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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

  • Reviewed: 1/31/2018
  • Degree: Liberal Studies
  • Graduation Year: 2016
"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 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
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"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
  • Graduation Year: 2000
"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!"
  • Reviewed: 10/7/2017
  • Degree: Human Services
  • Graduation Year: 2013
"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
  • Graduation Year: 2014
"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."
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
  • Graduation Year: 2014
"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, 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."
  • Reviewed: 8/22/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
  • Graduation Year: 2018
"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."
  • Reviewed: 7/26/2017
  • Degree: Web Design
  • Graduation Year: 2018
"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
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"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 $60,000 in debt to pay off, and no job in the field, because their "career services" when you're about to graduate is a forwarded list of jobs from, which is just pathetic."
  • Reviewed: 6/15/2017
  • Degree: Fashion
  • Graduation Year: 2020
"Okay the school isn't that bad. It really for people who are very independent and don't really need much guidance or so much on hands instructions. I got dropped fast by the way because I had a baby and now I am back which they told me I had to pay 600$ 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 !"