The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division Reviews

  • 97 Reviews
  • Pittsburgh (PA)
  • Annual Tuition: $14,040
14% of 97 students said this degree improved their career prospects
18% of 97 students said they would recommend this school to others
Find an Online Degree:
GradReports is supported by advertising. Schools that compensate us advertise via school search results. This does not influence our college rankings or our content.

Student & Graduate Reviews

  • Reviewed: 9/11/2013
  • Degree: Photography
  • Graduation Year: 2050
"I am from Kansas City, and we have a wonderful and well known Art Institute here (Kansas City Art Institute) I have friends who have attended this school and it was looked upon highly by them. I wished to attend this school as well, but due to health problems attending classes physically would have been impossible. I was very excited when I discovered the online school. I requested more information expecting a packet or something in the mail. What I got instead was a phone call the next day from a VERY pushy and overbearing 'academic advisor' although a better name for him would have been recruiter. He was unable to answer any questions I had about the program and school itself, when I informed him at this point I was only looking for information about the school, he continued to push and within an hour had me applying for financial aid, and grants over the phone. It seemed the only answers he had about my questions were about tuition, and had me give a list of people to him that could help me financially. It was going to cost $40,000 for a 2 year associates degree. I was then appalled when he had me sign up for the school online and I was instantly accepted. My friends who attended the Kansas City Art Institute spent months preparing their portfolios to get accepted. All AIO needed was money, no portfolio at all. I then found out my 'academic advisor' did not even live in Pittsburg, but in Arizona. He called me again the next day for another marathon phone call, in which he had me fax over several forms to him. I looked at one paper and saw that in fine print this school is actually in association with Brown Mackey. I called the Kansas City Art Institute, and asked about this program and the affiliation they had with AI Online, and they informed me this program was very much looked down upon by most of the Art Institutes, since they allowed anyone in, and the instructors were not in his words 'up to Ai standards'. I started my first class regardless of this. I noticed not only was the format extremely hard to understand and navigate, that my teacher actually held no degree in art, and incfact lived in southern Missouri working at another college. It sounded like he did this as a side job. He mentioned the college he worked at and when I stated that I knew what college that was and had friends attending it, he immediately deleted the post I had made responding to it. I was then I realized this school was a farce. I then dropped out--and swallowed the over $900 it took to do so. The wanted to charge me $4,000 for the whole semester, but I had a family member call and inform them that I felt I had been pushed into this by the overbearing 'academic advisor'. Since within the first phone call of wanting information, he had me enrolled and filling our financial aid. They did finally agree to only charge me for the one class I had started. I would never recommend this program to anyone. You are paying Art Institute prices for an education not even remotely close to the Art Institute quality."
  • Reviewed: 7/28/2013
  • Degree: Web Design
  • Graduation Year:
"Tell us about your college experience.Pay attention to those reviews that say it's all about money. They quoted me a price at the beginning. Sucked all of my government loans dry. Then as I approached my bachelors degree they suddenly needed an additional $30,000. Basically holding my bachelor's degree hostage. Your instructors are not always professors. Often you get a facilitator. A facilitator may or may not know how to operate the software you are learning. Good luck to you! Passive-aggressive instructors. If you miss an assignment or are late for an assignment a pissing match often ensues. My Major CHANGED right in the middle of the program. There was no effort to compensate me, or adjust my requirements. The additional charges were just tacked on. Classes I had taken at the Art Institute suddenly counted for nothing. Classes I had transferred in were counted against my unit count, but not added to my grades. Therefore I had 18 units with a grade of ZERO. So my GPA looked lower than it actually was for my entire time there. Surveys There is a mandatory survey at the end of each class, but you have to fill it out before the class is over. That's right. Your instructor/ facilitator/ professor gets to see your survey before they issue your final grade. You can imagine that they have a load of positive classroom surveys, but it doesn't prove a thing.Would you get the same degree if you could start over?I wish I could have continued on the degree I originally enrolled for. The degree changed midstream.What advice can you offer other students?Get a final number on the cost, in writing. I have had 6 different financial aid counsellors. They can lie to you, because they will be gone when you finally get to a point where you might quote them. There were times when the amount I owed was quoted as three different amounts. My home page had one dollar amount, the statement I got in the mail had another amount, and my financial aid adviser was quoting me another amount."
  • Reviewed: 5/7/2013
  • Degree: Web Design
  • Graduation Year:
"I signed up almost 2 years ago for an associates degree in web design, since then they have screwed up my classes by giving me advanced before the basics and did not make good for this was still charged 4600.00, they have started my last class before the student loan was finalized without telling me this and now am being billed for 10,000.00.I am certain that something can be done to prevent this from happening to others and to get these debts squashed so our credit is not affected.I am looking to find another school, but seems most have the same footsteps. Does anybody know how to complain to the Student loans provider, great lakes ?"
  • Reviewed: 4/18/2013
  • Degree: Engineering
  • Graduation Year:
  • Reviewed: 1/11/2013
  • Degree: Web Design
  • Graduation Year:
"When I started at this school I was very excited and the first few classes I had we're great, but as time went on I was having more and more issues with classes. Many assignments were often vague in their details and I ended up spending more time trying to understand what the assignment wanted than I spent doing the assignment. It can also be diffucult to get ahold of instructors and receive a proper response.For a while I was trying to get a hold of my academic adviser so I could start taking more classes, but even after the numerous messages I left for him and emails he refused to call me at the times I would be most available. I work third shift so I sleep during the day, I'm not going to be able to get to the phone in time. This completely screwed up my plans for my education and was partially the reason I decided to leave. The class content ranged from great to completely useless. I honestly don't feel that here is anything I couldn't have learned on my own, in fact most of my learning was done on my own by researching outside sources with much more usefull information.I understand that part of this is about building a portfolio, but grinding through assignments and not learning anything about industry, with no efforts made to reinforce what your supposed to learn, honestly leaves me feeling totally unprepared for a career in the field.My final class at the school was a video class using Premier. The program was easy to learn but the assignments didn't match up with the book and all the files were completely screwed up.All this cost me 30 grand if I had stayed it probably would be looking at a $70,000 bill. I feel this is far to expensive considering the issues with this school."
  • Reviewed: 11/29/2012
  • Degree: Advertising Design
  • Graduation Year: 2008
"First off, I agree with most of the other reviews I've read on this website regarding the low-quality of education offered by AiO. I had maybe 3-4 great instructors when I was there, and a larger majority of them appeared to have other more pressing matters to attend to besides the educational needs of their students. I've found more often that this degree program was an immense waste of my time and money, and that AiO had damaged my future more than it has helped.I had rather high hopes for gaining an education when I began the degree program at Art Institute way back in 2004. However, by the time I completed the program in 2008 my hopes had diminished due to the economic collapse somewhat, but I was equipped with a diploma from my four years of 'self-paced' learning offered by AiO. Now, in 2012; after all of my efforts to match up this education with a job I am left with only a bill of sale and an unmanageable albatross of student debt attached around my neck and all hopes of a better life through education are tossed out the window. If you are considering pursuing a degree through this institution, please instead find another option because this is an utter waste of your time and effort. I learned nothing through this degree program that I couldn't have learned on my own.The 'Advertising' program is set up to prepare the student for an 'entry-level' position at an advertising firm, but here's a thought for you: An entry-level position will not provide adequate income to repay the student debt incurred through this program. It's a trap, and you'll be better served by looking elsewhere for your education. Trust me on this, because I've tried to use the credentials offered by completing this program to find gainful employment, and none of the employers which I submitted to showed the least bit of interest in a degree from this institution. It's completely worthless and you'll be happier in the long-run by committing yourself to another program."
  • Reviewed: 9/14/2012
  • Degree: Web Development
  • Graduation Year: 2015
"I decided to go to school to finally get my Bachelors. The first issue was when I had an advisor who didn't take the time to process my transcripts properly which left me with re-taking math. I am a graduate from ITT and my highest math was pre-calc. After takeing a math class and getting a c- I had to retake (no way). I requested a new advisor who had the same back ground in electronics and knew I had to have a math back ground. He requested a re cap of my transcripts and my math was added. I wasted 3 quaters in Math. Things were going on fine this was to be my third year; I was re-married a year ago and for some reason my financial aid kept gettting kicked back. I took a break in July and now I'm getting calls that I owe the school $10,000.00??????Not to mention when I started this journey I inquired about my financial aid ending before I finished; I was told that I was could until my last 3 courses. Well 64 credits left until I complete and I have $11,000.00 left of financial aid!!!! I work at a University but I have very demanding hours, which prohibited me to going to class. Speaking to one of my colleagues she stated that I shouldn't have been allowed to go that long with owing them any money, and if I hadn't have taken a break in July I probably would owe them more money. Now I can't get anyone on the answer the question of the debt except the person trying to collect the debt for me. At this point "poor student services"!!!!!! I am now looking for scholarships, but when I find one and obtain it "I will not return to AIO"!!!"
  • Reviewed: 9/7/2012
  • Degree:
  • Graduation Year:
"Beware of the online division of this school. I am a highly educated person that opted to increase my web design knowledge via online education with the Art Institute. If you are an intelligent, warm-blooded human being more than likely you will have much more skill and experience, ethics and professionalism than the zombies AI chooses to employ and entitle "Professional Instructors".The school is a scam, the instructors are barely mediocre, and the staff doesn't care about the student experience with the instructors or the curriculum. I am still waiting for someone (AI staff) to show some concern regarding a crazed, stalkerly instructor (D Hill) harassing me, and displaying unethical, hurtful behaviors within the classroom environment. I expressed to program directors that I've experienced a great deal of mental anguish, anxiety, and stress due to being consistently harassed by this particular instructor. I paid $1400.00 for this class to experience a big pit of anxiety in my gut??? Seriously?? In addition, once I called out the instructor on her extremely unprofessional behavior she began to grade my projects in a biased and extremely critical way -- vengeance and spite were this instructor's only priorities. Teaching and professionally critiquing was not part of her M.O. I feel ripped off and screwed, on my dime!Trust me this is NOT a "Higher Education Institution" it's merely a for profit, slaughterhouse, and you're the herd of cattle.Reconsider your options and do more research before you decide on the scam artists at AI to give your money to. For more reviews check out too."
Sandy smith
  • Reviewed: 5/21/2012
  • Degree:
  • Graduation Year: 2007
"It took me 4 years to complete an associates degree in Interactive Media Design that is about as useless as the paper it's printed on. I made major sacrifices to finish this degree, working during family vacations holidays all goes of the night while holding a full time job. I ended up on the seans list blah blah but so what after spending all that time and money and busting my hump the job placement center told me that "most of our students are already working in their field of study" then was given nothing nada no help.I have used some of my skills to acquire my current ADMIN job, making less than 40,000 five years later. Teach yourself this stuff learning how to draw a self portrait is not going to make you the big bucks in web design I haven't done any of my own sites all the programs we used are basically useless more money down the drain...Do Not believe the recruiters sales pitch they took advantage of a woman with a young family barely scraping by and talked me into what I thought would be a dream job I am not doing anything that has to do with the web and haven't since I graduated. If you want to throw away $40,000 on a two year degree go for it, please don't waste your money and life on this bs school!!!!"
  • Reviewed: 4/10/2012
  • Degree: Multimedia Design
  • Graduation Year:
"Ok, This has got to be the worse place to go! I started in July only because I was "convinced" it was the "best" choice. Which it wasn't, this school hardly takes any breaks for holidays not to mention as soon as I got out of high school I started there. That's school overload for you! Also I become very skeptically of them after away. They never wrote me back over emails they always tried to call me. I guess they didn't want a paper trail, I WARN YOU! get a paper trail, they won't screw you over if you do! I told them my phone was broke when it wasn't and then they were forced to email me.I was in the Media arts and animation program and it sucked, the credits won't transfer and they were a waste of a class, I passed all my classes with A's or B's but the teaching sucked, I was often getting back handed compliments, while other students that you can clearly tell work was worse than mine and turned their assignments in late got praised. It's not fair at all. All this place wants is your money, all the people in the office have to meet a quota for how many students they need to get a year. That's wrong! How can you manipulate people like that just to earn some money.Well I told them two months before my last class ended, that I was going to transfer to a college near me because it's too much debt that I can take which was 9,900, for one year! and The financial aid lady asks me very rudely "Well you didn't have to pay for anything out of pocket, so what your problem?" Excuse me, that pure rudeness right there. Well anyways when my last class ended I get an email that says thank you for enrolling in another class! What! I already told them I was transferring after this class not to mention there already took out 5,500 for that class! So of course I got mad like any normal person would, So I wrote the financial aid lady and she wouldn't write me back, come to find out she was ignoring me because she didn't like the tone of my email. So I finally called her and she was rude and saying how dare I use that tone in an email and how rude was I, so of course I got mad again and yelled at her " You know what I have emails that you and the academic counselor acknowledged that I was transferring, so I don't understand why you signed me up for another class and charged me" she told me that everything was automatic there so it's not their fault and well I rebutted with "Well you knew two months in advance so why didn't you just cancel it when I told you too." and all I got from here where some umms.... and frantic breathing, so then I implied " well if that money doesn't get put back, you'll get a law suit on your hands."Then she got nice and made sure she'll take care of everything. After I hung up five minutes later the money was put back and everything was were it should be. YOU NEED A PAPER TRAIL FROM THEM or they will try to screw you over. That school is not worth your time or effort and the teachings are not good at all, so save yourself and go somewhere else!"