The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division Reviews
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This is possibly the worst school I have ever worked with. They are only out to get your money. They act super wonderful and nice to start with, but you will be set up to fail later on. I am now in my third class at this school, but they locked me out of my course due to a mistake on their end. I have contacted so many people now, and either nobody gets back with me, or nobody has any answers for me. They say my advisor has to do something with it, but then my advisor never replies. They are completely doing it for the money, not to help you. The courses are set up nicely, if you can even get help to get into them.
The classes aren't awful. For an online degree, I felt I've learned a bit actually. The AutoCAD class started at about probably 20-something and only I along with 2 or three others finished. There was a lawyer in the class, who said that she had never taken a class so demanding--- she dropped out too. It was ridiculous. My real gripe though is their finance department. Nothing but a thorn in my side!! They just can't get things right! I'm so frustrated I could scream. After getting a letter in the mail from 'recovery services,' I was only told I'd have to wait for the next letter to come in the mail. This of course, was after I was told I now had to pay for classes in full if I was only going to take a class at a time BEFORE I started class. I paid, started and finished the class, but I owe money? I've had about 6 finance advisors since starting, which to be fair, was a few years ago now, but still... There's only been a few times when I've talked with the same advisor twice. The classes are decent, but the harassing calls from people trying to get you back in class (sometimes even at 9 at night,) and the abysmal quality of the financial staff, I'm not sure if I would choose this school again, knowing what I know now.
OK for one thing I didn't graduate. Even before I started their were signs, but I was to excited to care. The lady helping me had no clue. They told me my high school didn't exist and that I never went to one. After giving the same info again. They found it. After that was a nightmare. Took classes they told me I'd never had to take. After about five classes and starting my sixth one. I was lovely kicked out. For what you may ask. Oh not handing my work and not showing up for classes. Which was a flat out lie. I sighed in every day and made copies of my work. Even was getting good grade. Which I email all of them to the school. Every art work and essay I work on. After this they told me I could come back after a same fee. I told them no and pay off my 5000 loan and never looked back. Now I don't even want to draw. I lost that passion in my life. I have people tell me I can go back and should go to school. If I never did. I never do online again. Or this school.
Always has some kind of problems and will burn you out and you will just quit because of the run around. Very dishonest place and a scam .Do not do it !!!! You are waiting all of your time and will be very dis satisfied !!!! 5 weeks of class and now they say I owe 6000$ yes 6000$ and couldn't even get the financial aid right so I could even attend . Very very sad place and this is a true scam
Honestly, you'd be as well off getting books on animation and modeling online and watching youtube tutorials- that's basically all their classes consisted of. The teachers rarely gave any feedback and what they did give was totally useless. I usually got better feedback from my classmates and friends outside of school. After I graduated, the career placement office was equally unhelpful. Not one time did they try to help me find something in my field, but rather they would try to find anything local, no matter how unrelated. I studied game design, and I was more than willing to move for a job, but they tried to convince me to take a job with a local newspaper. From what I understand, I'm not the only one they've done that with, and that's how they maintain their high placement numbers- they helped you find a job...sort of. They never said they'd help get you into the area that you just paid a ton of money to study! Save yourself a fortune and go somewhere else.
First off I'll say this school is not for everyone. When I say that I'm talking about those who expect to breeze through classes without putting in any effort. You definitely have put in the blood sweat and tears. I did just that, read everything they offered and put in the leg work. I noticed however, that some of my fellow classmates submitted work that was just awful. I mean they edited and photographed worse then a 13 year old with Instagram filters. It was obvious they were not putting in any effort. I learned a lot online and now have a very awesome job, one I thought I couldn't get because of an online degree. My employer judged me on my photographs and not where I got my degree, and my photographs stood out because of what I learned. I wouldn't take a culinary class online or something that requires hands on direction. But for photographers I think this is an excellent way to earn a degree. And yes instructors will judge and critique your work, how else would you learn. If everyone lies to you and say your photos are always awesome, how can you learn. You get what you put in it.
Lets just say I was going to school here for a year and a half, took twenty classes and now owe $33,000 in loans and $3,000 to the school. As a single mother, I would have never took on this type of obligation. I was tricked into thinking I would only pay $200 a month for the three years I was supposed to attend.
First let me say I did not graduate. I started school in 2010 for photography. I actually did learn a lot and enjoyed the majority of my classes. I got to the point where teachers would look at my work and say; "the composition is great but what are you trying to say with this photo". The photography department focuses on portraiture. I learned that I HATE portraiture. The good news is my photograph was on their website for over 2 years before it changed. Why did I drop out? I was offered next to no financial aid. Even with loans I still had a balance and it just kept growing so I dropped out. I went to go enroll into another college changing my degree program and found I couldn't until the balance from this school was paid. SO, when tax returns came in i called and they had a "we'll match what you pay" offer going on so I only had to pay half the balance off for it to be cleared. Now I'm enrolled at American Military University. There is also APU. I have no had to pay a CENT out of my pocket for the degree program I'm in now. I've actually received money back from this school and the tuition is INCREDIBLY low! So I'm not terribly upset at AIO. I'm also not happy with it. Also a lot of my credits from this school did transfer.
I enrolled in Feb of 2009. I had not completed my 2008 taxes and classes started in March, so they told me to provide my 2007 taxes, and just give the 2008 taxes with the 2009 the following year (thank you J.B.). The bank confirmed they would handle my loan and AI confirmed my FAFSA, and I started classes. End of 2009, they were calling saying I owed the $10,000. I told them I had a student loan and they need to correct their records. Did not hear back. In the Summer of 2010, that $10,000 was in collections and I was getting harassed by debt collectors. I called AI, they refused to help me at all. They would not correct their mistake and recall the debt to my loan. I made several attempts to contact the head of the financial dept (Quincy) with no reply at all. Only after calling and raising hell did he reply to tell me that they would not correct their mistake. AI is criminal at best. I am still paying off that debt, had to drop out with nothing to show for it, and my credit score is wrecked. Stay away from this school by all means!
I did not graduate. I changed majors with the hope that a combined bachelors degree of Graphic Design and Business Administration would be a boost for a good job. AIOline let me believe that. I was also told I have PLENTY of student aid left that I could finish up and get my degree. Then a letter came in the mail from SallieMae stating I had reached my limit of student aid. The school could not help me and I was no where near getting a degree and was told I needed another $30,000 to complete the course. I was told I could get a 2nd mortgage on my house to pay for it or get a personal loan. Imagine! Encouraging me to go further into debt to pay them!!! Now here I am a few years down the road regretting I ever thought of going to college much less transferring to this school. I'm $60,000 in the hole with no degree to show for it.. Thanks to the economy, neither my husband or myself have had much in the way of pay rises either. I've had forbearances to the student loan on occasion due to more important bills (like eating, lights, heating oil). Many good, well known and reputable colleges are going online with many courses because its convenient for students who work. stick with them and do your homework on the best ones. Ask Questions.