The Art Institutes Reviews

  • 156 Reviews
  • Nationwide
  • Annual Tuition: $17,316 - $18,648
18% of 156 students said this degree improved their career prospects
15% of 156 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
  • Degree: Health Sciences
  • Graduation Year: 2009
"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!"
Irrelevant classes
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
  • Degree: Film Production
  • Graduation Year: 2015
"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."
Graphic Design Program Graduate
  • Reviewed: 8/28/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
  • Graduation Year: 2005
"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."
  • Reviewed: 7/21/2017
  • Degree: Culinary Arts
  • Graduation Year: 2010
"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!!"
Interior Design College Reviews
  • Reviewed: 7/14/2017
  • Degree: Interior Design
  • Graduation Year: 2016
"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. ...."
  • Reviewed: 6/22/2017
  • Degree: Computer Animation
  • Graduation Year: 2009
"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."
  • Reviewed: 6/14/2017
  • Degree: Photography
  • Graduation Year: 2012
"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."
  • Reviewed: 5/7/2017
  • Degree: Culinary Arts
  • Graduation Year: 2015
"Well, if you'd like to spend 50k on a worthless peice of paper this is the school for you! Only reason why i finished was because either way i was going to be in debt. Classes are easier than high school. History teacher always ran late don't bother trying on any work or tests because that worthless excuse for a teacher will give you a C anyway and we watch nothing but youtube in class. Yes you pay thousands for a teacher to show you something on Youtube. Your credits aren't even eligible to transfer to a community college and don't bother writing it on your resume that you graduated from here because they won't take you seriously either. Do not bother answering calls for job opportunities from them unless you have a bada** job all on your own they will offer you places that pay $8-$10 an hour, which if you didn't already know, you do not need a degree to get a job like that. Now is that worth 50k to you? Before anyone whines about this review yes i have an awesome job but it is not in my degree. This school was a complete waste of time and a bigger waste of money."
  • Reviewed: 5/5/2017
  • Degree: Photography
  • Graduation Year: 2015
"DO NOT WASTE your money. My parents are $100,00.00 in debt because of this school. They kept cancelling classes, put me in higher level classes without having the prerequisites because they couldn't fill up the classes, charged us for extras they said were included when they first signed me up, etc. I had to stay an extra quarter because they kept discontinuing the classes I needed and changing the requirements. They made up an online course for just me to take so I could graduate. They have now closed this branch. No one new can go there and they are just finishing those that need to complete their degree. They did not help at all with getting a job. They won't answer the phones. This "school" is a scam."
  • Reviewed: 4/11/2017
  • Degree: Computer Animation
  • Graduation Year: 2014
"A high school diploma will probably earn you more interviews than a degree from this hole. Seriously. First of all, the Art Institutes are NOT real colleges. They are greedy degree factories fronting as educational facilities to charge out the a** for a slipshod education, take your money, and leave you broke or thousands in debt. A degree from ANY Art Institutes affiliated school is completely worthless. If you put Art Institutes on your resume as your primary place of education, any respectable workplace will throw your application right in the trash. (Unless your dream is working a retail job, that is.) Most all of the instructors (at least in my degree field) literally knew nothing, in some cases, myself or other students were showing THEM the correct way to do things, and all too often, they would turn on Youtube or Lynda and just project random tutorials on how to complete lessons as opposed to actually teaching us. And this was far from a rare occurrence. Also, lots of teachers and other school staff lied through their teeth, promising us that Disney scouted talent from AI "all the time," that they had "numerous" graduates go on to work for Dreamworks, Pixar, and other greats, and that they were supposedly partnered with area businesses who made it a priority to hire AI graduates...Well I've been out of school for 3.5 years now, and I work in the deli at a grocery store. I was a good student who was always in attendance, earned high marks, and put as much effort as I could give into everything I did, but of course, all most businesses care about is the prestige of your school and the curriculum it offers. And AI is nowhere NEAR up to par with the standards demanded by this constantly changing industry (computer animation) Out of date software, teachers with less knowledge of the subject than the students, and literally, no control over the behavior of other students. I'm serious, even roaming the campus of this "college" in comparison to others, you can immediately tell it feels more like I'd never left high school. Also, from the perspective of an art major, this school is poisonous. The teachers are essentially instructed to weed out and destroy any individuality, and completely condemn any idea of creating or working in your own unique style. Several teachers I had forced us all to attempt to create in the exact same style, with the exact same methods, citing the excuse that "this is what you'll see in the industry!" When this could not be farther from the truth. I actually venture to say that my cartooning style suffered from being here, as I was essentially told that I was not allowed to produce work my own way, with my own aesthetics. And the styles they were teaching us were god awful...We all knew this CAN'T have been the "industry standard." It's a total scam, and nothing more. I honestly cannot believe this hole is still allowed to exist, and that the numerous class-action lawsuits against them haven't shut them down completely. PLEASE. Do yourselves a favor and do NOT even consider applying to this college. You will be left dead broke, with no extra skills"