The Colorado Film School or Full Sail University

by Jenny O

I am the parent of a graduating high school senior who wants to attend film school and work in post-production. He recently won 1st place in a national video contest with a BIG check/cash prize and has been offered a large scholarship from Full Sail.

Due to finances and not wanting my son to be strapped with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, we realized that most film schools were too expensive for us (USC, Columbia College, NY Film). We found the Colorado Film School and visited. It was small but great equipment and it does not come with the negative aspects of Full Sail.

When his two big scholarships came through, suddenly Full Sail was back on the table and we are thinking about visiting in a couple of weeks. We are really stuck in the middle. We like the Colorado Film School accreditation and sensibility, but Full Sail is so alluring with the facilities they can offer.

My big question has to do with his future: can Full Sail actually give him more contacts and a leg up when he heads to LA to become an editor over Colorado Film School? Bottom line is that he will graduate with equal amounts of debt at either school BUT can he get just as good of a film editing job if he attends Colorado Film School?

I have read so, so many reviews and opinions of Full Sail. I think I have a good understanding of the work ethic required to make it work. I believe he would need the same at Colorado Film School. We are truly stuck in the middle and could use some advice in making such a huge decision.


Reply from

There are so many factors that could go into your choice that I can see your quandary. You seemed to have narrowed your options to just 2 different film schools. I wonder if you could expand your options and consider other film schools. The Los Angeles film school impressed me and their location would benefit your son because he will be building Contacts and opportunity in L.A., a place he wants to stay and work.

It seems counter-productive to build a contact list of Colorado Studios and associates when he is going off to L.A. once finished his schooling.

Full Sail really does have the best equipment in the business. Their 'Real World' approach mimics scheduling and focuses on 'On the Job' skills the students will need when they get their first job in the business.

The Colorado Film School is also a gem. They don't have the massive facilities of Full Sail but they have that Regional Accreditation, which would allow your son to transfer to other schools if he wishes to continue his studies at a future date. It's a hot topic of debate but there are benefits and negatives to both regional and national accreditation.

A school with National Accreditation is able to make changes to it courses and classes at a much faster pace. This would allow, in theory, a school to more quickly adapt their course outlines to meet the quickly changing needs of the film industry.

Regional accreditation is more well respected and allows for easy transfer of credits to other schools. But if the Colorado Film School wants to teach a newly discovered lighting technique then they would have to first apply to have the change previewed by a board of Education before being granted permission to change.

That could take 6-8 months

In the end there is only one question. Will your son be in need of the ability to continue schooling at a later date or is he so set on the film industry that transferring credits to become an IT specialist is out of the question?

No one likes to put future limitations on a child. But there are advantages and disadvantages to both the Colorado Film school and Full Sail University.

I suggest that you expand your options to include the Savannah College of Art and Design (Regional Accreditation) and the Los Angeles Film School.

Keep looking but remember that your son needs to do more than just get into a good film school. He needs an insatiable passion to succeed and he needs a work ethic to match.


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