. I was lead by the nose. If this was a car I would be covered under a Lemon Law! In other words I thought I was buying a diamond not a lump of coal. It appears I will never recover from the predatory practices, unless of course The Art Institute is held accountable and gives a refund. A refund based on the misrepresentation of the education and job placement. The Deliberate deception has made me vulnerable to financial ruin.
School is not prepared to provide an education that is worthy of the Price Tag they have attached. The school has trained all it's employees to always consider maxing out cost over ethical and moral guidance. Financial aid operates with a sense of urgency to rush you thru important financial decisions. Student services will find a way around allowing major changes if it will put less money in the Schools bank account. Non of the guidance will have your true success as priority. Money for school , EDMC and Ultimately Goldman Saks are all that matters to this school. Google the Lawsuits
This is school is a complete SCAM. I am about to graduate and I just have basic knowledge of web scripting , why? because they make you take classes that have nothing to do with your career. Instead of focusing on web developing programs, software that is used as the industry right now, they just make you take classes that are OBSOLETE for the industry. The online classes supposedly should be more flexible with your schedule and they are not. There is not breaks between quarters, meaning you only have 5 days off from the entire year (holidays on christmas) and of course you have to work on assignments due by you come back. What is even worse is that the "professors" are more "facilitators or monitors." If you have a question, you have to wait up to 24 hours to get a response. In many occasions the response is "click this link" and it direct you to an external link that you could have found on Google or YouTube. The classroom barely explains anything and THE ART INSTITUTES DOES NOT HAVE THEIR OWN ONLINE TUTORIALS. They make you take online tutorials form LYNDA.COM which a membership on there is $390 dlls a year (including all tutorials with thousands of subjects on design, business, e commerce, you name it) the cost of ONE CREDIT at THE ART INSTITUTE? $470 dlls. each class is 3 credits so is about 1600 per class. TO LEARN TUTORIALS FROM EXTERNAL WEBSITES, you ended up in debt. the program is NOT the quality for the price. I hate this school and I am in debt and barely making any websites, and the school won't help you to find a job in the field. you could take courses online with better quality for a fraction of the cost of this SCAM, the FOR PROFIT school is under investigation. google Tom Hankins report of for-profit schools, EDMC who manages the art institutes is being sued by the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT , the report shows that this schools spent 40% of their profits on marketing and recruiting and ONLY 17% in the students and faculty. If you want to learn go online, lynda.com or udermy.com real cheap and learn about the same (or even more) and if you want to get accredited start at a community college. PLEASE DONT FALL FOR THIS SCAM! Thousands of students are in real debt for their false promises of job placement.
I did not graduate. In fact I spent 4 years at this school and they ran through my financial aid money like it was water. At first I did not notice and was busy working on the online classes. Then at one point we was required to purchase digital online books. I could not find cheaper books or borrow books for my classes to save me a few dollars. Some of the classes I questioned because we did not hear from the instructors much. And looking at my work and the work of others I could clearly see that my work was not up to par for a good professional portfolio. In the end I took notice of how high my bill was getting and inquired to how many more classes I had to take yet. It took me awhile to get a straight answer from my advisors. When they finally informed me I ran through all my grants, and loan money that I only had 10 classes to take to graduate. But I could not move forward because I could not pay for the classes, also I had to drop out and they charge you to drop out of school! 3000! Worth of some kind of fees. So here I sit with over 60,000 in loans, climbing interest rates and nothing to show for it. Sadly I thought that the Pittsburgh Art Institute was a good school in good standing. Only I found out too late and assumed too much and got talked into this school only to find out it's a scam. I did not get my degree, can not get my transcripts until I pay off that 3000.00. And if I had gotten that degree it would be useless. Go to a real university or Community college forget this one. Online is not worth the trouble in the end.
This school started out well. The first few semesters I fairly breezed along, never mind the fact I had to take a ton of math courses which costed me more. Math classes I simply did not want or need. Suddenly there were things that they needed. More equipment that wasn't on the student required lists. Expensive things that were suddenly needed right before the classes started. For example when I started a particular class there was no need for a back drop or an extra lighting kit. one week before the class is due to start, we're informed via email that the equipment is REQUIRED in order to even take the class let alone pass. I suppose if you have money falling out of your nethers, that wouldn't be an issue. However, nobody has that sort of cash (At this point it was almost $300+ for the equipment) and coming up with that amount of money would either take a leprechaun falling out of the sky or one suddenly winning the lottery. This went on for the entire time I was there. I'm a stubborn bint and I wanted to see this through. I slogged through teachers who didn't care. Grading whatever they felt like and leaving copy/pasted feedback in their critiques, then docking grades on those who did not leave "enough substantial feedback". It was very hypocritical. Certain people were graded one way, while others were graded another. Images that were clearly not good enough passed with good grades while others who had stellar work were docked for little things. It seemed arbitrary. When questioned suddenly your grade would change. I was a part time student, so it took me roughly five years to complete (With a four month break due to my mother passing away). Get to 2015. I get calls weekly from various people who are suddenly my academic adviser. I think in the five years I was there, I went through no less than nine counselors in my five year career. I get closer to my graduation and I am in my final class. My professor clears most of my images for printing. I get told they're not the best but they'll have to do. I start getting weekly calls from my adviser saying I was graduating, I was going to do fine and they looked forward to giving me my diploma. I'm excited, of course I'm excited. I've never had a diploma like this before. I go through my class and then get told I didn't graduate that all the stuff I handed in was not acceptable. Never mind that the professor and the counselors had five and a half weeks to tell me otherwise. I was basically lied to. Told I had to repeat the class or not graduate. When i questioned all of this I get told I have to appeal I send in the appeal papers and get told I didn't hand them in on time. Despite them being handed in under the 30 days I had to do it. Do not attend this school. Please. I'm asking you, pleading you to reconsider your options. No matter how promising it looks, it is genuinely too good to be true.
I'M GREATLY DISSAPOINTED WITH MYSELF FOR EVER ENROLLING IN AIPOD FOR MANY REASONS! -Teachers and other students offer minimal inspiration. -I’ve had teachers with no sympathy, that would rather fail a student who puts lots of hours and effort into their projects and hands them in late, than allow the work to speak for it’s self. -All students need to do to get a degree at AIPOD is pay the tuition and submit assignments that meet the minimum requirements. -I'd be cheating myself out of time, money, and education if I continued at AIPOD. -I'm better off educating myself as I was before I enrolled, for free, online. -The school has a Bad Reputation for enrolling ANYONE who qualifies for grants and loans, whether or not they’re academically eligible or artistically inclined. -High tuition rate does not reflect the poor education and resources offered. -Horrible graduation rate and dropout rate -I feel as though I’ve foolishly put myself in debt for a degree that isn’t worth more than my portfolio. -Having a degree from AIPOD is a joke to many companies. -Credits are nontransferrable -I was drawn to AIPOD by a commercial, I called for information, Spoke to a recruiter who "took care of me" told me everything I was eligible for. She built me up and made me feel as though I was doing a "good thing" by pursuing my degree. I was just naive and vulnerable. The wool was pulled way over my eyes. Had I done research on the school, I would've never made this HUGE Financial mistake.
This school is the worst. None of the staff knows what the hell is going on. They are constantly "checking in" but as soon as you tell them truth, that are scam artists and being really inadequate they won't respond or they switch your advisers. I have also received several billing statements, for other students. Or once I got a course withdrawal email for someone else. I emailed back to clarify with my "team" and again, the snotty woman never even responded. This school is far too expensive. I could teach myself the things I learn here. The instructors are basically there to mediate the courses. They are no help. They just sit back and enforce strange rubrics, change the rules then grade you poorly based on some stuff they made up. I have had more crappy instructors than not. I had one who was posting one rubric then claiming I had misread, misunderstood or ignored the rules so I copy & pasted the assignment requirements and sent them to her, she STILL insisted that's not what was posted. I had to remove my phone number from my profile because they call non-stop. The few times I have talked to them they expect to get 4 or 5 hours of your time. I'm a parent and full-time employee. I can't do that, nor would I if I had no other requirements. I also had my work number listed for possible emergency contact... they called me daily for a few days at work. Problem is they couldn't reach me because I worked shifts, in a 911 dispatch facility. Once they got me on the line and I simply told the man he needed to stop calling my job and tying up 911 lines and hung up on him. They still demand contact info for me at times and I ignore them. They have my email and that is all. I am looking to change schools or simply give up design school. I haven't taken a single course in the last 3 years that applies to Interior Design... I was under the impression this was like a vocational school, I'd be studying for my degree. But no, I'm paying over $4,000 each semester for fillers and gen eds at this fake school. I was advised after years that my aide will run out before I can even complete my degree. My financial adviser is some young girl who is nasty and stated the information about my aide as though I was the dumbest person on Earth. The info also was ONLY told to me after I threatened to leave the school, and after I demanded (after asking many times) to change my aide disbursement so that I can get the money instead of giving the remainder aide to them. This place is all about your money, not you. They will contact you relentlessly if you owe them but they refuse to answer you if you contact them with a problem. Reading these reviews I saw that there is no Dean or President. . How is that even possible? Explains a lot. I am so fed up and it's time I put my negative experience out there too if it will help save someone else a few thousand dollars on this useless place.