Academy of Art University Reviews - Computer Animation

2.05 out of 5 stars
(7 Reviews)
  • San Francisco (CA)
  • Annual Tuition: $22,308
20% of 7 students said this degree improved their career prospects
29% of 7 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

1.0 out of 5 stars
rcstot - 11/1/2019
Degree: Computer Animation
Graduation Year: 2020
"I signed up for the online course on Adobe Illustrator only to find out very quickly that the content is about 3 years out of date. If you're working with the current Illustrator version, this course will be of no value to you. And even in one case, the teacher couldn't get the effect he was teaching us, so he didn't know much about what he was doing."
2.0 out of 5 stars
Erica - 9/22/2018
Degree: Computer Animation
Graduation Year: 2005
"Things that I liked about the school is that most of the school locations were in walkng distance to my apartment, they had activities for the students, they had a bible study group that I enjoyed, I had some great teachers and got to meet other great artists. I think that you can teach yourself the skills that I learned from this school at home and build a portfolio. Once you have a good portfolio I would suggest doing some free work and put that experience on your resume. I would also learn coding because that will help with your chances. I did some independent projects while in school and out of school. I would suggest freelance work. A Bachelor's Degree is only necessary if you want to work in the government. I used my degree to get work in the government (non-art position)."
1.1 out of 5 stars
DO NOT ATTEND - 11/5/2017
Degree: Computer Animation
Graduation Year: 2016
"DO ATTEND THIS MONEY STEALING SCHOOL! I took a summer course online in 2016 at AAU because I really wanted to get back into school. The guy I was talking to through out the enrolling process was telling me about a military scholarship that I qualified for. Basically telling me the only cost I have to worry about that semester is the registration fee. I also had my tuition assistance from the military. I completed my summer animation course (B), decided to rethink about my career choice and didn't go back. Now I have a collection on my credit report saying I owe them $1800! That dropped my score by like, 80 points! I never recieved any calls or emails saying I still owe them money! DO NOT ATTEND THIS FRAUD SCHOOL! I didn't believe the bad reviews on this school, but after this I understand now!"
1.1 out of 5 stars
no - 9/11/2016
Degree: Computer Animation
Graduation Year: 2016
"DO NOT GO TO THIS ON LINE SCHOOL. It was the worst educational experience of my life. I was an "A" student, but what I got from this school helped me not one bit to gain employment, not even an internship. On line the teachers are unresponsive, unhelpful, too busy to help and flatly refuse to do anything other than slap "A's" on everything you do. I was invested too far before I fully realized that the horrible teachers I had were a norm instead of a one time thing. I had to take private workshops, seminars, and courses to get the education I needed. My degree program director never returns emails or phone calls unless I go up the chain and get someone in the school to write on my behalf. I have had six, so called, advisors since I have been at the school. In my opinion they are simply there to to get my money and make sure I keep paying. I have never had an advisor that actually advised me on classes or professors, or cared about my frustrations in dealing with absentee professors or directors. DO NOT GO TO THIS SCHOOL. It is expensive and you will not gain the education or experience for which you hoped. Spend your money elsewhere."
2.8 out of 5 stars
Animation Major - 4/30/2016
Degree: Computer Animation
Graduation Year: 2018
"AAU is a good school, but it is very corrupt from what I can tell. Most of the money goes to the president and not to things we really need in the school. Our computers keep crashing while rendering, HDD keep crashing. We need new equipment. The tuition keeps going up for no reason too. I feel like my extra tuition costs go right into the pocket of the president. Probably is, how else can she afford a lavish lifestyle."
3.7 out of 5 stars
Eddie - 8/10/2015
Degree: Computer Animation
Graduation Year: 0
"it's a nice school with a TONS of resource, and it has really network building in this school. our instructors are from ILM, Pixar, Dreamwork and lots studio in LA. so, our animation class is from Pixar directly, i think this is the biggest attraction. for the visual effects, lots of student graduate here can get a job with their effort in school. i guess thats all"
2.6 out of 5 stars
Anonymous - 5/20/2015
Degree: Computer Animation
Graduation Year:
"I went to a Academy of Art University of San Francisco and got a BFA (Bachelor's Fine Art). I went to this private art school because my major, 2D animation was very specific, and the University had excellent instructor reviews. AAU is also a very rare breed of art school: It offers open enrollment which was necessary for me, as I had not performed well at my previous State University. For a specific trade, it is important to research the instructors before you go to college. Get an understanding of who is going to be teaching you, and what their industry skills are. If you don't do this, you may end up in a situation as I did. For an open enrollment school, the curriculum was unfortunately, hit or miss. Some instructors were incredible mentors, while others made you wonder why you were paying 3K per class when you could find better information on YouTube for free. Some instructors graded fairly, which means, those who performed the best got the highest grades, and those students who didn't, failed. Common sense, usually, but there were many cases where grading was very lax, and some students who should NOT be allowed to move forward, got passing grades. It harms the students who are working hard and performing well, and creates less motivation to advance. It ultimately harms the school, as they will approve students to graduate (meet industry standards) and churn out talent that is not acceptable in that particular industry. There was much operational miscommunication within the Administrative Staff. Ideally, a student should be assigned to one student adviser. Their turnover was high, and throughout my career there, I went through six total student advisers, and they harmed me more than helped me. Because of miscommunication when a student enrolls, I was one of MANY who advanced through core art classes, without ever knowing that Liberal Art classes were also required. No adviser ever caught this harmful trajectory, and it was my department head who notified me that my curriculum was in trouble. The story ends with a huge failure at the hands of the administration: A student in their final year at the university is trapped taking 10+ LA classes when they should focus their final year into demo reels and work the hardest on their core major. Any student should be made aware of this possible outcome, and that should be drilled into their head upfront. The biggest thing that I can say about my school is this: I was taught the necessary skills required to draw. What my school failed to teach was how to apply these skills into the real world. We were not taught soft skills, we were not taught business, we were not taught how to market ourselves properly, and we were not prepared for what lies after graduation. The information was all there, if the student was willing to seek consul from faculty. However, not every student knows this; especially students in the ESL (English Second Language) Program. It took me nearly two years after graduation to break into the Freelance Business (since there's barely any real employment for traditional animators). My experience breaking into the Industry has been shaky, and I've made many unnecessary mistakes along the way. I did not know how to negotiate for rates, or even know how to calculate rates for that matter. And lastly......Student Loans. I was aware when I enrolled at AAU of the impending cost that I would eventually have to pay back. I had a less than ideal upbringing, which is relevant: in my case, my single-mother makes more than substantial wages in comparison to where she lives. She never had savings, however, and there was no college fund ready for me when I left for school. When you're younger than 26, you are considered a DEPENDENT, and you don't qualify for many state grants. I grew to outsmart this issue eventually, and I legally changed my status to INDEPENDENT. The problem is, for my first three years of college, we took out MASSIVE Sallie Mae loans with my single-mother as a Cosigner, because it was our only option. My total debt for my initial 52K loan has climbed to 85K and sits at 11% interest. Since it is a private loan, it can not be consolidated, nor does it qualify for IBR (income base repayment). My monthly payment to SM (now Navient), is a whopping $980 payment each month. My balance for Navient has decreased by 3K, and I have been in repayment for three years now. My grand total debt for my education is around $140,000. I have not been able to increase my salary in the last three years, and I am forced to make minimal payments, which only extends the amount I will pay. From someone who will struggle in debt for the majority of my life, please consider my advice to you: *Do NOT take out student loans for college---ESPECIALLY private [art] schools. Find another way, even if it means postponing your education an extra five years or more. *Read about compounding interest. The school will not sit you down and make sure you truly understand the cost when you're 18 years old and impatient to get out on your own. *If you are dead set on a specific school, go to Community College first and take care of any electives you can. CC is affordable, and in my experience, my curriculum was better than that of my private school. Remember, the power is in you, the student, to say no. What is an educational institution with no student body? Do not be a slave to a broken system. Rather, do your research. Read. Do not settle. And make the system better."
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