Tribeca Flashpoint Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (28)
I will preface by saying I had the wonderful opportunity to have several years of experience before engaging in TFA's film program. That said I was curious as to how I would rank in the school when I started. I quickly found that many of the courses were inadequate for me and a few other students. For the most part our class was learning new things. While the curriculum needs work, I think it's decent for beginners in the industry. This school is NOT for anyone with a decent amount of experience. The biggest issue you will find while at TFA is the uncaring Administration and financial aid. As humans we like to vent to one another and approximately 95% of all discussions I have had with classmates and alumni have been about the poor attitudes and communication skills of the TFA administration. Career Services seems to get a lot of flack but I personally have felt satisfied with their attempts. Of course I live six hours away and their only offers are usually around Chicago so I don't pay attention. I did allow a certain amount of room for the schools adolescence but it only excused so much. On several occasions classmates and myself were treated with utter disrespect and behavior completely unbecoming of the professional behavior they claim to preach. Oh and TFPS point, I did my best to aquire them. Had the most in the class. They count for nothing. After a couple months they just stopped giving them out. Once the student lounge area was renovated on the 4th floor (with 1200 chairs mind you) there were constant tours for investors and potential students showing off just how "cool" the school was. We quietly muttered under our breath, "run! Get out while you can!" Joking of course...or were we? Financial aid doesn't care about your needs. They only want their cold hard cash. It takes forever to get any problem solved. And their state of the art equipment?? Yeah most of it is over 5 years old at the earliest. The VFX department had better cameras than the film department did. What?!? All I can say is that if your fresh out of high school and rich then this school is for you. If you have a mind of your own, any experience at all, and are looking for tools to begin your career then find something better. SIU Carbondale still exposes students to actual film and tuition there is around $16,000. Also if you're not a feminist or hard core Democrate prepare to have people's opinions thrust upon you. TFA, please do not respond with your typical "we're sorry you had a bad experience but..." I've read the responses on several posts and while they may help you feel protected against what was said they still do not appropriately cover the issues people discuss in their posts.
You may be going site to site looking for a general average consensus about this school. Here is a quick summation of what you can expect: 1. $60,000 in debt, accruing at a 9% interest rate. 2. An unhelpful career services team that offers you jobs completely unrelated to your field. I was honestly offered a job at gamestop by career services. The sad part is, they would have marked you down as a "found job in related field" statistic in their books. 3. Did I mention that you won't find a job in your field? Ya, that's a big part of it. Avoid this place like you avoid any disease, because that's all that it is. A for-profit institution trying to make as much money as it can before it's venture capitalist CEOs pull the plug on the operation. If you took a look at the statistics of this school vs. (arbitrarily chosen) The University of Illinois, the numbers won't lie to you. University of Illinois Residents Non-residents Tuition and fees $15,602 - 20,606* $30,228 - $35,232* Books and supplies** $1,200 $1,200 Room and board (10 meals/week) $10,848 $10,848 Other expenses *** $2,500 $2,500 TOTAL ESTIMATED COSTS $30,150 - 35,154* $44,776 - 49,780* TFA Tuition and fees $50,000 Books and supplies** $1,200 Room and board (10 meals/week) $10,848 Other expenses *** $2,500 TOTAL ESTIMATED COSTS $64,548 - Given comparable living circumstances and assuming you live in the area, you will find that TFA will cost you $30,000 more on average than a regular 4 year university. On top of this, the education is better, the degree is a Bachelors, as opposed to an associates, and you will find that the career services team will actually find you a job in your field. Take it as you will, but I have taken it upon myself to make sure that anyone seeking a true review of this school doesn't need to look much further than this thread. If a school has an average rating under 80%, you should probably avoid it, and TFA fails this criteria profoundly.
I went here for an entire month in 2012. I had to take out student loans upon which only Sally Mae was provided, being told that there is hope in federal funding opportunities in the future. I withdrew because I knew I couldn't keep myself in that hole of debt, let alone work for companies I do not like (like fast food advertising for ten years just to get somewhere because I have debt); which seemed to be the setup of this school and it's employers. Sure there are those lucky few, but the 70% that would supposedly get jobs, almost all are for companies that you couldn't find a soul in. So I withdrew assuming my deadline was in so I could get out clean without debt. Now, 2 years later, Sally May is taking legal action against me and I am facing homelessness. I have a hard time finding minimum wage work let alone pay for rent and food as a result of my credit score being below what I can get to get approved for rent, or even to work some jobs, solely from this one decision. Please, this is a money making school. While some of the teachers were fantastic, the administration spends all its time wasting its money on advertising. Now at the time with loans after 2 years, I calculated I would be about 78,000 in debt after the Sally May compound interest after the initial 50,000. I'm happy I at least have only 6,000 of debt now instead of what would be much much more, but was it worth it? If I can share my story with you all, I would please advise against this school. Your portfolio speaks for itself, and this school doesn't really get you a job per say, they just do a good job of selling you, it is a business not so much an institution. Now I'm not taking away their right to make money, that's fine, I'm just saying if you REALLY want to get into this area (Audio, Video Game, Animation, or Video) please take free online courses, Youtube videos, teach yourself, make a few pieces of artwork to build your portfolio, and go straight to the employers or make connections at concerts or wherever you find yourself attracted to. I went here because I was sold, and sold myself in a sense, into a fear that I need security to make it into that world. I have moved to LA since then, and even though I am homeless now, I understand how much more transparent these industries are. Their security is tight, consists of a sexist ex-police officer, and I won't go into details because that's not the core of what I am writing about. While they do let you use their equipment, you spend most of your time trying to sign forms and clearances and there is ALWAYS a sense of mistrust among the administrators and students which always creates a barrier for creativity. The teachers themselves aren't always satisfied with their work as I have seen one leave this school while I was there for the month. Please don't think I am trying to leash out onto this school after my misfortune of digging my own hole, but please don't make the same mistake I have. If you are a kid with money, invest in some equipment, or just start with anything you have right now, don't let other people fool you that they can get you to do something, only you can. Write, draw, design on the computer, do what you need to do, but capture your imagination while you still have that flame.
I went to school with peers that said the same criticism as below. What it factors down to is how much work did you put into your own education. TFA is built upon the declaration of Malcolm Gladwell. He says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. With this being said, all the fields that Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy teaches can be learned on your own time. A popular wave of thinking right now is "Film School in a Book". What this means is that the film, game and recording studios do not care what school you graduated from is nor your GPA while attending. What they do care about is your reel, portfolio and resume experience. If you graduate within two years that means you will have two years experience on anyone graduating within 4-5 years. TFA tries to condense the education you would get from a typical four year university into a two year course. Their classes are designed for hands on training. Your first year is designed to give you the basics of each field. For example, as a Film and Broadcast graduate I learned the basics to producing, cinematography, editing, screenplay writing and sound design. Your second year you really get to dive deep into the field of your desire. Keep in mind though that you will not be able to log 10,000 hours of practice within two semesters of classes. TFA expects you to check out their equipment and do projects outside of class. Some of my second year classes were just to critique our class project and watch what our peers were creating. The projects themselves were to be completed outside of class. This teaches you time management and how to multi-task. There were times that I had to figure out certain aspects of a software program or problem solve on my own. It instilled in me a sense of how to conquer software and hardware that I have never touched before without fear of a safety net. With the luxury of small classes the professors and chair heads know all of the students and receive reports about how each student is doing. At the end of every group project and end of every semester we are expected to fill out class surveys about how we interacted with our group. Who slacked off and who worked hard. As well as if the class was informative and if there are any suggestions on how to improve the classes for next semester. I have personally seen the chair head of the film department come into a class that was getting negative reviews only to say that they would be addressing the situation that week and how they would improv our experience. The following semester the class was drastically different. Professors are on the chopping block as well since this is a for profit school. If enough students feel as though they do not learn well from a professor, I have seen them replaced. While attending TFA I have been able to hear from a new industry professional every month telling their story on how they got started and what is going on in our field currently. I was also able to work with real industry clients while still in school, adding to my resume before graduation. Their career services is the most interactive and helpful group I have come across from ANY university. The alumni's from TFA stick together and try to help out new graduates with work where they can. At the end of the day this is a school that is less than a decade old and is still maturing. There is a lot of room for improvement but they have no illusions of other wise and are willing to work hard for the students. The only way to show a successful track record is to have college graduates working in their field of expertise so that is priority number one to them. Again, it's all about what you put into your education and learning. If you go home and slack off then you will never succeed.
The only reason I give 2 stars to school experience is because of the connections I met while attending. You will literally learn nothing if you decide to attend this school. Don't waste your money or your time.
Tribeca Flashpoint Academy advertises as a great school to get ahead of other entry-level competition when graduating due to their fast paced, on hands styled teaching. Although the school does this, they also tell the students that what they teach can be out dated very fast. The first year of experience was great, as students learn all the different aspects of their career field. The second year, as a focus, is very poor though. As a game student, I feel very unprepared as I graduate in 2014. Half of it is on my end of simply not doing work 24/7. The other half is feeling lacking of skill that could of been pushed for or forced to work on via school. Half of the classes I took the last school year were also a joke, as they provided useful skills, but not nearly as useful as they could have been. I basically paid the tuition of $50,000 for an intro to everything and then some advice on how to go about teaching myself anything else. I couldn't be more dissatisfied. The school is not horrible, but with it's recent changes this past year, I feel ripped off. The replacing of many game faculty, a change of president/CEO, and the very unprofessional organization appears to be the cause of a great school to fall quickly. I really hope this school picks up on its efforts.
We were built up throughout our time at the school, being told that Companies were just ready to snatch us up as soon as we graduated. However as soon as we did, Career Services picked favorites and only helped a select few to obtain a job. Mostly of which were students in the Film department, as the Career Services people all had backgrounds in HR for the Film industry. They knew nothing about Game Development. The campus however was cutting edge, it gave us the correct tools, but execution of the education was very lacking. Non-motivated students were allowed to remain in groups instead of being repremanded to "cut the fat". They were allowed to stay to boost numbers early on in the school while motivated students were left to suffer doing all of the work with nothing to show for it.
Throughout my time at Flashpoint, the curriculum changed so frequently that all the students became familiar with several programs (that we had to pay for) but never became more than a novice at anything unless they took the initiative to teach themselves outside of class. As a programmer, we learned one of the least useful languages which ended with no job offerings after graduation. Everything I know now is self taught.
In my time at Tribeca Flashpoint, I was constantly slowed down by the professors and faculty. I quickly learned that if I was to get anything done, I would have to do it externally. What then is the point of paying $50,000 if I can learn and do what I'm doing in class not only outside of class, but in a more timely manner, with better quality, and more efficiently? Is it the vast array of coast to coast contacts they boast about? In my time here I've met only a hand full of industry professionals, and all in the Chicago area. Is it the access to the latest and greatest technology and programs? Every student must buy their own computer and programs, as all the computers in the class rooms are 8 years old, and they lack any kind of render farm which cost me literally hundreds of hours rendering out my own projects. The Career Services department is demeaning and condescending, acting as if they have to bend over backwards to provide you with anything more then guidance in writing your resume.
If it was an option, I would give this school zero stars. Tribeca Flashpoint is a terrible waste of time. Do not come here or send your children here; the price tag is too high and you come out without much of an education. Your time is wasted on classes that are truly unnecessary and teachers do not listen to concerns, in fact, they spend their time justifying the "reasons" why the teach the way they teach. Their "career development" classes and their job fair are a joke. It is unclear to me how many students got jobs out of those scams but, judging by the amount of unemployed graduates, I can assume it's rather low. Upon seeing how past graduates are faring, I am not looking forward to searching for jobs on the field I've studied. If you're passionate about the fields that this school "teaches", do yourself a favor, get a monthly membership to either Lynda.com or DigitalTutors.com and learn from them... you'll be learning faster and more, not to mention you'll be saving a lot of money.