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The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division Reviews

  • 95 Reviews
  • Pittsburgh (PA)
  • Annual Tuition: $14,040
14% of 95 students said this degree improved their career prospects
18% of 95 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

John Williams
  • Reviewed: 10/4/2020
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"I started at AIPOD in 2011 after getting my loans out of default from The Art Institute of Atlanta where I started in the 90’s studying Visual Communication. I graduated with honors receiving an Associate of Science in Graphic Design degree in 2013. I had a wonderful experience with this school. The online environment was definitely challenging while working full time. Instructors were always helpful! The debt was another story, but as the school is now closed loan forgiveness is looking promising. Live your best life, and create tomorrow."
Tammi Hill
  • Reviewed: 11/17/2019
  • Degree: Film Production
"I started at the art institute online division in 2011 I had to with draw after passing two or three class. I still have student loans do to some health issues. I had to have and an emergency gastric bypass. I laid on my couch trying not to move until I could take it any more. Everyone was help in the whole process. I have been trying to teach my self with book suck as digital photography for dummies. I would love to rejoin school soon. Thanks Art institute of Pittsburgh! I wish to finish what I started never quit anything before. Tammi Hill"
Brittany H.
  • Reviewed: 10/20/2019
  • Degree: Web Design
"The Art Institutes is a legit scam. I attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Red flag #1 was when I was signing up for financial aid, the financial counselor was pushing for my mom to sign a parent plus loan. He kept pushing for my mom to sign regardless of her income being very limited and would be impossible for her to pay back. He lied and told her that I wouldn’t be able to start school unless she signed up for that specific loan. Red flag #2 was when they signed me up for a lot of classes that had absolutely nothing to do with my major. Red flag #3 was when they charged me for electronic textbooks and other items that I never received or had access to. The only item that I had was the Adobe software. Red flag #4 was that I didn’t receive a physical copy of my associates degree after I graduated. Time had passed between me finishing my associates and starting to pursue my bachelors when I never received anything. Red flag #5 was when I was pursuing my bachelors degree, and I supposedly was running out of financial aid. The financial counselor kept hounding me to sign a title loan or a personal loan. I kept telling them that we didn’t have a car or job. My mom received SSI and we were very close to being homeless. It was impossible to sign for those type of loans. When I finally ran out of money, they took it on themselves to push me through to graduate while keeping my two degrees hostage by claiming that I owed them over $5,000. I never agreed to personally owe them that. I never signed anything from them agreeing to personally owe them anything since I supposedly ran out of money. 3 years later, the school is closed down and I still haven’t seen any degree."
Arlynda
  • Reviewed: 7/10/2019
  • Degree: Interior Design
"I was not able to graduate because I was admitted into emergency surgery during one class and when I hot out and showed documentation they kept giving me the run around and would not let me back in stating I owed them money! Not true I had financial aid."
Armenda Compton
  • Reviewed: 3/14/2019
  • Degree: Architecture
"Being a recent graduate for a diploma in Residential planning was misleading when I wanted to go into the Interior Design program but the program is too expensive.I was told my pell grant would pay for residential planning program and would not come out of pocket-misleading."
Edward
  • Reviewed: 1/18/2019
  • Degree: Web Design
"I was suck into attending the Ai school by the finance department, under the impression that my Pell grants would take care of my entire tuition. About two years into my study, I get an email implicating that, "In order for you too continue your education you need to sign up for a personal loan." At that time I felt duke, because the Ai told me a lie, I was told my Pell grant would cover my tuition, tell me why am I under god green earth signing up for a loan? After graduating I presented my portfolio to the career department, and all I got from those people was the run around, I was willing because at that time I was excited to know I would be getting the job I desire, only to get disappointed. Had I known this unethical of a school was full of disaster, I would had ran long time ago. Please save yourself the time!!"
not happy
  • Reviewed: 10/31/2018
  • Degree: Marketing
"I am not happy with this school! The professors are horrible and have a huge ego. From what I've experienced, they don't care about out of the box ideas, it's either their way or no other way. I haven't learned anything from this school, I'm having to learn the Adobe products in outside websites. Their critique is posted a few hours before the next assignment is due, giving you minimal time to do the one due that night. There's nothing related to your career of choice. I only transferred here because the campus I was going to attend was shut down. I initially had a free ride for this school, and now I owe 5k because they're taking off grants and scholarships I worked for. I do not recommend this school to anyone who wants to further their education."
Dee
  • Reviewed: 7/16/2018
  • Degree: Hospitality Management
"This school is terrible. They do lie. Instructors do not get back to you. The online courses are poorly laid out and difficult to navigate. I was behind in classes, failing and without assistance. The entire school needs to be investigated. I owe money to the VA for my GI bill now because the school dropped me from classes that I begged them not to enroll me in. I asked for help on numerous occasions. I asked to transfer me to other classes in the two week grace period, which they stated they could not do, and then dropped me when I could not keep up. TERRIBLE."
Lost
  • Reviewed: 7/11/2018
  • Degree: Photography
"I am currently enrolled. I NEED OUT !!! SOMEONE... ANYONE.... HEEELLPP!! This school is a joke. I need to find one that is actually worth going into debt with! Iv been lied to, passed around, ignored, and swindled. Apparently, i owe over 500 dollars for a kit that was included in the same time frame on my initial financial plan."
Moki
  • Reviewed: 7/8/2018
  • Degree: Art & Design
"I wish I read the reviews prior to transferring. I had transferred from a ground campus down the street from me which I realized while I was at this online school that I took it for granted. The instructors are poor and help you with absolutely nothing. The course material is poor and it is pretty pathetic how they call those short descriptions a "lesson". I was there for media arts and animation and for my drawing classes I took, I will not say I didn't pick up a thing or two from the courses, but for the life drawing and gesture course I am glad I had did a in depth study of human anatomy prior to attending this college because the material they provided to teach was pretty sorry and pathetic. I would highly suggest anyone avoid this place. From what I know there was no money scam ordeal for me as I seen others had those issues. I was only there for two 5.5 week courses. I had just withdrawn. I have to get in contact with my money provider to see where I stand, I hope everything is as it should be. I really despised everything about this place. The instructors were poor at their "job" and all the women sided with each other and made excuses for each others inadequate behaviors. There were no men employees, not many and if there were then they were submissive to the women employees. That's what I gathered as they were "assistance" of women and I never been sexist before, but this was horrible as no one was doing their jobs correctly. In retrospect it all seemed like a childish game system they were operating. It seemed rather fake."
Isa
  • Reviewed: 1/31/2018
  • Degree: Liberal Studies
"I have several pages, and filing that I complained to the school. The cost, how long the classes were, and the consistent upgrade of photography equipment that you don't even need. You use it once and then it discarded. You get NO hands on help, its takes hours if not days for the so called instructors to get back to you. 95% of my technical training for Lightroom was with Lynda.com. Why am I paying a college to tech me photography when I am redirected to another educational format of learning. I complained about how short the courses were, and how much they cost. They charge you for full tuition costs for a 15.5 week course (As they should be) instead you get a 5.5 week crash course in each class. You take graphic design and culinary/nutrition classes, that have nothing to do with your profession. You are a time limit when you are in desperate need for guidance with a professor, because they have families etc they need to be with. Never in my life have I ever been charged for a Bachelors degree at 67k for a AAS in Photography. They send you out to do projects in the public for homework, in which they do not provide per-deium for your costs. I was injured and fell down a flight of stairs trying to do a HW assignment when it started raining. The professor was sympathetic to my plight, however, the school and its entity had nothing to say. When asked to speak to a Dean of the school, you get your academic counselor. You NEVER get to meet, talk, or exchange words/letters/emails with him/her. Photography does not belong in a ONLINE setting. It is a hands on training ONLY. You get no exams, just like a high-school quick test, there is no fulfillment of understanding. I still till this very day, do not know how to operate my camera equipment/lighting system; as I want to so badly. I went into debt for over 60k for this CRAP? This is unacceptable! If it is any consolation, I visited a ground campus, and after they read my transcripts for credit transfers, they were appalled as to why the Online division was charging my for graphic design classes, culinary classes, and high-school courses in which I all ready had and passed. They calculated almost 15k in expenses that were not needed. You CANNOT buy your own books or use books from a book store, you HAVE TO buy from their book store. I do not know on how many occasions I had to share with directors of Photography that are supposed to be running the Photography program, avenues and directions to help others students get over hurdles. Like for example, rental cameras places in the USA that help you get a piece of gear you can just rent or rent to own as you go for schools. This is not cool on so many levels. I had exceptional grades, as I refused to get anything lower than a B-. Then I figured out the method and just started getting A's. Just so I could pass and get out, because after all the complaining and help I was so trying to seek, I was not receiving it. Please, Please Please do not go to ONLINE. Make sure you DEMAND time, record it, record all your classes and examples. They will use your content in class with out your written consent as well, so be totally aware on what you put on your work. And most of and I need you all reading this to take this to SERIOUS HEART!!!!!! Look up "Arbitration Clauses" - An arbitration clause is a clause in a contract that requires the parties to resolve their disputes through an arbitration process. - "Arbitration Process" - Arbitration )is the process of bringing a business dispute before a disinterested third party for resolution. The third party, an arbitrator, hears the evidence brought by both sides and makes a decision. Sometimes that decision is binding on the parties. When this is in your contract, I highly suggest you ask them to alter it. You will have nothing to stand on. Pick TA&M, or some other college. Please do not get yourself in debt for crash courses and no hands on training. You will regret it. You can go to New Zealand school and get your bachelors for a fraction of the USA cost(s). I wish you all that read this the very best, and many blessings in your choice of career. Be smart!"
Martha Ray
  • Reviewed: 12/22/2017
  • Degree: Art & Design
"I have studied at many different schools while obtaining my degree and the Art Institute has been one of the best that I have attended. Beyond just the convenience of being able to do my classwork on my terms around work and not having to deal with the hassle of going to a campus, I had academic advisers who works hard to help me achieve my goals and help me when things weren't going as they were suppose to. I had a financial adviser who helped me understand every bill I received and helped me get financial help so that I could obtain my degree. For the most part my professors were knowledgeable and helpful. A couple felt like a waste of time but that happens at every school. My education was tailored to what I wanted to do and what I was good at. I have an eye disorder that means I have no depth perception, which means I'm not good at drawing realistic things because I don't see the world they way the majority of the population does. This being said my adviser saw that I was excelling at 3D modeling so my classes focused more in that area then in the drawing aspect of animation, though I was still taught the basics so that I had them. At AIP I was treated like I mattered. My adviser called me after every session to see how things were going. The school was understanding of power outages based on weather or unforeseen events. They also worked very hard to encourage the students to do well both through awards and financial incentives such as a grant that was based on good grades. My experience there was excellent!"
Kenneth Mills
  • Reviewed: 11/3/2017
  • Degree: Photography
"I quit after the first quarter. I was told that 90% of my loan would be paid and in turn I now owe over 7k. I Quit paying my loan and now its ruined my credit. I understand this but when I was lied to in the first place and never got ANY equipment that I was promise only now 6 years later, paying for something I did not get! I am now 49 years old and this really sucks big time!"
jen
  • Reviewed: 10/7/2017
  • Degree: Human Services
"Where are the negative stars? THIS SCHOOL S****. Please don't waste your time, effort or money. I can't even get a f****** transcript from these d*** people. Total failure to the students they have. The courses are a joke and I couldn't even get a job with my degree so had to start a new one."
John T Shutter
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
  • Degree: Photography
"If I could give it negative stars, I would. After leaving AI, I took photo at a junior college. In 1 class I had covered more material than in a year at AI. AI was involved in lawsuits from multiple states Attorney Generals, and I have to say I totally understand why.. save yourself a ton of money and go to a JC where you'll actually get a better education."
Trish
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"This college fails it's students because they fail to concentrate on the skills required within the industry. As such you take on an enormous amount of debt for an education that firms will not recognize. You really will not graduate with the skills needed because the position has evolved to the point you need to be able to the entire Adobe Suite, Python, Coding, App development, animation, and a great deal of web design. Advertising is moving from print to the web and sales are bypassing a physical location to online. You need to be able to design the look and functionality of a website, while offering more to the user in the way of apps. This is what graphic design firms are looking for along with package design, book design, interactive learning designed, and an entire host of things requiring design. Web and Graphic Design have merged. The Art Institute fails to recognize this, and they push fluff courses over actual content that builds the skills firms are looking for. I would like to say this is the worse part but it isn't. What makes it worse is you are teaching yourself 60% of the time. Instructors regularly tell you to use the internet and fail to respond to questions in a timely manner. Classes frequently do not match the software version and this causes numerous issues and a huge waste of time. You get a better education simply using Lynda.com, Udemy, and Treehouse. These sites give better instruction and the skills employers are looking for when reviewing skills and testing potential employees. You can spend 1200 between the three sites just mentioned or 90,000 and not get the skills you need. You can also get a better education for less combining your local community college along with the three sites."
Brianna
  • Reviewed: 8/22/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"Horrible! I originally transferred to this school because they promised me everything my last school was not. Things were fine for about the first year and a half... I have no complaints. But then about a year ago, they told me I owed them money out of pocket because financial aid no longer covered my courses. Total BS since my original financial plan covered EVERYTHING. I have now been making monthly payments and they slowly keep adding additional amounts to my payment plan. I am now paying OVER 14k out of pocket to finish my degree. If I wasn't less than a year shy of graduating I would of transferred, but unfortunately, none of my credits will transfer over to any other school because of the way AI "classifies" their courses. Before my last set of classes ended my financial counselor told me that I was not to able to take additional classes until my new payment plan (for yet again another amount increase) was signed. I asked him what I needed to do to sign this new payment agreement and I thought the entire thing was handled. FOUR days before those classes were to end and my new ones were starting, I had to make my payment, and I noticed that the new payment plan had NOT been applied. I promptly emailed my financial and academic counselors, but got absolutely no response. I was unable to start my next classes, in fear of being charged completely out of pocket for them.. A few days after the start of classes I noticed my financial counselor had changed within my campus common. I immediately contacted this counselor and again never received a response. I emailed and called this counselor about a dozen times before I received any sort of response from him. We scheduled a time to talk on the phone, but that time came and went and he never called, or emailed. When i tried to contact him I received no response. I spoke to my academic counselor about it and she tried to resolved the situation but she again pushed the situation to the back burner after a day or two. It has now been 5 weeks! My classes are suppose to end next week. I asked them to remove me from my classes since day one if the situation was not fixed, which they have refused and I will not get charged for.... Completely fed up with the school, the academic and financial department, and everyone else I have been in contact with since this mess first started. I have not gotten anywhere and get the runaround EVERY TIME I try to discuss things with them. I would not recommend this school to anyone and would not wish my situation on anyone."
Laura
  • Reviewed: 7/26/2017
  • Degree: Web Design
"This school has messed me around and put me 25,000 in debt for nothing. It has expelled me twice saying I dropped out. The first time it was suppose to have been from a mix up of paper work with another student. They charged me 3 tuitions in less than a month and now they did it to me again. I'm super not happy with this school. Everything that they taught me I could have ordered on Adobe myself. I pretty much taught myself. This school sucks. Please save your money and find another school."
Disappointed and Indebted
  • Reviewed: 7/7/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"This school is not really much of a school at all. Gen ed classes are all in a cookie-cutter format that is inefficient and just not really helpful at all. It felt like taking the same class over and over. The actual art classes usually came with little to no guidance. I did well in these just based off my prior experience and talent, so it took me awhile to realize that nothing at all was actually being taught, save for a few instructors that actually cared enough. The format is basically to have the students try the assignments, get critiqued on how to change it, rinse and repeat. No instruction on how to actually do it to begin with. Which is the entire point of going to school in the first place. Now I've got $60,000 in debt to pay off, and no job in the field, because their "career services" when you're about to graduate is a forwarded list of jobs from indeed.com, which is just pathetic."
Nelly
  • Reviewed: 6/15/2017
  • Degree: Fashion
"Okay the school isn't that bad. It really for people who are very independent and don't really need much guidance or so much on hands instructions. I got dropped fast by the way because I had a baby and now I am back which they told me I had to pay 600$ out of pocket but I told them I couldn't and they gave me a scholarship : ) so I decided to continue, to finish what I started. I looked at it like I'll still have to pay so might as well finish it and I am a fast worker I am dong week 2 work still in week 1 . Online school is really for people that could motivate themselves and keep up with their schooling. People say your teaching yourself but college is the same way but with a little more oversight. Theirs nobody telling you to study, theirs nobody telling you to do your homework you have to take it and want it and do it. I don't really like that the teacher are only online for a certain amount of time but they do give them their personal email. So I don't rate it that bad but it is expensive .. and for future students or anyone looking to attend it's really all on you what you can handle and your pace of work !"