The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (78)
First off I'll say this school is not for everyone. When I say that I'm talking about those who expect to breeze through classes without putting in any effort. You definitely have put in the blood sweat and tears. I did just that, read everything they offered and put in the leg work. I noticed however, that some of my fellow classmates submitted work that was just awful. I mean they edited and photographed worse then a 13 year old with Instagram filters. It was obvious they were not putting in any effort. I learned a lot online and now have a very awesome job, one I thought I couldn't get because of an online degree. My employer judged me on my photographs and not where I got my degree, and my photographs stood out because of what I learned. I wouldn't take a culinary class online or something that requires hands on direction. But for photographers I think this is an excellent way to earn a degree. And yes instructors will judge and critique your work, how else would you learn. If everyone lies to you and say your photos are always awesome, how can you learn. You get what you put in it.
Lets just say I was going to school here for a year and a half, took twenty classes and now owe $33,000 in loans and $3,000 to the school. As a single mother, I would have never took on this type of obligation. I was tricked into thinking I would only pay $200 a month for the three years I was supposed to attend.
First let me say I did not graduate. I started school in 2010 for photography. I actually did learn a lot and enjoyed the majority of my classes. I got to the point where teachers would look at my work and say; "the composition is great but what are you trying to say with this photo". The photography department focuses on portraiture. I learned that I HATE portraiture. The good news is my photograph was on their website for over 2 years before it changed. Why did I drop out? I was offered next to no financial aid. Even with loans I still had a balance and it just kept growing so I dropped out. I went to go enroll into another college changing my degree program and found I couldn't until the balance from this school was paid. SO, when tax returns came in i called and they had a "we'll match what you pay" offer going on so I only had to pay half the balance off for it to be cleared. Now I'm enrolled at American Military University. There is also APU. I have no had to pay a CENT out of my pocket for the degree program I'm in now. I've actually received money back from this school and the tuition is INCREDIBLY low! So I'm not terribly upset at AIO. I'm also not happy with it. Also a lot of my credits from this school did transfer.
I enrolled in Feb of 2009. I had not completed my 2008 taxes and classes started in March, so they told me to provide my 2007 taxes, and just give the 2008 taxes with the 2009 the following year (thank you J.B.). The bank confirmed they would handle my loan and AI confirmed my FAFSA, and I started classes. End of 2009, they were calling saying I owed the $10,000. I told them I had a student loan and they need to correct their records. Did not hear back. In the Summer of 2010, that $10,000 was in collections and I was getting harassed by debt collectors. I called AI, they refused to help me at all. They would not correct their mistake and recall the debt to my loan. I made several attempts to contact the head of the financial dept (Quincy) with no reply at all. Only after calling and raising hell did he reply to tell me that they would not correct their mistake. AI is criminal at best. I am still paying off that debt, had to drop out with nothing to show for it, and my credit score is wrecked. Stay away from this school by all means!
I did not graduate. I changed majors with the hope that a combined bachelors degree of Graphic Design and Business Administration would be a boost for a good job. AIOline let me believe that. I was also told I have PLENTY of student aid left that I could finish up and get my degree. Then a letter came in the mail from SallieMae stating I had reached my limit of student aid. The school could not help me and I was no where near getting a degree and was told I needed another $30,000 to complete the course. I was told I could get a 2nd mortgage on my house to pay for it or get a personal loan. Imagine! Encouraging me to go further into debt to pay them!!! Now here I am a few years down the road regretting I ever thought of going to college much less transferring to this school. I'm $60,000 in the hole with no degree to show for it.. Thanks to the economy, neither my husband or myself have had much in the way of pay rises either. I've had forbearances to the student loan on occasion due to more important bills (like eating, lights, heating oil). Many good, well known and reputable colleges are going online with many courses because its convenient for students who work. stick with them and do your homework on the best ones. Ask Questions.
Over priced degree. EDMC and the Art institute of pittsburgh online has been sued for fraud and mistepresentation. The lawsuit is balid the allegations are true. PITTSBURGH - A Justice Department lawsuit against a Pittsburgh-based company that runs more than 100 for-profit secondary schools for artists, chefs and other trades nationwide can continue even though the company has provided statistics that it claims shows its recruiters weren't illegally paid, a federal judge ruled. The lawsuit contends Education Management Corp. has exaggerated its career placement abilities and paid recruiters using illegal enrollment-based incentives. The Justice Department and attorneys general from 13 states want the school to forfeit more than $11 billion the company received in federal and state student aid it's received since 2003. The school said the allegations aren't true. Two years ago, it presented reams of statistics and records it says prove recruiters weren't solely paid on enrollment statistics, which is illegal. But U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry says the company-generated statistics don't prove anything and could support the government's claim of a company-wide conspiracy. "To put it starkly, plaintiffs allege a coordinated, multibillion-dollar corporate-wide fraud," McVerry wrote in an 11-page opinion Tuesday. "The fact that EDMC's paperwork and salary database appear to be compliant, on its face, is entirely consistent with plaintiffs' theory of the case." EDMC spokesman Chris Hardman said the company believes the case is "without merit" and will continue to defend itself. The lawsuit was filed in 2007 by two former whistle-blowing employees but had remained sealed and unknown to the public until the U.S. Justice Department and the attorneys general of California, Florida, Indiana and Illinois intervened to join the lawsuit in 2011. The company has 110 colleges and universities across North America, including Argosy University, The Art Institutes, Brown Mackie Colleges and South University. It offers academic programs through campus-based and online instruction. If the government wins the lawsuit, EDMC could be forced to repay triple the amount of student aid it received, plus penalties. The company, which has about 23,000 employees, including 2,000 in Pittsburgh, has laid off about 200 employees nationwide and sold off its Art Institute of Pittsburgh building in recent months. Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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.