Full Sail University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (109)
So Full Sail is very poor at communicating and even worse at helping online students. I started knowing I would need to apply for financial aid, which I've done before and have never had any problems. I have gone to school for two other degrees and have been perfectly fine. However, the financial aid department at Full Sail seems to be stretched too far. They have their financial aid team working with both on-campus and online students simultaneously. This leaves the online students such as myself feeling like an afterthought. Four months into the program and I still have documents to complete. I am now past the point of withdrawing classes without owing money and have been sent emails stating that I will be withdrawn from school if I don't pay up. The financial aid department will wait weeks before replying to any of my emails and are never there when I call. (Too busy with campus students.) This doesn't even get into the actual classes. My first class was amazing. Creative Presentation. I had a blast with this class and my instructor was very good at communicating and providing excellent feedback. After that, it all went downhill. My Psychology of play class was literally four weeks of creating a schedule for yourself to help you with time management. This fine but my instructor rarely communicated at all even when grading assignments. I had to constantly ask why I got the grade that I did so I could improve. I thought maybe this was just a not so great class so I pushed through it. I started my Technology in the Entertainment and Media Industry class. Surprise, it was another four weeks of creating a schedule for time management. This to me had nothing to do with the class subject. Again I also had an instructor who rarely spoke to anyone mostly because he was running this online class while simultaneously running a class on campus. All in all, it seems that at least from my experience Full Sail cares very little for their online students. At least not enough to have an instructor and Financial Aid team just for them.
I have been attending Full Sail online for Web Development and Design. I will first say that I am not being bitter, my grades at the moment are very exceptional, as well as my attendance. What I am doing is addressing some things I have experienced so far. With that being said, my online experience with Full Sail has been below average. Communication with the instructors has been a little difficult. It seems like they are very quick to push you off to a web link or YouTube video instead of answering any questions or concerns. For example: Admittedly, I have had issues with APA style citation in a couple classes. I accepted the grade the for the papers but I would ask the instructor for additional help so that I may avoid the issue in the future. On ALL occasions, the instructor very quickly gave me a web address (not associated with Full Sail) containing additional information, or referred me to a YouTube link. The point is that I am not paying these websites nor YouTube for my education, I am paying FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY. I kind of feel like my queries are being pawned off onto a third party instead of getting help from the people that I am paying. There was even one instance where I called an instructor out after she attempted to call me a plagiarist. I had written a rough draft for a final project and points had been deducted for improper citation of sources, which is understandable. I asked the instructor for assistance to insure that my final draft was cited properly. I did not ask once, but a total of three times. All three of my requests went unanswered and when my final draft was submitted, the instructor immediately accused me of plagiarism and threatened me with expulsion. This is when I had called her out by mentioning that I had already contacted her three times regarding that very same issue. When I did, she claimed that she had answered all my questions in a timely manner. Luckily for me, I had saved the entire conversation and emailed it to the instructor asking her to show me where her response was located. The instructor still did not respond to my request but ultimately, my paper was mysteriously given a passing grade. I am currently still attending and making great grades. I am however dealing with similar issues in my present classes. Basically, the student to teacher outreach system is extremely poor. Lastly, I will mention that each online student gets a student liaison who calls you at the end of each month to evaluate your progress and to make sure everything is going well. My liaison has not called me since the plagiarism incident, it has been about six months in total.
Full sail is a for profit school, you don't need any prier education just as long as you can pay them. I can't speak for every degree program in the school but mine, the computer animation program. If you pull out a loan the average pay in your carrier wont be enough to cover the monthly payments of your loans. They wanted me to use Wells Fargo after they were no longer working with discover half way through my year. For some reason the School had the authority to tell Wells Fargo to split up my loans into separate loans without my permission and they wont combined them unless I cosign for another loan witch combines them...? To put it simply the School has a special tie with Wells Fargo. I was singed up in there hybrid classes. Online I experience a lack of help and feed back on my projects. When I was on campus It was the the same since most of the teachers were not industry professionals, Most of them are graduates. They are over worked and not pays well. I remember when the carrier development attended our finals classes and said that they will find us a job. I knew they wouldn't get me a job because I lessened to the graduates warnings about how carrier development won't help you. So I switched my carrier to be a freelance comic artist in the final months. Over the years I have saved up all the job leads I gotten from them and all the bad advice. They sent me leads on the sam day as the deadline supposition. Or a picking pull poll email for everyone to fight over in there job listings for free labor. For some reason you had to go through them to send them your resume but you can just google the job listing and just submit the resume on the internet. But they were all bad jobs. The best one was the free labor with the possibly of hire. I think they set up this system back when they had people in the industry but now its just a mess. The school and the staff breads the mindset of work hard, do whatever it takes to be the vary best and if you don't make it is your fault. Sounds good in the moment but in practice it is cancerous not only to the students but to the industry itself. When they encourage work for free they set the mindset of people and companies to think its ok for free labor. I know many graduates that have been burn by this. Many have not found a job in there felid, mostly because the combines don't count the full Sail degree as 4 years of experience in the industry. Even if you get into a big company you have to constantly fight for your job because someone can easily replace you. If you are amazing for years they will reword you by firing you and hiring students that will work for less pay. its a vicious cycle. I have been in the industry for 2 years as a freelance comic arts. I never needed the degree for my job. My advice to you is that you don't need to got to school to do what you love. everything I do now was not taught by Full Sail. If anything it was my photo shop know how and aftereffects that got me thorough the classes. Which they don't teach by the way. You have a powerful tool the internet to find what you need to know. If there is a will there is a way, you don't have to go to school or in debt to get there. The industry is not like a school, thank god.
The programs are at a pace that will cause burn out rather quickly in the field that you chose to study. After you earn your degree you will have a less than 50/50 chance of finding work in your field. Here is the real kicker. Once you get your degree it is not worth that paper that it is printed on. YOUR CREDITS WILL NOT TRANSFER TO ANOTHER INSTITUTION. I am moving on and going for another degree at a state local college, I checked several including USF and NONE of my credits will transfer, I have to start all over again after spending over $100,000 to get a degree from Full Sail.
I am currently an online student at Full Sail, finishing my 7th month. Let me start off by saying that my opinion is bias, I am reviewing strictly off of my own experiences so far, yours can be different. When my friend originally showed me this College, I was extremely excited to start ASAP.. environment creation was my passion and I had been working on traditional art by myself. Still I waited for a year and reviewed the college and gained as much information as I could before applying because this school isn't cheap. After starting the program personal issues led to me working full time and doing this accelerated program. As we started to get into the actual modeling process the work load became heavier and heavier which I expected. What I didn't expect was to receive minimal help from any instructor and learn solely off of YouTube videos and how well I can search on Google. Literally, the lessons for the classes are YouTube videos and the closest you can get to a live instructor is a lecture which usually isn't even your teacher. I didn't have time to join any lectures because of my busy work day so I was left to emailing my teachers for advice. On multiple occasions I waited for feedback that usually came after the assignment was due, and this led to my grades steadily getting worse and worse because each class assumes that you 100% grasp everything from the previous class. I was sick and tired of this same outcome over and over, so I instead asked for help from my classmates who did give me their advice and were very helpful. They provide a website called concept share where your classmates can look at your work and tell you what they think (it is a requirement). Multiple times did I hear that my scene looked wonderful and all was going well just to find out that things were not well in the eyes of my instructor. Receiving professional assistance is very difficult for me right now and my hopes and dreams seemed to be crushed after every time I submit my work. Don't get me wrong I spend an extremely high amount of my time left available to me on my school work with much dismay. I will continue the program and there is more to say but that is the general experience I have had so far.
Full Sail IS NOT worth 80,000+ dollars, they shortened valuable class hours that used to be extremely helpful and over time have taken away the more challenging assignments that they had in the past. When you go on their website they claim that they give students all of this "creative freedom" and I don't know about other degrees but in Game Art it's NOT TRUE. I have yet to feel like I had creative freedom but in the first 3 months of attending Full Sail. And then after that I don't remember being able to put any true creative flare on ANY project after that. There's always bounds, and 99% of the time if it's not done the way the teacher wants it you fail or get a bad grade. Also as you progress you get a lot of teachers who don't seem as passionate as they are in the first few months, so those months can really get you down. The website is full of lies, from the photos they use on the Game Art page depicting students playing games, in a colorful classroom with posters on the wall, writing on dry erase boards, sharing ideas. Making awesome concepts all the time, working on awesome projects. THAT IS NOT GAME ART. And the best student work which they post on the tumblr blog and on their website all comes from people who 100% dedicate their free time to working on creative pursuits outside of school. (which you should be doing, but 80% of people in Game Art don't) If you really want to know how it is, first off if you're attending campus you have to make sure you're on time, it's such an easy way to fail a class and have to pay big money to retake. (and also makes you seem irresponsible) When you get to class it's about 1 hour and 30 minutes worth of teaching now, (rarely a full 2) In that time period the teacher can't do follow along activities like they used to, and you can't watch them work in a program thoroughly, all you really get are power points, and are told to watch the videos online. (which makes you feel like you should have been an online student instead) After that you have lab, where normally music is played that you may find very distracting, and you have people talking loudly, or chugging up the internet by being off task and playing video games when you may need it to watch that video online you were instructed to watch. And lab is mandatory, so you feel like a little kid, having someone (semi) watch over you making sure you're doing your work in an environment that isn't favorable (unless you're super lucky and your graduating class is highly mature, and your lab instructor isn't a social butterfly) So now you get home and you felt like you wasted 6 hours of your day because the lecture aspect is a powerpoint available for download online, and lab is just you being treated like a elementary school kid. On top of that, they don't care about you and you're problems or what life may throw at students-which is not a surprise because they're just money hungry. And If you're struggling I hope you have a nice advisor because the one I have is aggressive, condescending towards me, and not very helpful. Don't fall for the speech on the Behind the Scenes tour from the Dean. I've been on that tour 5 times, everything from beginning to end is 100% rehearsed, every little joke, "mistake", and "heartfelt" moment. And they take you in a circle around the campus through all of these cool buildings which you won't be in if you're Game Art, because the nicest buildings all belong to recording arts and film kids. You might leave the tour feeling like, yeah the Dean is awesome he get's it! I wanna go here, this school is so different and amazing. The Dean may be a nice guy, but the school is really just after your money, and will of course leach off of your fame if you make it. You don't even get physical copies of books anymore just it's subscription based online books. Almost everything is subscription based, and the model of Wacom that they give you is notorious for the charge port breaking midway through your time on campus. I can't figure out what's worth 80,000 anymore. Don't be a sucker, see past the launch box and the promises of being "different." This school isn't unique it's like any other money hungry college, although I do feel a real university would be 100x's better than Full Sail because at least they would treat you like an adult not a child. And if you honestly want to go here for Game Art/Computer Animation, take online. In the end you really don't need to waste so much money for this, if you're dedicated and work and learn at home, buy gnomon tutorials and learn from there, watch tutorials from famous modelers/sculptors online, etc.... you can make it. Be dedicated, live and breathe the CG lifestyle. You DON'T need to put yourself in an 80,000 hole if this is what you really want to do. Just be dedicated and be willing to reach out to people in the industry. (go to things like GDC to network) I really hope this review is helpful to some of you out there.
Sail I am a success story. I attended Full Sail online. I had a great cohort and my instructors were always on point. I am still using the resources we worked on during my year of study. My experience was focused, usefully and very informative. Real world education is what I am still experiencing. I teach students based on technology and current media opportunities. This is because Full Sail instructors guided me to my comfort in improvising and adjusting to the current needs of my students. Smartphones, Promethean Boards, and connections to music drive my lessons in core subjects that connect to music.
A complete waste of time. I could have networked in popular film environments and landed a job. Saving me 80k in debt. Egotistical teachers and horrible learning techniques. Met nice people that's all that was interesting about that place. I wouldn't advise anyone to go here. When I was looking at colleges I thought that the bad reviews weren't a deal breaker but I was wrong.
Full Sail is not worth it, it will give you a taste on everything but after graduating you will seat in front of a computer incapable of doing anything and now with a debt you will never pay back. You just chained yourself to an anchor that will keep you at the button of the sea. I graduated in 1998, I am 41 years old now and I know what I am talking about. I had 2 others degrees that saved my butt. Back then the Full Sail degree was $21K, it was payable and that is actually what should cost today at the most. You know 3D but not good enough to make an actual animation for a client in the timeframes needed, you know editing but incapable do do a promo or an infomercial. You will be so clumsy because all you did was just tutorials at Full Sail. Imagine that you got your drivers license and now you have to do Daytona 500. That is the real world experience that you paid for and you will leave with that expectation, the reality is that you barely will know the type of gas you will put in your car. Full Sail is a "for profit organization", it means it is a business to make money! they are like car salesman, they will lie to you to get your money. They have all that fancy equipment for you to come in. Full Sail is like going to Disney, awesome but it is just a fantasy. Is like going to an strip club, pretty girls but they are not your girlfriends, they just want your money. I am 41 years old, graduated from Full Sail when I was 25, the most expensive and useless degree. Take a serious program in a serious university, in a real film school. Full Sail was fun, Disney too and strip clubs too. A place where you will leave as you entered but with less money. And let me tell you... you will never are going to pay for that degree. Today I make $8K a month steady, most of the people I know from Full Sail make $4K a month after 10-15 years graduated. Try to buy a house, pay that debt. It is a fraud.
Horrible, horrible experience. An older student, with multiple degrees in areas of other studies. I'm quite experienced in the school process, along with both of my parents were teachers. I know it takes a lot of hard work, and I really put my blood, sweat and tears into this program. I live in Los Angeles, right in the heart of the industry, but I did the online program that FS offered in hopes that I would be working during that time. Many instructors do not really care about you unless you are a prodigy, those they guide as they know it requires little to no attention nor effort and in the end they can toot their own horns of the success of someone that could have just learned off of Youtube. However, for the true students with hungry minds and willing spirits, you will be crushed. That's not saying that there aren't a lot of lazy folks, not willing to put in the effort that this art takes, however, I'm speaking from experience. I put in 16 hours a day on my class projects, with a passion to learn as much as I could. Asking questions, with little to no answers from those there were getting paid to do just that, answer questions and guide. I graduated with honors, class salutatorian however, no reel. They pushed me through, why? Because they are a paper-mill, nationally un-accredited. For those that don't understand that, it means your credits are trash to other real universities. Don't be led in by false claims. Local accreditation doesn't mean squat. You will not be employable if you weren't a prodigy. Go to a real university that actually cares more for you than just your checkbook. Gnomon is highly expensive, however, I've seen their classes first hand, and they actually instruct and guide ALL their students. It's a rough world out there already, we don't need to be subjecting bright, talented artists to lack luster learning. Invest in Digital Tutors, watch youtube videos. Those are all great, but when you need the guidance to establish a firm foundation of education you have to find a real school willing to give you that foundation. Effort doesn't always equal success. Pushing a stone up a hill eternally, is always going to give the same results. You can keep doing what you're doing and without proper instruction, you will not succeed. I would think folks would want the best education possible. That is the fact, FS does not provide that. 98% of my class did not get jobs. Some, I can understand why, while others, I cant speak for them, but I can say, I am unemployable, sadly, as my skills have way too many holes in them. Unanswered questions, poor instruction, etc. I wish everyone luck if they do attend. For those that succeeded, kudos to you. Just don't belittle those that really did give it their all and received nothing in return.