Full Sail Tuition - Living Expenses - Other Financial Obligations

by Cindy
(New Jersey)

I would do anything to attend Full Sail University. I am a 54 year old female who has had a life long dream of becoming a filmmaker. I never had a decent education; couldn't afford it - but my passion has always been in the entertainment industry.

I was lucky enough to work as an actress for about 8-years; getting work as an extra and body double in some feature films. But the money was never enough to make ends meet and I always had to work other temporary paying jobs. Before too long I realized my big break was never coming and left the entertainment industry for more job security.

Now as years have gone by, I realize that my life has been wasted on just trying to make "ends meet," working dead-end jobs that have made me miserable. I did attend community college in the past ten years and have 61 college credits in Liberal Studies.

I never obtained my degree. I have one class left to accomplish --algebra -- and it has been holding me up from obtaining my degree because I cannot comprehend it. At present I work as a Dental Assistant; a job I despise! I actually was able to get into this vocation after being unemployed for some time. The state paid for my Dental Assisting education. It has paid off and my salary is about $37K a year.

However, I am miserable in this field.

At present, and after years of low paying jobs and unemployment, I have no money saved, have no assets, nor own a home. I am alone and broke with only a big dream of one day being a filmmaker. I have a Christmas screenplay I wrote with a dream of producing it into a blockbuster film.

I understand that the curriculum at Full Sail is intense and one cannot work a job while attending. I have many debts and obligations and I need an income.

I have already spoken with Full Sail Admissions (last year) and explained my desire to attend their school, but that I would need to work or obtain enough in government loans to allow me apartment living expenses, paying bills, and tuition for the school.

I'm guessing $100,000 for a two year film degree. Full Sail gave me a listing of scholarships that would help me, but it would not be enough to pay for a two year degree.

The scholarships total about $30,000 if I'm lucky enough to get them. Tuition at this time for a film degree at Full Sail is around $78,000.00. I'm writing on the website to ask anyone's advice/knowledge on the possibility of obtaining enough in government loans to attend the FS film program.

I cannot obtain personnal loans from banks as my credit is far from perfect. I signed up with a debt consolidation company two years ago to lessen the impact of monthly credit card minimum fees from creditors. It has put my credit score in the toilet which means no bank would give me student loans. However, my credit score is becoming better with time.

How can an adult with a dream like myself live in Florida, attend FS University full-time and live up to their other worldly obligations without working a full-time job? Can it be done? Has anyone accomplished this? Can I obtain enough in student loans to achieve my dream? I don't care about the payback in the future, all I know is that I want to attend this school and become a filmmaker! I will worry about paying back the student loans when I get to that "bridge" years from now.

Can anyone help me? Can anyone give me any advice or help concerning this matter? I thank you for your prompt response and help!

Cindy G.


Reply from TheBestFilmSchools.com

Hi, Cindy. You didn't leave me much room to reply!

I hear your passion. It is the dreamers that move the human experience forward. Especially the ones that dream the biggest.

You might be focussing on the wrong Institution, though. Full Sail University offers very little in the way of scholarships and grants. Their mantra for students in need of money for tuition is 'You should talk with Sallie Mae'.

Full Sail University offers a dream-like environment to study in. They are strictly a for-profit Institution that uses Sally Mae as a loan affiliate to provide Student Loans.

I don't like what people are saying about Sallie Mae but they are not in a business that makes many friends.

The point is, you will need to qualify for the kind of money you are looking for no matter where you want to attend school. You either qualify for a Sallie Mae Loan based on your Credit Score (FICA) or Scholarships based on your acedemic Score.

You need to build a standing GPA count.

You may have to start at a Community College. There are some that offer hundreds of different scholarships and are 1/10th the cost of a class at Full Sail University. They also offer timetables that don't conflict with normal working hours.

Night classes perhaps? (How commited are you?)

You need a solid (And Recent) Educational Score (GPA) to qualify for most scholarships and maintain them. I assume that you don't yet have that background.

You could spend a year at a Community College that is cheaper and works around a realistic schedule. Take a course related to the Film or Communications Media spectrum.

Kick some butt and walk out with a 3.90 GPA and a showcase Reel that oozes artistic flair. Send them with your Scholarship Applications.

That is when the world of many scholarships will open up to you.

Just my humble opinion.

If you want a professional opinion then no one has a larger Database of Scholarships than the National Education Online Center.

National Education Online Center

See you in the movies.


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