The Art Institute Online Reviews

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The Art Institute Online
60 Reviews
20%
Recommend This School
23%
Degree Improved Career
Degree Usefulness
Instruction Quality
Financial Services
Alumni Employment
Avg. time to find work: Found a job before graduating
% career related to degree: 50%
Average reviewer salary: $25,000

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Degree: Graphic Design
Graduation Year: 2017
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I am currently still enrolled with this school but once this semester is over I will be leaving. So let me start of with the fact I am a us veteran. Since I enrolled a year ago I have had nothing but trouble with reviving my GI benefits because of the school. Every semester I have gone through the same issues. They continuously forget to submit paperwork to the VA which causes me to not receive my benefits. I am among many of the veterans that attend this school who have the same on going issues. Next this school has got some of the worst instructors/teachers I have ever seen. The majority of them use youtube as their tool of choice when it comes to teaching. They spend more time telling you to youtube the class agenda for the day rather than physically teaching you. I could have saved the VA and tax payers dollars by staying at home and doing that. Then once you actually get a teacher who actually tries to instruct you, they have no idea what they are talking about. I have a history teacher who told our class that the earth is only 4,000 years old. That shows you the kind of intelligence these teachers have. Next this school will enroll anyone and I mean anyone just so they can make money. We have students there who struggle with simple tasks throughout the entire course and learn nothing and they will just push them along till they fail and move on to the next which is wrong. I am not saying that the mentally challenged don't deserve a chance to goto school and to try and make something of themselves but you can not throw them into technically challenged curriculum. If I could give no star's to this school on ratings I would. I do not recommend this school to anyone. I suggest a university or community college.

2 Comments
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rayna - about 1 month ago

I went to the same school as Arron and I agree with every thing he has posted

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Ashley - 5 days ago

I attending the art institutes at San francisco. It is the worst school to attend. I waiting this quarter over, I will leaving. I come to school for study but teachers told me go online and study.? So then why I have to pay almost 2000$ for one class to study? And they keep your financial aid. They won't let you have any money at all. Do not go to this school.

STAY AWAY FROM FOR-PROFIT SCHOOLS!!!
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Degree: Web Design
Graduation Year: 2013
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If I could do it all over again, I would have steered clear of The Art Institute and any other For-Profit schools. On the positive side, the equipment is up-to-date and some of the instructors are good. The BIG negative is the price. Do you want to have debt about the size of a mortgage only to not earn enough to adequately pay the loan along with a modest apartment and food? Although I am working in my field as a designer, I have to use Income Based Repayment and will pay a fortune just for INTEREST and will be handed a huge tax bill on the amount that is "forgiven". For-Profit schools are a scam and those on top are laughing their way to the bank. This system is very BROKEN. If I deter even one potential student from attending a for-profit school like Art Institute, it is worth the time it took to type this.

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The Scam Institute online, you mean.
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Degree: Graphic Design
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I can't speak for the on-campus school, but I will say the online classes were sub-par, and you are essentially charged thousands of dollars to read. Alot. and then get 'peer reviewed' by other students who may or may not know what they are doing. While there were good teachers there, the online experience trumps any value they may have had as they usually take a forum moderators job and I've had the experience of working very hard to build a 3d model only for the critique to be 'watch those verts'. Speaking of which, most of the information you will learn will be fluff and nothing that can be of use in the industry. I can't tell you how many times I had to go over the same tired 'what's the difference between vector and raster' week in several classes. When I finally got to the areas of knowledge I wanted to learn, 3d modeling and animation, I ended up having to sign up to external courses like Digital Tutors (that at the time only charged 35 dollars per month) for superior quality video instruction. Oh..did I mention you learn everything via text tutorials? They even link to free tutorials on the web like the famous joan of arc on 3d total. I am now in lifelong debt to Sallie Mae (Who is in cahoots with A.i/EDMC/GOLDMAN SACHS!) and am still unemployed and not one step closer to my dream of being an animator aside from what I am still teaching myself. If you have a dream, stay away from the Art Institute. They are charlatains who will promise you a steak and lobster dinner, and when you sign on the dotted line, will throw you spam and ramen and convince you it's a gourmet dish.

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Terrible, waste of money.
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Degree: Photography
Graduation Year: 2050
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I am from Kansas City, and we have a wonderful and well known Art Institute here (Kansas City Art Institute) I have friends who have attended this school and it was looked upon highly by them. I wished to attend this school as well, but due to health problems attending classes physically would have been impossible. I was very excited when I discovered the online school. I requested more information expecting a packet or something in the mail. What I got instead was a phone call the next day from a VERY pushy and overbearing 'academic advisor' although a better name for him would have been recruiter. He was unable to answer any questions I had about the program and school itself, when I informed him at this point I was only looking for information about the school, he continued to push and within an hour had me applying for financial aid, and grants over the phone. It seemed the only answers he had about my questions were about tuition, and had me give a list of people to him that could help me financially. It was going to cost $40,000 for a 2 year associates degree. I was then appalled when he had me sign up for the school online and I was instantly accepted. My friends who attended the Kansas City Art Institute spent months preparing their portfolios to get accepted. All AIO needed was money, no portfolio at all. I then found out my 'academic advisor' did not even live in Pittsburg, but in Arizona. He called me again the next day for another marathon phone call, in which he had me fax over several forms to him. I looked at one paper and saw that in fine print this school is actually in association with Brown Mackey. I called the Kansas City Art Institute, and asked about this program and the affiliation they had with AI Online, and they informed me this program was very much looked down upon by most of the Art Institutes, since they allowed anyone in, and the instructors were not in his words 'up to Ai standards'. I started my first class regardless of this. I noticed not only was the format extremely hard to understand and navigate, that my teacher actually held no degree in art, and incfact lived in southern Missouri working at another college. It sounded like he did this as a side job. He mentioned the college he worked at and when I stated that I knew what college that was and had friends attending it, he immediately deleted the post I had made responding to it. I was then I realized this school was a farce. I then dropped out--and swallowed the over $900 it took to do so. The wanted to charge me $4,000 for the whole semester, but I had a family member call and inform them that I felt I had been pushed into this by the overbearing 'academic advisor'. Since within the first phone call of wanting information, he had me enrolled and filling our financial aid. They did finally agree to only charge me for the one class I had started. I would never recommend this program to anyone. You are paying Art Institute prices for an education not even remotely close to the Art Institute quality.

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Degree: Video Game Design
Graduation Year: 2008
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I have learned more and gained more solid skills with Digital Tutors $45 bucks a month with access to thousands of tutorials. After I signed my life away to Sallie, falling for the "Live your dreams" Commercials on T.v., I discovered, from all Game Art Instructors, that what REALLY MATTERS is your DEMO and portfolio, not a degree. I always finish what I start so I graduated and came to the reality/horror that the skills taught by The Art Institute, intended to get an entry level position, did not even come close to cutting it. Your skills have to be top notch (and I am not even exaggerating )when it comes to getting a job in the game industry. There were a few really great teachers, whose instructions I still remember when doing my work. Most instructors though, were in between jobs and really could care less about your career, I heard one of them even say it out loud! If you want a degree go to a real university, but if you want to get a job in the game industry, do not go to this school. Instead sign up on one of the many inexpensive tutorial web sites (like 3dmotive, Digital Tutors, Eat 3d and many more) and put together a demo on your own.

1 Comment
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Jerry Cunningham - about 1 month ago

What are the names of the digital users you've used?

It's all about the money
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Degree: Web Design
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Tell us about your college experience.

Pay attention to those reviews that say it's all about money. They quoted me a price at the beginning. Sucked all of my government loans dry. Then as I approached my bachelors degree they suddenly needed an additional $30,000. Basically holding my bachelor's degree hostage. Your instructors are not always professors. Often you get a facilitator. A facilitator may or may not know how to operate the software you are learning. Good luck to you! Passive-aggressive instructors. If you miss an assignment or are late for an assignment a pissing match often ensues. My Major CHANGED right in the middle of the program. There was no effort to compensate me, or adjust my requirements. The additional charges were just tacked on. Classes I had taken at the Art Institute suddenly counted for nothing. Classes I had transferred in were counted against my unit count, but not added to my grades. Therefore I had 18 units with a grade of ZERO. So my GPA looked lower than it actually was for my entire time there. Surveys There is a mandatory survey at the end of each class, but you have to fill it out before the class is over. That's right. Your instructor/ facilitator/ professor gets to see your survey before they issue your final grade. You can imagine that they have a load of positive classroom surveys, but it doesn't prove a thing.

Would you get the same degree if you could start over?

I wish I could have continued on the degree I originally enrolled for. The degree changed midstream.

What advice can you offer other students?

Get a final number on the cost, in writing. I have had 6 different financial aid counsellors. They can lie to you, because they will be gone when you finally get to a point where you might quote them. There were times when the amount I owed was quoted as three different amounts. My home page had one dollar amount, the statement I got in the mail had another amount, and my financial aid adviser was quoting me another amount.

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Taking break looking for a different school
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Degree: Web Design
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I signed up almost 2 years ago for an associates degree in web design, since then they have screwed up my classes by giving me advanced before the basics and did not make good for this was still charged 4600.00, they have started my last class before the student loan was finalized without telling me this and now am being billed for 10,000.00.

I am certain that something can be done to prevent this from happening to others and to get these debts squashed so our credit is not affected.

I am looking to find another school, but seems most have the same footsteps. Does anybody know how to complain to the Student loans provider, great lakes ?

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Horrible!
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Degree: Engineering
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THIS SCHOOL LEAVES YOU WITH DEBT! LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS AND DO NOT EVEN ONCE CONSIDER GOING HERE! THEIR ADMISSIONS DEPT. WILL HARASS YOU AND MAKE YOU COME BUT YOU HAVE TO THINK OF YOUR FUTURE!

THEY TAKE IN LOW INCOME FAMILIES AND STUDENTS AND THEN ACT LIKE THEY WILL GET YOU A JOB..YOU WONT FIND A JOB! I PROMISE!

I MADE A MISTAKE BY GOING IN AND GETTING THE DEBT NOW I STRESS OUT EVERY SINGLE DAY! DO NOT FALL FOR THEM! THEY ARE TERRIBLE! I PROMISE YOU, SAVE YOUR SELF FROM THESE MONEY HUNGRY FREAKS!

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Whiners
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Degree: Multimedia Design
Graduation Year: 2013
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Reading all of the negative comments from people complaining about the online courses and finding fault in everyone BUT themselves for not making the most of their education choices are just lazy. Complain and whine all you want. Bottom line is that it is the student who needs to make the most of it. Those who say "It was easy at first, then it got more difficult" really have no idea what they got into.

OF COURSE IT GETS HARDER, that is what separates truly talented individuals with those that think "anyone can do it". I worked hard and I have never been below the Dean's list. Art is about passion and drive. Did I have a teacher I did not see eye-to-eye with? Definitely. Am I going to blame the Art Institute for any of my shortcomings? No. It is so easy to place the blame on others for your own problems, but guess what? If you do not apply yourself and work hard, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

3 Comments
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Jade - 4 months ago

I took advantage of everything they had to offer in my first year at the Art Institutes. I loved it! It was awesome! But one day I realized that 80% of my teachers were using YOUTUBE to teach us. I COULD HAVE DONE THAT FOR FREE AT HOME! What's the point? They never had any lessons just assignments and youtube videos. Only my gen-ed teachers were actually getting up in front of the class and teaching themselves. Also admissions LIED to me throughout the ENTIRE admissions process about my tuition costs and what was included in supply kits. I applied in January and started attending in June. for 5 months I was told a camera was included in a Digital Photo kit. waited one semester, 2, 3,4. Never got it, when I finally asked about this they said they changed the tuition to not include the camera "a while ago" because it was "too hard to get the cameras" BUT if I wanted to pay OUT OF POCKET they had some at the school store I could buy. So why couldn't they just add it in my tuition if they had some on site in the store??

Its all a big money hungry joke, leaving after this semester, wish I could leave earlier. Very disappointed in how this all turned out. Admissions talked a big game and didn't deliver.

Don't even bother with these schools.

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Samuel - about 1 month ago

I'm currently in AIO, I truly loved it there but I started to receive my bills. It started off small so I paid some off but it ended up getting a bit more expensive then expected. I have to leave my job because I needed to focus more on school. It was going great till that bill gotten worse and worse. 7,000 dollars... I only been there for a year... and I also figured out that everything I am doing there is based off youtube and assignments. Please tell more about your time at the AIO because I am about to leave that school. Contact me at Sampgr4@yahoo.com

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Honor Guy - about 1 month ago

Calling people a bunch of whiners about what they are going through shows bad form. I happened to have graduated with honors from this school and they have done precious little in regards to pointing me in the right direction to find employment in my designated profession. I get excuse after excuse from their career adviser as to why he has nothing to share with me in regards as jobs. I have applied to over 300+ companies and I am seen as 'just another applicant'. The career adviser then tells me that six months have passed and that those of us still looking for a job are on our own. Really? When were we being helped?

Started off great and then all down hill
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Degree: Web Design
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When I started at this school I was very excited and the first few classes I had we're great, but as time went on I was having more and more issues with classes. Many assignments were often vague in their details and I ended up spending more time trying to understand what the assignment wanted than I spent doing the assignment. It can also be diffucult to get ahold of instructors and receive a proper response.

For a while I was trying to get a hold of my academic adviser so I could start taking more classes, but even after the numerous messages I left for him and emails he refused to call me at the times I would be most available. I work third shift so I sleep during the day, I'm not going to be able to get to the phone in time. This completely screwed up my plans for my education and was partially the reason I decided to leave. The class content ranged from great to completely useless. I honestly don't feel that here is anything I couldn't have learned on my own, in fact most of my learning was done on my own by researching outside sources with much more usefull information.

I understand that part of this is about building a portfolio, but grinding through assignments and not learning anything about industry, with no efforts made to reinforce what your supposed to learn, honestly leaves me feeling totally unprepared for a career in the field.

My final class at the school was a video class using Premier. The program was easy to learn but the assignments didn't match up with the book and all the files were completely screwed up.

All this cost me 30 grand if I had stayed it probably would be looking at a $70,000 bill. I feel this is far to expensive considering the issues with this school.

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