The Art Institutes Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (139)
First, I was shown fake job placement statistics, in an effort to get me to agree to sign up despite the monumental costs. After signing up and repeated assurances they'd "work with me" regarding my low income (barely 19 at the time, and during the recession), and my schedule because I had to work, they repeatedly tried to get me to quit my job and pull private loans instead of pay the remainder out of pocket, despite being rejected for the private loans and having no co-signer. They took no credits from my associate degree to charge me for more classes. The equipment was sub-par most of the time - there wasn't enough to go around and at one point, they put in the wrong video cards so for a WHOLE SEMESTER people were unable to use the computers to work on 3D projects, because they wouldn't change them. My teachers were often graduates with no actual work experience. Many referred us to YouTube tutorials or pdfs based on old versions of programs that couldn't be translated or looked totally different. On top of that, it was an "all or nothing" schedule - not only was the schedule not flexible, it was a struggle to get them to work around my work schedule - and they would berate me for not dumping my boyfriend who had been laid off, leaving me as the only income source in the house. Towards the end of my time there, people with balances or behind on payment, even a day, would have big red envelopes sent to them in every class and insisted the teachers hand them out to embarrass the students. I did have a few good teachers, but they were all gen. ed or traditional art - nothing to do with my actual major.
I attended from 2007 - 2010. Not only did they lie to me about what the program included, but upon graduating, the school just sent me Craigslist links as their way of "job placement". I ended up graduating in student loan debt of over $100,000 for an ASSOCIATES DEGREE!
This school is a scam. Stay away. The teachers had no clue what they were teaching us. Everything I learned I already knew or could have learned from YouTube. $20,000 for a year of this terrible school is insane. There were no requirements or portfolios to get in. Many of the students received good grades for poor work. This school road off the backs of lower class and promised me things using shark tactics
Scam school! Huge waste of money - terrible instructors, sub par facilities, zero help from counselors to secure jobs during and after school. Worst decision ever - saddled with huge debt and only able to get a minimum wage job. PLEASE RUN far, far away from any AI school!
I attended in 2014. This school is a joke. Out of all the classes I took, only two were relevant to my major. The rest were graphic design. I was majoring in video production, why do I need to learn web design? My gen eds were too easy. The only math class I needed to take was algebra. I remember there was one class requirement called "presentation". It was just the teacher showing random Youtube videos for no reason. Career services is crap. They didn't help me at all. Financial aid is even worse. They claimed my Pellgrant would cover everything. One month later and they're asking me to take out a loan. What the hell happened to my Pell grant? I decided to withdraw from the class. One year later and AI asks me why I'm not going to classes. They had kept me enrolled even though I filled out the paperwork for withdrawing from school. I'm annoyed by all the positive reviews that attack the students that left negative reviews. I'm tired of them implying most students didn't make the most out of their education at AI. I worked hard at AI. The school is terrible. It's a waste of money and time.
One true to life part of this experience, the truly valuable teachers were not in positions of power or appreciated while the portfolio teacher deciding your fate was feared and believed to know all despite not having worked in the industry for years and knowing literally nothing about technology. One positive result. I was hired for a job in my profession as a temp at the 'high' wage of $14/hr after graduation because the resume reviewer had so gone to AIS, knew about the debt and false promises., so feeling badly for me, they gave me a chance.
This school is a waist of money and time, do not attend. When I was enrolled all we did was bake bread and make gravy. I however I did learn where the meals we were preparing originated from, that's the only reason I gave the art institute's one star. If not for that they would get a big ole fat goose egg. DO NOT ATTEND!!
I graduated last year; I gain no experience or knowledge what so ever. Interior designers companies expected you to learn something from school. Believe me; you wouldn't learn other than art and colors. Mimumem of CAD but you won't learn how to think like a designer, buiding CODs, walls, textiles. ....
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT attend the Art Institute. Your money would be better spent throwing it in a trash can, because at least you won't have life long debilitating loans with incredibly high interest rates. Sadly, I was one of the many students scammed by AI. I was lied to about the job hiring upon graduation rates, and because I was told it was 98% or above, I signed up. I would've never gone to AI had I known those statistics were a complete sham, and that a huge number of the jobs they included as part of their statistics were minimum wage jobs, such as Walmart cashiers and McDonald's employees, rather than jobs related to the expensive degrees we studied for. In addition to the lies, we - the students and teachers, had to fight administration for basic needs - for example, in 2006 we were still recording our Animation into VHS! We did not have DVD writers.... Which everyone and their mom had at home for super cheap, but at a school where we were spending a minimum of 50-100k for a degree didn't even ha e the basics. Furthermore, the school constantly changed policies on portfolio requirements in the middle of portfolio building classes, and even after promising students where we're halfway done with their portfolio classes that the old requirements would be grandfathered in, they backed out of that promise and then forced students to retake the portfolio classes and spend another several thousand to get their degree... Some students couldn't afford that so they were left without the degree they already earned and spent nearly 100k for... Lies after lies after lies... The good teachers started leaving due to abuses and mistreatment of themselves and students. Some teachers sued and won. AI was subsequently sued for lying about graduation jobs and rates and settled for $98 mil, but students like me will never see any of that money, and are still required to pay our loans for a shot th education. The sad part is - I had some decent teachers, but the program structure was so poor, and teacher quality wasn't consistent, the programs were not geared towards endowing students with the proper skills for the career they were studying for, the micro management of the administration debilitated the programs themselves, the abuses towards the teachers and students, and the constant lies about the quality of their education made for what is often looked at by the industry as a laughable degree. Many jobs do not want to hire AI students because of the school's reputation. Yes, there are a small handful of students who were successful after AI, but the vast majority of students were left crawling on their hands and knees through debilitating debt and nothing to show for it. Furthermore, students were promised access to AI's equipment and life drawing classes for life after graduating... Which was later revoked after they decided they didn't want to offer it anymore (probably because it cost them more than they were willing to spend). Also, a big red flag that I was too naive to realize at the time I signed up was the fact that AI didn't require portfolios for admission... This is a HUGE problem if you know anything about how art schools are supposed to be run. Yes, there are those few rare cases where some genius who never did art before suddenly discovers they were a prodigy all along, but that's a RARE occurance and not the norm. AI also used predatory recruitment practices, and took advantage of many low income people, people with disabilities, veterans, minorities, and foreigners. The EDMC- the company that owns the AI schools, is known for their unscrupulous practices... And now they are selling their company to the Dream Center - which makes me wonder if they are trying to run away from other potential issues that might pop up and harm their reputation and pocketbooks. Whatever you do, avoid AI. Do not waste your money or time. Other than some of the cool people I met attending there, attending AI was one of the worst decisions I've ever made. It's crippled my life, my pocketbook, my credit. Don't make the same mistake I and many of my other friends did by attending one of these schools.
The Art Institute of Portland is a great school. But I believe that the program is incredibly overvalued. There were a great variety of classes and I only had two instructors in my 4 years there that I would rate poorly. All the instructors and staff are very understanding of problems and honest about the real working world. There were many opportunities to meet professionals in the classroom and in their studios.