The Art Institutes Reviews

  • 153 Reviews
  • Nationwide
  • Annual Tuition: $17,316 - $18,648
18% of 153 students said this degree improved their career prospects
15% of 153 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

One Has No Name
  • Reviewed: 9/18/2017
  • Degree: Art & Design
"The school is more about money than the students. Teacher are hit and miss on actually teaching you and just trying to get you through the class. The schedules are crazy I never get my classes in the right order and the faculty and teachers don't seem to care that we are struggling through each class with no help from any one. Some teacher go way to fast and won't slow down so I can take notes and get mad when you have to ask them to explain something because they didn't cover it clearly. Most teacher are good at turning in grades so we know if we are passing or not but some teacher don't grade anything until the class is over. The classes always have a problem no place to work or the computers are down. The equipment is almost always braking or non functional. The teacher say to get everything done early so they can give you feed back to make changes. But they never do they wait tell you are in class so they can show every one what you did wrong. Every courter they want more money for supplies or other things for each class. some classes just on the paper and markers can be $200-$300. By the time you are ready for portfolio you won't have anything worth putting in it. Everything I learn I do on my free time with no instructor help. The people who work the hardest get the most crap from the teacher about the work they do. When people who clearly need help they don't even talk to. Every hope and dream I had for this art field is shattered crumbling to pieces in my hands. The job market is extremely hard to get into and is more about who you know then what you do. Witch will not help with the Art institute pined to your degree. The word is that students who come from this school are slow workers who are hard to train to do the job the way the company wants. I don't see a way out of this school so I am stuck teaching myself."
PR
  • Reviewed: 9/14/2017
  • Degree: Computer Animation
"First, I left before I graduated. I realized after taking a year and a half of classes that this school was a sham and that the money I was paying was not going to be a good investment. Transfer Credits: This was ok. They tried to force me into taking beginning computer classes despite the fact that I had multiple programming classes on my transfer degree. They persisted even after I explained that I worked in the technical industry and that I could build and setup a computer from components, and that I taught the same material they wanted me to take. I argued with the admissions people for two weeks about this before they finally backed off of trying to make me pay for a totally unnecessary class. This should have been a 10 minute discussion, a review of my transcript, and at the very worst a competency test. Instructors are hit and miss, some were amazing but they were the minority. One instructor thought his class was his political pulpit where he had the right to spout his hatred of George Bush for a third of every class. I called him on it because I don't want to hear about politics in a color correction class that I'm paying too much money for and once I did that I never got anything above a C from him. I spoke to the dean about this and he refunded the class cost back to me. Some instructors were so bad that they just tossed out A grades like they were free and I hated feeling that I may not have earned the grade I ended up with. Others were there to sell their own work to the students. Not as an example for them to use, or a roadmap of how to be successful but to literally convince students to endorse their work for competitions, festivals, and some wanted reviews of it simply to add to their own portfolio. Financial aid was ok. I see by other reviews that some students had a nightmare experience with it. I was apparently lucky and had no outstanding issues. Equipment: Everything was outdated and there was not enough of it to access. For one of my finals I had to build my own animation studio, scanning equipment and all, in my house because every time I went to use the school's there was a line out the door for it. You couldn't reserve time either. There was no allowance given to students for the lack of access either. Course Material: Again, hit or miss. This was directly tied to the instructor quality and the good instructors. Some classes were so bad that I learned more from internet tutorials than I did from the instructor. Too many classes had a distinct lack of teaching techniques for the discipline. There is no point to taking a class on painting where you get told to paint something but there is no discussion of how to actually accomplish it with different techniques or methods. Some of the required classes were a joke. Why are there culinary students in a 400 level art history class? An art history class where you actually had to complete artwork based on some of the historical masters' styles? I felt bad for these people, they are chefs not painters or sculptors but they were required to take the class for their culinary degree."
Huge mistake enrolling
  • Reviewed: 9/13/2017
  • Degree: Video Game Design
"I did online classes with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division (I was living in Detroit, MI at the time). When they called me, they managed to get me to enroll even though I had no interest but ended up enrolling, they did waived the enrollment fee for me, however, when I was going through the student loan BS, they didn't explain it well, they told me to just sign it and they will take care of it for me. They claim that they are taking student loans on my behalf but I never consented on doing so. Classes were not even related to what I'm majoring in. I was majoring in Game Art & Design (I'm a PC gamer). I'm now and still am stuck with minimum wage jobs, but luckily, I didn't stick around too long so I'm stuck with $5K debt but after reading other reviews, I'm glad I dropped out before it was way too late. Right now because of Ai, my credit score is trashed when I finally was closed to getting it fixed. If your enrolled, drop out now before you collect too much debt. Didn't enroll yet, good, don't enroll. I got a family to take care of so I can't deal with student loans. I'm about to be enlisting myself into the US Army so I can take care of these debts unless I can find a way to clear it. Last thing I need is a bankruptcy in my credit report."
Kyle A
  • Reviewed: 9/7/2017
  • Degree: Computer Animation
"The New England Institute of Art is a scam, plain and simple. It's a diploma mill designed to saddle students with as much debt as possible while skirting around the barest minimum of what could reasonably be called a school. We'll start with Admissions, since that's initially what suckered me in. It's clear to me now that admissions representatives are trained to say whatever is necessary to get students to enroll, however misleading or downright false. I distinctly remember being told that AI had many alumni working in big name animation studios such as Pixar and Dreamworks. This is a blatant lie. I was also told that around 85% of alums were gainfully employed in their respective fields of study. Last I checked, that number is closer to 15-20%. Financial Aid is another matter. I was told multiple times that a single loan per semester would be enough to cover the cost of tuition. However, on multiple occasions, I was pulled out of class and told that I couldn't return unless I signed paperwork for more loans on the spot. The curriculum is a joke as well, either being spread way too thin, or loaded down with dumb and totally unnecessary classes that you're forced to take. I was forced to take a "computer science" class my first semester because I'd never used a mac before. The class consisted of the teacher handing out a "to do" list (which would only take about 1 hour of the 3 hour class) and spending the rest of the class playing Words with Friends. In the core curriculum for my major, subjects that really needed a few weeks to cover were glossed over in a single class, meaning that any student that didn't have foreknowledge of 3D software (the vast majority of us) was constantly struggling to keep up with lessons. I also took a single life drawing class for my entire 4 years at AI. Life drawing is an essential skill for someone in my major and I only had ONE class! There should've been one every semester! Most of the faculty were competent enough, but there was ZERO consistency in the curriculum between teachers, so lessons were scattered and oftentimes contradictory. Career Services was the worst joke out of everything. I was assured, over and over, that Career Services would be available to help me find a job. However, after I graduated, I called and emailed 2-3 times a week and got no response whatsoever. Emails were never responded to, calls went to voicemail and were ignored and I even came to the school in person twice, hoping to speak to someone and both times I was told that my so-called career adviser was unavailable that day. Finally, after six months of being ignored, I got a call and was told I would no longer receive help from my career adviser since they had other students that needed help. Yeah. Thanks. The degree I got from AI is worthless and I have nothing to show for it but $135,000 in debt that I will never be able to repay. To top it off, during a job interview, I had a prospective employer say that my education was "frankly, a joke." And that's exactly what AI is. A joke. The kind of joke that ruins your future and your financial security. TLDR: This school is a scam. Save yourself. Save your family. Save your money. Don't even think about this "school"."
Caila
  • Reviewed: 9/5/2017
  • Degree: Art & Design
"Misleading grad-to-hire statistics. Incompetent instructor who piggyback off his teacher assistant to teach us intro classes instead of doing the teaching himself. He also told us to watch online tutorials on digital tutors or youtube if we ever had any questions. How they hired an inexperienced person who had a degree in English to teach Intro to 3D Modeling or anything art is beyond me. Waste of time and overly expensive. Poor financial aid and financial advisor are clueless. They don't help you with finance, they recommend all their students to take out private loans and lying that when the students graduates, they will land a high paying job to pay back their loans. They lure in low-income students to get financial aid from the government and then screw over those students for garbage degrees because the instructors don't know theaerials they're supposed to be teaching."
Kate S.
  • Reviewed: 8/31/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"I was fortunate enough to have very good professors and the rigorous course load/schedule prepared me for the fast-pace world. The administration is another story. I had to fight tooth and nail to get my credits transferred (even though, the credits has the same title/description) and my adviser was 80% clueless most of the time. I ended up having to advocate for myself and do my own scheduling and degree audit. In the end, I had to do a lot of things myself (financially) to only leave with 45K in student loans. I don't recommend this school, because it isn't worth it. The company wants to see your skills and don't care where you got your undergrad. The degree gets you an interview, but the skills keep you employed."
Texaschef
  • Reviewed: 8/30/2017
  • Degree: Culinary Arts
"This school ruined my life, the degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on, you have to take useless classes that has nothing to do with cooking or the culinary industry, and the classes that you do cook in you hardly ever do any cooking, you learn useless facts that your be tested on later instead of learning different cooking techniques, some of the teachers only speak English as a second language and are hard to understand especially in a crowded classroom, and they will also yell at you for no reason, they will not help you find a job or even an internship, I ended up working at the cafeteria for my internship. So please don't go here it will ruin your career instead try an apprenticeship program or just try starting at the bottom at a restaurant"
Michael C
  • Reviewed: 8/30/2017
  • Degree: Art & Design
"When I started at the Art Institute of Colorado... I was told that the classes got better after a year and you get the general art classes out of the way... Turns out the actual degree classes were not much better. But by the time you realize how terrible this school is you are already in so much debt that you feel like you need to continue. The degree has such a vast scope that in every class many of the students don't have their heart in it. Everybody has passions in different areas of the degree. And because of this the students that actually want to learn, don't really learn anything because the students that aren't passionate in this class are still trying to get caught up. Some of the teachers were not bad. Some of the teachers were terrible. Often the teachers were not utilized correctly by the school."
Steve Mathews
  • Reviewed: 8/30/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"THIS SCHOOL IS A SCAM. IT COSTS FOUR TIMES AS MUCH A QUARTER THEN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE BUT THE CREDITS AREN'T TRANSFERRABLE TO OTHER SCHOOLS. THE PROGRAMS ARE OUTDATED. THE CAREER SERVICES DEPARTMENT DOESN'T HELP YOU FIND WORK THAT YOU COULD REALISTICALLY PAY OFF YOUR LOANS AND BILLS WITH, ONLY POSITIONS THAT YOU COULD HAVE GOT WITHOUT A DEGREE. IF YOU WANT A JOB THAT PAYS A LITTLE MORE THAN MINIMUM WAGE, THEY GOT YOU COVERED. FINANCIAL AID DEPARTMENT IS SHADY AND DOESN'T RETURN PHONE CALLS OR EMAILS. IF THEY OWE YOU MONEY THEY WAIT AS LONG AS THEY CAN TO PAY YOU. They also just got bought out by a nonprofit to avoid all the lawsuits and loan forgiveness they were being hit with. They prey on people with low incomes and that are fresh out of the military because it's a guaranteed pay check for them. Teachers don't even teach their classes. My last two years I only learned what I thought myself. They make you pay for a web portfolio class that the teacher in the first week of class said "If you have any questions Google it, cause I can't help you." What is he even being paid for and what did I pay for?"
Jen
  • Reviewed: 8/30/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"I went to the New England Institute of Art in Boston. One semester I had an Edgar Allen Poe English class the entire semester we watched the doors, and Dixie chicks "documentaries" not really sure that was relevant to graphic design but hey now I have $135,000 in student loans so you tell me if that education was worth it. Everything I "learned" at this school I knew prior to going there because I went to a tech school my last semester of high school. And everything I learned about how to communicate professionally and successfully I learned on the job I got myself after college. Also AI claims they got me a job in graphic design after graduation.... I worked at staples as a cashier And I got that job myself. Total scam. They prey on stupid 18 year olds from low income family's that they know will have to take out massive private loans just to attend. I got in "early admission" October 2006 and I was so excited I said yes and didn't even consider any other school that accepted me later in the year. Yes I was dumb but it is their job to recognize people they can con. To this day 7 years later I have never been employed as a graphic designer."
T.B.
  • Reviewed: 8/30/2017
  • Degree: Video Game Design
"I started here in 2010 in hopes of getting a BA in Game Art and Design. Before I enrolled, I asked if I would have enough financial assistance to get my degree and was assured multiple times that it would be no issue. About 6 months after I enrolled, I was told I would have one week off a year from classes and that each class was being shortened to just 5 1/2 weeks. This was not an efficient nor appropriate amount of time to learn anything and having no real knowledge of the software, it was a miserable experience. There were a few times I had a teacher not sign into a class for over a week, leaving me and other students wondering what to do next or how to fix our work. I even had a teacher tell me that I couldn't have help to understand an assignment that was already graded because it was against AI policy. Then half way through my degree I was told I would have to pay out of pocket because my financial aid was used up (again after I was assured to have enough to cover my education). When I would ask for scholarships or payments options, my financial advisor would tell me I was "ineligible for any assistance" or would tell me to find information on my own. Another shady thing about this whole situation? Constantly getting different advisors every class. You never had the same person twice and it made trying to ask questions or get into the right classes difficult. STAY AWAY FROM THIS "INSTITUTION". They are not out to help you, and you can get a better quality education at a community college for not even close to this price tag."
Kyle P
  • Reviewed: 8/30/2017
  • Degree: Video Game Design
"The most I got out of this program was learning the correct terminology to use when searching the internet for tutorials. Some teachers were dedicated and taught well, however they were far and few between. 85% of the teachers were there to do the minimum they had to do and that was all. Some teachers would pass students just so they wouldn't have to deal with them the next quarter; This is not speculation it was direct from a teacher to myself that the student had passed so that the following class didn't have them dragging their feet in their team project. Another teacher didn't even hand out a single graded project the entire quarter, groups of 3 spent 2 weeks recording footage that was never used. This teacher was consequently let go the following quarter which should have been a clear indication that the class was not taught properly but faculty did nothing for the students in this class. I was forced to eat the grade this teacher had given me which was a D the only class that I was given a grade below a C, I graduated with a 3.0 for reference that I was not just getting rolling Cs for every class. The only guarantee you can expect from these schools is that you will be paying student loans for the rest of your life. Upon leaving school I was one of the few to get a job in my field, I have been making payments on my loans since I graduated and I will be lucky if I even touch the principle of some loans by the time I'm 45. My advice, don't do it, you are better off teaching yourself on youtube and having a good portfolio going into a job interview than mediocre work and a degree from a school that is frowned upon."
It is not the teachers it was the greedy administration
  • Reviewed: 8/30/2017
  • Degree: Communications
"The Professors were the best,The corporation 1%  EDMC should never be allowed to manage anything.Theuy lied and cheated students out of money and put us it debt.I would not trust e d m c to run a race.The people are criminals and should be forced to pay everyone's debt from 2004 -2008,and then have all their assets frozen.I only me administration of the corporation that ruined the school.This by no means against the teachers,btw all the teachers I had were let go a year after I graduated."
Dont do it!
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
  • Degree: Art & Design
"Do not go through them! They told me it would be cheaper attending online and quicker and then 4 years later they told me it was more expensive to attend online because they leave the classroom open 24 hours a day. The instructors are very late at responding. They are there to grade and give you a feedback before you redo your assignment by the end of the week. I tried transferring to the art institute of tampa and they would only accept half of my 108 credits because they said different statea have different requirements. Do not go through this school! I tried contacting a lawyer but i had no written proof from them because they only discuss issues over the phone. I was working two jobs and told them i couldnt call them and be on hold and they refused to email me back when i had issues with financial aid. They have had a lawsuit filed against them from the federal government if that tells you anything. They claim they will send your portfolio out 6 months before you graduate and will help you find a job. They do not! They give you a list of websites you can post your resume and consider working at home depot mixing paint utilizing your art degree. Bad reviews have been posted to google about them and they get deleted. So hopefully my review will help someone before it gets deleted."
MP
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
  • Degree: Art & Design
"All you have to do is take a look at the curriculum, student work, and job success rates of REAL art schools (Ringling, CalARTS, Art Center, etc) to know that AI is a a joke, pathetic in comparison, and ultimately exists only to scam the government out of FAFSA money. The only good instructors here kept their mouths shut, because they knew that criticizing the school's terrible, outdated curriculum would get them fired. The penny-pinching corporate suits run everything here, no one values the (VERY FEW) good teachers, and no one respects the students. Also, sorry to be blunt, but real art schools REQUIRE A GOOD PORTFOLIO to get in. AI doesn't. Sadly, any kid who doodled in a notebook could get an acceptance letter here, and the school gives these poor saps false hope of getting work that they are woefully under-prepared for. Most entry level AI students are lightyears behind their peers at SCAD, RSID, etc. The only reason I attended was because I got a scholarship...even then, I regret wasting my college years on a worthless. half-assed attempt at education. It took nearly 10 years of HARD, NON-STOP SELF EDUCATION to repair the damage AI did to my career."
Casey
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"This school is a joke! The computers and software are out of date, the teachers were subpar at best and they tripled the cost of renting an apt for students just because they had to roll it in to their insanely high interest loans. My school was SUPPOSE to be in the middle of a downtown, however it was 10 miles from center city and within walking distance to other. I was moving from the other side of the country and didn't get to visit or that'd obviously been noted upon visiting. They separated my mom and I when having to sign loan papers and lied lied LIED when asked about job placement. I would never recommend this school to anyone who wants to succeed in the art field!"
Eli
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"I learned the minimum, I don't have enough knowledge to even use my degree. The teachers for the most part were not very helpful. Many of them told students to ask their neighbors for help, instead of assisting them. One class, the instructor had a medical issue, so they had a teacher from a different field, who admitted to never using the program, teach illustrator. He said that it would be a learning experience for him too. Not professional at all in my opinion to have someone teach an entire course on something they know literally nothing about. When I have spoken to people about jobs, they laugh at me because a degree from the art institute of Pittsburgh is considered "a joke", not that I would be able to have a career in graphic design since I learned the bare minimum."
Sentra04
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
  • Degree: Art & Design
"Was told to take classes that (A)where not even part of my degree, or (B)classes that later be came not part of my degree. Still had to pay for them all, some multiple times with no reimbursement. School also tried to get me (a petite woman) to take an internship with a 'company' that was one guy working out of his basement. Constantly gave me the run around when i would try to ask for help. Tried to use me as a success story for their job placement stats when i later started working at an arts and crafts store. Got some interest inmy portfolio, but was ultimately told by potential bosses they don't hire from the Ai schools because the students are typically too unprepared/unqualified, and not worth investing time into training."
Nick
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
  • Degree: Photography
"This school is a scam. Do yourself a favor and stay away from it, or risk owing the school a massive amount of money when you finally leave. I wish someone had told me this before I went there, would have saved me a ton of stress and anger. Do yourself a favor, pass on this school."
Toni
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
"I never graduated but I went for 3 1/2 years and I had no choice but to drop out because it was too expensive. I would never suggest this school to anyone. Financial aid is a joke. Curriculum is a joke. They care about taking your money and that's it. Very few people will find careers to even pay back their loans and most students will find themselves in close to $100,000 in debt. Going to that school ruined my life."