Full Sail University, Full Sail College, and Full Sail Real World Education


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Full Sail University (AKA Full Sail College) is also known as Full Sail Real World Education to some. It has been one of the top Film Schools in Florida for a very long time.

This was the school my son had chosen as the place to start his dream of working in Film Production.

He was right out of high school then and dead set on film school and every aspect of making movies.

So, I began to study up, reading everything about Full Sail through their brochures and eventually attending their very compelling Private Campus Tour.

(Which my son forced me to attend).

Full Sail University Campus


Full Sail University Campus

If Full Sail University is truly a school you are considering then you must take a tour of the Campus beforehand.

It is basically a sales Pitch that they can back up. To see the Back Lot and the equipment at a student's disposal is worth seeing.

You can book a tour that runs every hour from Monday through Friday between 10:00am and 5:00pm.

They only accept tour bookings over the phone so you'll have to call the School Admissions Department at 800-226-7625 so they can write you down for the tour.

I like the philosophy behind the 'Full Sail Real World Education'. The courses are designed to expose students to the most comprehensive challenges they will face in their careers and teach them to perform those tasks well while on set at a paying job.

They will teach the student by having them perform the tasks required of them in a real world setting on real world film and by using the real world tools of the trade.

Full Sail University and its Students have adopted the Sony NEX FS100 Prosumer Camera. It replaceed the 'Red One' as the school's high end camera of choice.

The Sony has adopted Specifications and features previously found only in the large and expensive Professional Market.

This camera will force others to reconsider what a prosumer camera is and what it should be capeable of.

***Update October 2012***

The Sony FS100 seems to have a sensor issue. Best way to test it is...

  • Cover the lens with your sensor cap to give it a black screen.
  • Set it at 1FPS in the S&Q mode.
  • Set 1 as your shutter speed and then employ a high gain.
  • If you see a very bright tint around the edges then you probably have this issue.
If you have this issue then you need to contact Sony directly with your Sales receipt number. Ph. (866-766-9272) (8:30 AM to 8:00 PM ET, Monday - Friday)

Full Sail Real World Education trains students for careers in Music, Film, Video Games, Design, Animation and The Entertainment Business. Full Sail can boast being called "The Harvard of Game Schools" by Tips & Tricks Magazine.

The School's strength has always been having the very latest industry standard tools available to students. There are over 110 studios and production environments on the Campus.

There is no other school in the State that could make that same boast. Full Sail provides students with a better equipped environment than any other Film Production School, Art School or Animation Studio in the State.

The approach of Full Sail's Online Program seems much the same. You'll collaborate and communicate with your classmates and you'll also have access to your instructors, most of whom are located on Full Sail's campus.

It all seemed perfect. Full Sail University is an expensive Film School and maybe that's why I went digging. I sure hope my reasons were to find the best Film School and that the Tuition Fees had nothing to do with it.

I found some surprises I had not expected at Full Sail University. Surprises that could definitely affect me and my child's future. I plan on sharing everything I found with you here.

It's not necessarily bad news but it could affect you in the future and thus you should be aware of it. Plus, the school doesn't seem to want anyone to know about it.

I love a good secret but I Also have a big mouth

The Origins of Full Sail School / University

It was a darn long time ago when Full Sail University first opened its doors. It all began in 1979 in Dayton, Ohio.

They opened up under the name of "The Full Sail Recording Workshop".

So they certainly have pedigree. They remained as "The Full Sail Recording Workshop" right up until 1980, when they began hauling in the academic awards.

They dramatically expanded the Programs they offered and changed their name to "Full Sail College". They remained Full Sail College right up until March 25, 2008, when Full Sail added the necessary Academic Programs to qualify as a University.

It's important to note that Full Sail's pedigree, since the early 1980's has always been Digital Art. I think that says a lot when you are comparing Schools Colleges And Universities.

Full Sail University's flaw is definitely not their roots, pedigree or devotion to the Digital Arts.

Students Learn on Equipment similar to the Movie Studios

Yes. More so than any of the other Film Schools in Florida, or maybe even the United States.

I and my son were so impressed during the Private Campus tour that we both felt that Full Sail College could practically guarantee a dream job inside the the Film Industry.

The Full Sail University Campus is nearly a full square kilometer in size (191-acres) and is located in Winter Park, Florida.

That is less than 10 miles from downtown Orlando (The Warmth). On the Campus, students can make use of 110 separate production studios and production environments.

There is also a a well-equipped backlot with soundstages, recording studios, editing facilities, art and design studios, a motion capture studio, and even a post-production dubbing stage that was designated as Florida's first Dolby Digital-Certified Print Master Facility.

The backlot can be made to look like 18 different places, including Times Square, New Orleans, Seattle's fish market and even a gas station. There's also a 25-foot-wide electronic LED display and a 150-foot-long ticker.

The video screen and ticker will showcase student projects, campus news and the accomplishments of graduates.

Movie Studio Equipment is the most expensive thing to provide students with. Full Sail University Excels here because they use the same stuff as the production studios and, as far as I can tell, any and all equipment needed to complete their individual "Projects" such as a mini Documentary, is given each student.

Not an option for many schools operating on a tighter budget. Thus the reasoning for the high tuition costs of attending Full Sail School.

It's a pretty impressive place. There may not be another school quite like it anywhere and if you are serious about your craft then you will want to get serious exposure to the right environment and equipment.

Perhaps the impressiveness of their Campus and their aggressive sales tactics are the reason behind some serious attacks against the school, both legally and otherwise.

Keep reading for my take on the naysays, lawsuit petitioners and people who realized that Full Sail is not a guaranteed job Prescription.

We welcome anyone with first-hand experience to Share Their Full Sail University Experiences.

I have to say that despite one serious shortcoming, Full Sail University has got to be the best equipped Art School on the planet. It was a really great experience just seeing this amazing place.

They didn't have a bad thing to say about themselves or the Full Sail 'Real World Education Program'. So, I dug deeper.

There's been a lot of controversy surrounding Full Sail school on the internet. Obviously, this makes the task of getting to the truth a monumental one. Some folks can become very critical when things don't go the way they expected them to or they simple don't get their way at all.

Is Full Sail a Good School?

The internet is filled with articles, blogs and posts from quite a few upset former Full Sail University students. Just type "Full Sail" into Google and the first page is called "The Full Sail Scam".

You can read our reaction to The Full Sail Scam Rumors.

Full Sail first opened its doors in 1980, making 30 years of operation. That is a long time and thus Full Sail is bound to get an ever growing number of detractors. It's just a matter of numbers because you can never make everyone happy, especially (No Offense) with artist and creative folk... but ...

It sure doesn't help when the school was designed to look like a movie studio, the tuition fees are through the roof and are employing sales tactics that target our most powerful insecurities.

"You stand the best chance of becoming a successful and secure at [Insert Job Here] if you attend this school," is the message they portray. I don't really blame them. They are a privately owned business and their only goal in life, as with any private business, is to make money.

Full Sail university will tell you that 78%(?) of their graduates find work. It's a high number and they use it to drive sales. What they don't tell you is that they include in that number of 78% any student that is holding down any kind of job, even if that job is at Starbucks.

That may sound like some harsh criticism. The fact is, we are not here to accentuate why Full Sail University is one of the best film schools in the country. They will make you well aware of that on their own.

I'm only making sure people don't assume they are going to get handed a great job just because they graduated from this school. I hope I can provide well-rounded, honest information about the schools on this website, including all the things they prefer you don't know.

One thing is for sure, Full Sail Film Graduates are Getting Work and getting some of the best of it as well.

So, is it really Full Sail's fault if you don't get a job? Or that they don't pick through their employment figures to make sure the Graduates are working in the field that they studied in?

The financing companies have been allowing people to loan outrageous amounts of money to attend this school. They may be the ones making up the employment numbers.

Lord knows they want you out and working as quickly as possible. How else you gonna pay those bills off? Meanwhile, I'm thinking about my son and how I can get him a good start in life and a chance to make his dreams come true.

That puts me in a weak position. Unless, that is, I educate myself as best as I can and make an informed decision. Otherwise I am just fodder for the schools to set their sales Pitches upon.

Orlando is Not The Center of the Film and Arts Universe

Once you graduate, Move.

Location is very important. Full Sail is in Orlando, Florida where there is year-round warm weather and beautiful surroundings. It is a fairly active place for ongoing film and television projects but tiny in scope compared to the big towns.

So there is work to be found after graduation for those who live and plan on saying in Orlando. Compared with the big towns the scraps of work are measly and the competition for those positions fierce.

If you are not serious enough about your career to be willing to move, then Full Sail might not be the place for you. Your options for work are very limited and you would do just as well with a degree from another University for half the cost.

You'll understand my concern and the constant tests to the seriousness of your career choice once you have read about Full Sail accreditation.

Full Sail Accreditation

Accreditation is the secret formula you need to understand to have any chance of finding that excellent school that fits you and your budget.

It is a code that allows you to transfer the work you've already done at your first school into record at the new school so you are not forced to repeat a class.

Here is the General Meaning of Accreditation. If you don't know what it is then this is a must read before you continue your search for a Film School that best suits you.

Full Sail Accreditation
The Golden Ticket?

Some people say that the piece of paper you get when you finish Post-Secondary school is the only true wealth you gain for your years of study.

If the accreditation is not right then that piece of paper can suddenly become a worthless document.

Full Sail University's accreditation is one to take note of. It is very often the reason some very Educated people change their minds about attending Full Sail, despite all of its incredible attributes.

Read more about Full Sail's Accreditation.

Read about how a young man had his credits and degree from Full Sail University go unrecognized and unaccepted by the U.S. Navy when he went to enlist.

If you only have time to read a few pages please include the few above. It is extrememly important to find out what kind of Accreditation a school has.

Programs of Study at Full Sail University

Most Programs of study at Full Sail University are offered either as on Campus, Online or both. With Online Degrees being offered at Full Sail, where you live may not matter.

The film program isn't one of those classes though.

Full Sail runs an accelerated program throughout its curriculum. It will take you a little over 2 years to gain a bachelor's degree, something that would take 4 years at a traditionally paced school.

There has to be some mention given to a school with the best equipped tools to learn your craft on. Full Sail University is again ahead of most other media and art schools because of its superior, industry standard equipment and facilities.

These tools are the recording studios, editing facilities, art and design studios, the motion capture studio and even that Dolby Digital-Certified Print Master Facility.

As long as they are not re-hiring students to be teachers, Full Sail's Programs are top notch simply because of the tools students are exposed to and use on an everyday basis.

Another nice touch at Full Sail is that you can afford to fail a class and re-take it without paying a second time. Just as long as you graduate within the maximum time frame of the degree program. (Which is about 22.5 months max.)

Here's more about the Programs of Study at Full Sail and everything else they teach.

Class Load And Scheduling

Full Sail never closes it's doors. This is so they can schedule classes and labs around the clock, which they do with impunity.

You could do the lecture portion of your class at 4pm and then have to attend the follow-up lab portion of the same class at 3am in the morning! Most students do this for between 32 - 40 hours of classes a week for better than 2 years, or until they die, whichever comes first.

It may sound nuts but there is reason behind the madness. Students graduate understanding that productions don't run on a 9-5 schedule, and Full Sail runs classes on a schedule that resembles working on a production; Yours.

They don't just teach, but they immerse the students and give them a lot of real life experience. They have carried their "Full Sail Real World Education" ideal right into the very hours of Lectures and Labs.

What production, anywhere in the world, runs on a typical 9-5 Schedule? At Full Sail University, you'll get used to working all sorts of long and crazy hours to get the job done before you even get a job.

Tuition Fees

Full Sail leads the way for tuition fees to a film school, especially considering their measly level of Accreditation.

There are some very compelling arguments for why tuition fees are so high. The favorite argument for such high pricing is the fact that Programs at Full Sail are accelerated and a traditional 4 year Bachelor's degree can be obtained in 2 years.

Less time at school means more time to gather income from employment and less time spending money on the high living cost of being a student.

Not to mention that there are very few schools that offer the quality of learning instruments and tools that Full Sail does. Learning on the very best equipment has never hurt anyone.

In the end, it is your child's future (And Even Your Future) that we are talking about. We are conditioned to believe that the more we spend on our education, the better chance our child will have of finding work and excelling in a job that he / she loves.

Learn more about Full Sail Tuition Fees.

International / Foreign Students

Maybe you don't live in Florida. You might live in Japan with a dog named Buffalo. In that case you would have to apply for a study permit before even considering any on-campus courses.

The very best website to learn more about Study Permits for Foreigners which is run and maintained by the U.S. Government.

If you can't secure a visa to study in the U.S. then there is always the option of getting an online degree. Full sail offers a number of their programs online, except for the film program and a few others.

You will be required to learn your craft on the platforms used in the industry today. Some of the cameras, computers, audio equipment, etc. are state of the art and very expensive.

That's where the Programs become impossible to teach purely online.

Learn more about becoming one of the many International Students

Housing for Full Sail University Students

The area of Winter Park around Full Sail University has many housing options available if you are homeless upon the day you arrive. There are now nearly 60 large apartment complexes within 5-miles of Full Sail's campus.

You want to try and get as close as you can to the school because if you can walk or ride a bike to campus you'll do well avoiding any use of the transit system. I'm not saying it is so bad but it can became expensive and time-consuming.

Make sure you include the cost of a monthly bus pass if you are trying to save a little on rent by accepting an apartment farther away. That's the rule. The closer the apartment to full sail, the higher the cost.

Full Sail does not offer any on-campus living arrangements so it's up to you to sort your Accommodations out yourself. There is a Housing Coordinator guy that you can contact. He works on campus and he usually has the low down on the current available apartments.

Just contact Full Sail @800-226-7625 and ask to speak to the Housing Coordinator. He is supposed to be "Dedicated to providing you with information about affordable accommodations" but he may also just smoke a lot of pot and play video Games all day!

Or just download the Housing Guide for more information on local apartment complexes, floor plans, and prices.

How to Enrol

Getting in to Full Sail is not, as the numbers go, difficult to qualify for. Every step is outlined for you on our Full Sail Enrollment Page.

Full Sail University Address

3300 University Boulevard
Winter Park, FLA 32792
Phone: (407) 679-0100 School Number:55214 Fax: (407) 679-9685
Contact: Garry Jones gjones@fullsail.com

Our Final Conclusion

(After all the research)

Nearly all of Full Sail University's programs of study seem well rounded.

The film program and animation program are simply the best by any measurement. We apply pretty much every bit of information about the school as criteria in our judgment of it. That's how impressed we are with Full Sail University.

We still believe that the best way to get into the film industry is through a good school that will give you a chance (IF you work hard at it) to showcase your best talents to people who have the power to propel your career.

Full Sail is one of those schools.

This is a serious school. If you can say to yourself "Even if I never become famous or even well-known in the film industry, I would spend my life trying anyways". If you can say that, then all the semantics about Accreditation and price becomes irrelevant. Full Sail university is the best film school in Florida.

But if you are 18 years old and don't really know what you want to do then this is not the school for you. Get a good college degree first and let your life's passion come on it's own, down the road a little.

Before spending $50,000 + dollars.

Good luck to all of you.


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