I'm planning on moving to the Orlando area soon and want to continue going back to school for film once I'm there.
I originally heard about Full Sail and started looking into it to see what previous and current students think. It seems like the school has some great equipment but there are so many mixed reviews about people's experiences there and with the crazy hours that they schedule classes I don't think I'll be able to hold a full time job while attending Full Sail.
While gathering information I found out about Valencia Community College. After checking out some reviews it seems student view the school highly. From what I can gather it also appears their film program is a good one.
It's also much cheaper and looks like I'd easily be able to hold a full time job and won't have to take out as much in loans, if any, to pay for it.
I don't want to fall short of money or owe a lot once I graduate, but I also don't want to pass up a good education in film.
Do you have any advice on which school I should look into more?
Holding a full-time job while attending Full Sail University would be a bad idea. They will ask you to be available for labs that sometimes take place at 3am in the morning.
That is what they aim for.
Full Sail have designed a Schedule to best match what you can expect to encounter on a real project in the paying world. Some people hate it and others love it. Most agree that the schedule is the closest thing to real-world experience.
I am not sure why Full Sail gets so much attention (Bad or Good) on the internet. A school should offer good facilities and equipment, well equipped labs and good instruction. The only way I found to criticize Full Sail was for some of their business practices.
I didn't find it to affect students and that's all we care about. They are a business and spend a lot on advertising. See our page on Full Sail University for more.
I wish you'd have told me more about yourself. Where did you go to school before? What did you study? Do you really expect to have the time to study with a full-time job?
It does not matter to you. I want to warn you that enrolling as a part-time student Vs a Full-Time student will cost you more in time and money.
You qualify to have more of your education paid for by grants if you are a full-time student. For example, if enrolled part time you qualify for only a $2,775 Pell Grant but a $5,550 grant if you are enrolled full time.
You say you want to avoid debt. Do more research on Grants because I have had emails from people who had nearly 80% of their tuition covered by Grants only available to full-time students.
Then you Mentioned Valencia. I thought I'd found a gold mine when I first reviewed them. They gave me the distinct impression that because they were a Regionally Accredited school, their film program might also be.
Not the case. The Arts program at Valencia is a Nationally accredited Program but have some good reviews. My fear is that the reviews are for the school itself. Most of the other Programs they offer are Regionally Accredited and very well regarded.
Once you focus on their film program, you find that it lacks facilities and equipment compared with many other film programs with similar credentials and cost.
Valencia has an advantage. The reputation of the school itself is so darn good that it filters down into the other programs they offer like film studies.
A review of Valencia Community College Film Program is next on this website. They deserve consideration and so we will get their review up soon. We highly recommend Valencia for someone in your position.
Just remember that at Valencia, students must take a lot of required theater classes before they can get considered for the advanced film program which consists of a 10 month, full-time commitment by you.
I would love to see you find a way to do it as a full-time student, whatever school you choose.