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The Academy of Art University

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I paid an enormous amount of money toNot so bright
I paid an enormous amount of money to go to AAU for three semesters, six classes online. The degree, Motion Picture and Television Production, costs a total of $120,000.00. The cost is exactly the same for a classroom student and an online student. Regardless of my having to pay $2,720.00 per class, I had to buy a $40 book here, or buy a $120 software program. In fact, they even make students pay $10.00 for an official transcript. Now, keep in mind that I am not taking up any space on campus, I am not sitting in a classroom, I am not engaging an instructor in front of the class, I am not using ANY facilities, I am sitting in front of MY computer using my electricity and my internet, my equipment, and I am on a website. Yet I have to pay the same amount of money as a campus student. On many occasions, I requested that they school tell me where all my money is going. That's a reasonable question to ask. The answer was ALWAYS eight I don't know or run around double speak, never a reasonable and direct answer. So I did a little research and here is what I found. The Academy of Art University is privately owned by the Stevens family who is also one of the largest property owners in San Francisco. San Francisco property values are second only to Manhattan. They own 40 buildings. The school does $300,000,000.00 in revenue every year. The family is worth a reported $800,000,000.00. Now it is becoming clear where all that money is going. I also found out that the university just settled with the City of San Francisco for a staggering $60,000,000.00 for code violations. They are also named in two class action lawsuits, one by former students for overinflated and dishonest after graduation job placement numbers, and a class-action lawsuit by instructors for unpaid overtime and improper compensation. The school will not buy a $40 book, but they will lie to students, and take advantage of instructors, and try to get away with breaking the law.
1st Year Female -- Class 1922
Education Quality: C, Faculty Accessibility: F
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It costs a lot to go here.Quite BrightFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
It costs a lot to go here. be ready for that. It's a good school and I don't regret going here. I do think that the student populations are not taught to work together as much as they should. More of a focus and expectation on collaboration should be fostered. I had a hard time finding people who were serious when I attended. I actually hired experienced crew for my projects because i got tired of the run around. The school also seems to foster arrogance and ego in the student body. It's left unchecked and everyone thinks they are the next Tarantino. Post AAU -I have tried very hard to use AAU graduates here in LA in my film projects with no success. I have been burned, let down and lied to by all of them. I have used many, but will no longer employ any AAU students EVER. In the end they are just too arrogant and egotistical. I have better success using USC/UCLA graduates. I also think the Alumni department is snooty and they just don't seem to care. I think this school fosters a lot of hype and pipe dreams at times. They won't help you get a job after you graduate. Not that I expected them to, but many others over the years have cried to me about it.
3rd Year Male -- Class 2007
Surrounding City: A+, Faculty Accessibility: B-
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Skip the outrageous tuition and attitudes and teachDesign Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Skip the outrageous tuition and attitudes and teach yourself art. Do tutorials from books, videos and internships. Travel. Read as much as you can about your field. Make things as much as you can even if you think they suck. If you have good examples of your work you can get hired at a job. Do freelance work. Don't let educational vultures with a slick title put you in crushing debt for little return. You don't need their "degree" and titles to be successful. Save your money, time and soul.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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The Academy of Art University
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