I attended the Computer Animation program during 2004-2005 and will keep this brief.
All I can say is that I felt very much on my own once classes started. I never really felt like I was being taught anything. It seemed you spent most of your lab time doing tutorials. Which by the way-I could do in my spare time online- for free no less. Every month you would start a new class-and as the months went by-the class size got smaller and smaller.
The first few months there were probably 100 students in the class. I noticed that student class size in the last two months averaged about 30-35 students. I have no idea how they planned to accommodate a full 100 students if a whole class had made it to their final months.
I then realized they seemed to be intentionally reducing the class sizes down to a manageable figure-while making big money from students before they booted them 7 months into the program. For all the facts and figures they have on student life-try finding data on what percentage of students that enroll actually graduate.
I'd guess it's less that 30%.
I have many friends i still keep in touch with since I left Full sail-and out of the 20 people I keep in contact with that actually graduated-1 is working in the industry at an entry level job. That person was an "instructor" with Fullsail after graduating-and 8 years later-barely able to pay back student loans.
Another friend who I lived with while attending completed his Bachelors program. He worked entry level for a company that did one of the last Guitar Hero games for a year before being laid off in 2008. He now works as a driver for a company that drives drunk people home. He still is paying back $1200 a month in tuition for another 15 years.
I always think back and ask myself why I ever signed up in the first place. It was their open house/behind the scenes tour that impressed the hell out of me. All the promises they made-all the state of the art equipment-even the president "Gary Something" took the time to talk to me while I was there. I found out a few months into my program that we couldn't use the computer labs during one weekend. When I asked a friend about it-he said they were having a behind the scenes tour-and they don't want students on campus.
Just their sales force and eager impressional early 20 somethings that they can make their pitch to.
Reply from TheBestFilmSchools.com
I hear you. There are stories out there of people who went after their dreams and ended up in a place they had never expected. I will take another opportunity to say this ...
Full Sail University will not bring you to your dreams in life. For some, it just might. The risk is huge and the big payoff is even more elusive. Before even loaning out $70+ thousand dollars, ask yourself this ... "If you knew that you would never make it big as a film maker, would you still try?"
If you can say "Yes", then go ahead and invest the $70,000+ dollars. It will improve your chances and point you in the right direction.
Just remember that you are making a choice to walk in the shoes of a film maker. You can't change shoes once you have chosen or you will fail. Those are the rules. The reality is that many students can't make that decision, or they choose to deviate from it once they have.
You said ...
... they booted them (Many Students) 7 months into the program. For all the facts and figures they have on student life-try finding data on what percentage of students that enroll actually graduate.
It isn't that Full Sail 'Boots' them out. Most actually Drop Out.
There are lots of statistics out there but none specify Full Sail implicitly. The National average says that 30% of students who enroll will drop out before graduating. That is the National Average for students who have taken out Student Loans. It does not include students with scholarships or any other means of paying tuition.
I find the following Student Loan and Debt Statistics to be more reliable than listening to what the schools or even the many Government Departments are telling me.
Just have a look at the statistics. Student Loan Debt now exceeds 1 Trillion Dollars! That is more money than the entire Nation owes to credit card companies!
So, we have a National Average drop-out rate of 30% (Of those with Student Loans). That is a reliable number. To extrapolate that to an actual drop-out rate of somewhere between 40% and 50% would not be that unrealistic. Not when we add students that have paid their own tuition into the group.
Those are the statistics for the United States as a whole. Shocking.
Is Full Sail 'booting' their students?
If 40% are dropping out on their own, then I doubt that Full Sail are 'Booting' as many students as you think. Full Sail will do what they must to stay in business. It is not in their best interest to fail a load of students without just cause. I would expect them to do the opposite.
Is the failure rate really because of Full Sail?
I don't think you can blame Full Sail for the woes of students who fail. There are too many success stories to ignore (Despite the fact that many who succeed say they did it in spite of Full Sail).
Too many students make the mistake of either working a job while at Full Sail or neglecting their studies. Full Sail is guilty of taking on students they know could never possibly graduate or succeed in the Film Industry. That's where most the fault lay for the slow disappearance of your class-mates.