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lwilbourn
08-07-2011, 07:27 PM
Is Full Sail really as great as they make it out to be?

muskie4242
08-07-2011, 09:53 PM
Its not Gobelins in Paris. Its not Vancouver or Cal Arts. FS doesn't need a portfolio, and credentials for acceptance. If those schools are the Harvord and Oxford of animation, Full Sail is not. However, it is a very strong, up and coming, accelerated program. You will get a very good education there.

KrzysztofFus
08-07-2011, 10:51 PM
Im sure they provide a great education, but it is my strong opinion. As a working professional in the CG industry. That 21 months is not enough time to learn and create a portfolio strong enough to compete in this industry. I'd recommend the School of Visual Arts for CG and Ringling or Cal Arts for Animation.

dmiller892
09-07-2011, 08:11 PM
Hello, I'm a current Full Sail animation student and I'm about a year into the program. I gotta say I've gotten a great education so far. Like any other school if you work hard and give it your all your going to get a great education out of it. I cant speak for their other programs but from what I've experienced and seen the computer animation program is great and I'm loving every second of it.

muskie4242
09-07-2011, 09:46 PM
I just thought I would share this. Its not directly related, but I feel it offers a little information to the level of professionalism and quality you can expect from Full Sail.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6dj0yxwimC4#!

grundelboy
09-07-2011, 10:47 PM
Read this first before you enroll. :thumbsup:
http://www.thebestfilmschools.com/full-sail-scam.html

dmiller892
09-08-2011, 04:19 AM
Great find grundel, that site pretty much told it like it is. I think its kinda a shame that we get so much negative feedback when all I've seen and done is so far from the opposite.

jpatel
09-08-2011, 12:41 PM
Make sure you check what kind of accreditation they have. Last I new they did not have the same kind of accreditation as a regular 4 year college or university, so if you want to continue on with your education after Full Sail, the credits from Full Sail would not be accepted at other colleges. In Florida, SACS accreditation is what you want.

muskie4242
09-09-2011, 02:15 AM
Thats not entirely accurate. Classes may not transfer directly, but the bachelors of science degree that I have obtained in computer animation is absolutely accepted.

jpatel
09-09-2011, 11:40 AM
It could be that they have SACS accreditation now. I'm just telling the original poster to check on that. I knew a graduate from Full Sail several years ago that wanted to go on and get a MFA at a state university and couldn't because Full Sail didn't have the correct accreditation so their BS was not accepted. A lot of the Art Institutes have the same issue. It's just something to ask about. Some schools say they have accreditation, but they are accredited as trade schools, not colleges.

Ohmanoggin
09-09-2011, 03:58 PM
It could be that they have SACS accreditation now. I'm just telling the original poster to check on that. I knew a graduate from Full Sail several years ago that wanted to go on and get a MFA at a state university and couldn't because Full Sail didn't have the correct accreditation so their BS was not accepted. A lot of the Art Institutes have the same issue. It's just something to ask about. Some schools say they have accreditation, but they are accredited as trade schools, not colleges.

I had a friend in the same situation. The problem isn't accrediation, the problem is that Full Sail isn't recognized by CHEA which handles all the regions (I think 7 in the country). Florida universities and colleges that are accredidted by SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) is recognized by CHEA and therefore credits and degrees are "usually" transferable to all other regions of the country.

The problem with is Full Sail there accredited but not SACS, they use some other orgnization that mainly focuses on trades like hair styling and similar. Therefore, NOT ONE SINGLE CREDIT will transfer to any traditional university or college. Even if you got your bachelor's degree in a game developer's program, and took calculus, C++ and other heaving courses, it will make no difference to SACS schools or any other region covered by CHEA. Not one single credit will transfer. So if you are hoping to use any credits toward a computer science degree or use the bachelor's to get a masters at a university, you will be out of luck.

For anyone who disagrees, there is a simple way to confirm this. Pick any traditional school you like. Perhaps Univeristy of Florida, or your local community college. Call the "Admissions Department" and simply ask "I want to know if my credits and degree from Full Sail, located in Orlando Florida will transfer to your school. They have a list of all the schools they recognize and can give you a yes or no quickly.

There is still value in going to Full Sail. I am sure they offer some great training, but the bachelor degree's they offer are really only recognized by them. Employers that require a Bachelor's degree for ALL employees, usually accept them, but I fear that one day there will be a back lash on all these unrecognized diplomas.

P.S. Because the friend I was helping didn't believe me, I called the outfit that accredits Full Sail, and told them I was interested in transfering to a traditional college after graduation and would my credits transfer. They said, that if that was my intention, I should go ahead and go to a traditional college instead.

Ohmanoggin

ArtisticDave
09-09-2011, 07:31 PM
As a full sail graduate, I must say I did learn a lot, and I do work int he industry now, as a result of my education.. HOWEVER, because Full Sail requires no portfolio for acceptance, many believe you can simply be taught a program, and become an artist... My starting class was around 115 students, I graduated with 15 of them... They drop like flies.. If you DO NOT HAVE a STRONG traditional art background, and a sturdy foundation in art, meaning you've been attending art schools from the beginning of grade school, or just in general, equipped with a god given artistic talent, then Full Sail is probably not a good idea... In all honesty, their recruiters are sharks, they can and WILL tell you what you need to hear, to get that fat check from you.

I loved Full Sail, but I do NOT agree with how they do things... Because I had a strong artistic background, and years of experience in the digital arts before attending, I did very well I feel, but my friends, not so much. KNOW THIS... if you go to this school, and drop the $80,000-$105,000 to attend, go to every class, every open lab, lecture etc. Because if you don't your going to screw yourself in the end... this school does not require your time, it requires your life.. and you will be debt for nearly the rest of your life, depending on your financial situation of course. But I digress...

Its a good school, but the education is over priced, half the teachers are former students, which has its perks/ Positives-Negatives, and if your comfortable knowing your going to be herded through each class like a cattle, all the while becoming part of the education economic bubble..

if your focused and dedicated, this is a perfect school, to challenge yourself, and really persue your interests in this industry... BTW the teachers are all mad cool... but the policies they have to follow, suck.

-Proud Full Sail Graduate

SEchevarria
09-27-2011, 03:57 AM
I would have to agree with ArtisticDave. I am currently enrolled in Full Sail and he has hit the nail right on the head. This school is not for everyone and yes it is fairly expensive. When compared to schools such as Cal Art and Ringling the difference in the amount of fine art classes you receive are not enough ( you only have 3 true fine art classes).
But, if you are dedicated to this industry and are ready to sacrifice/ eat, breathe, sleep this industry then Full Sail could be a great school for you. I went to this school after a doing a lot of research in thee accelerated work flow and wanting to finish my education sooner. One thing I do know for a fact is going through these harsh schedules and ridiculous lab times I will be prepared for anything the industry will throw my way.

I am a firm believer in what you put into school is what you get out of it. So, if you show the drive to succeed and can understand the work ethic you will need to achieve this then you're golden at any institute you should choose.

Side Note: Full Sail does offer an extended program now that is 36 months. ( Which i believe should be the status quot for the Computer Animation program as someone said in an earlier post (the 21 months is not enough).

moleism
10-04-2011, 02:33 PM
job placement is horrible. I don't regret going there at all.. ok maybe a little since I think I could get more help at other schools. I've learned a lot but sadly it was from one or 2 teachers and the rest from tutorials (which you will do during labs). At lab we were told not to bother lab techs with questions unless you can't find the answer in your books or on line (pretty crappy deal when your classes are about one month long and you're wasting your time searching for answers). Costs too much but I guess they need all that money to get the hallways painted every other day (seriously).

All in all I would recommend anyone to go somewhere else, but then again $80k+ bought me the best contacts I could ever ask for....and a diploma i got a year after my graduation..

PS. Long live Larry Santaw :) best teacher ever who I believe no longer works there..

rhinton
10-04-2011, 06:06 PM
PS. Long live Larry Santaw :) best teacher ever who I believe no longer works there..

Larry Santaw was amazing! Alas, he does not teach there anymore.

I agree with most that has been said here, you've got to put a lot of effort in and out of your classes. Just getting a degree from there isn't going to make you a good artist, especially when you can pretty much learn everything you need from the web.
Also, Fullsail is still promoting more of their Recording Arts degree programs more than the Computer Animation program. All the upgrades and remodeling, from when I left, have been for RA, not CA. Which is very disappointing as CA needed a lot more labs for your work to be finished.

Look hard into which school you want to go to. If I could have done it over again, I would have done a 4 year Computer Animation program, not a 2 year. Two years just isn't enough time to generate enough quality work for the outside professional world. Some people did it, but they are very few, and dedicated every single night into producing "awesome".

Good luck with your decision.

Edit:
Forgot to mention...if you can prolong your decision, this school will be the better choice in the future. At least I hope so.

New School in the Southeast (http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/blog/2010/08/digital_domain_pitches_animation_college.html?page=all)

My decision for attending FS was mostly because I figured I didn't have 4 years to waste, I needed the education as fast as I could get it. Two years is tempting, but again, you've got to dedicate yourself.

CornColonel
10-22-2011, 02:04 AM
Yes, Full Sail is as good as they say.

Click here (http://fullsail.mylittlepwnies.com) for a full review.

Ohmanoggin
10-24-2011, 07:39 PM
Yes, Full Sail is as good as they say.

Click here (http://fullsail.mylittlepwnies.com) for a full review.

Corn Colonel,
Wow, I see you just joined this site and on your very first post you offer us a wonderful review on Full Sail. We'll, as long as we have a voucher (Steve Martin).

So let me get this straight…
He states he is going to Full Sail, and getting 4 year Game Developer bachelor degree in 2 years AND going to a traditional 4 year public universities at the SAME time where he is also getting his BS in Computer Science.

Does it not sound a little odd that his critque of public university is so low, and yet he is still going to one AT THE SAME TIME!!!? Just what courses would he want at a traditinal univesity? He states they are so “slow, dumbed-down, and dull? When I was a Mechanical Engineering student, I took 2 years of college calculus and and a year of physics, which the CS majors had to take too. I assure you NONE of us thought they were “slow, dumbed-down and dull”?

As I have already stated, Full Sail is accredited, but the accredidation is by Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT), which is for trade schools. That is fine, since art can be taught as a trade, but traditional universities and colleges do not recognize credits or degrees from programs like this. He states “To drive my point home, my regionally accredited university has had no problem accepting transfer credits for courses I’ve completed at Full Sail, so the whole case against Full Sail’s accreditation is moot.”

I would like to know just what he could transfer? Core classes like math and programming would not transfer unless they are recoginized by “The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools” (SACS) which traditional universities in the south use for accredidation. If they are not, they can’t transfer. So wouldn't that mean this guy would have to be taking redundant course work in his primary classes?

He might be able to petition a dean to give him credit for a couple of entry level courses, but there is no way any univeristy is going to let someone transfer junior or senior courses that they don’t recognize. So saying “no problem acceping transfer credits” appears to be misleading.

In closing I would like to point out that in the “JOB PROSPECTS” section he states “It's no secret that entertainment media in general is an extremely competitive industry. Much more so than any other industry. Maybe one of a thousand film students will "make it big" and become rich or famous. The rest might work at a failing video rental store. You KNOW this before you start. If you choose a dumb thing to major in, and expect everything to be spoonfed or handed to you on a silver platter, you will fail. You will be one of the disgruntled dropouts writing negative reviews.”

So, even he states that you might be spending $80,000 (plus 2 years living expenses) and wind up working at a video rental store. So, while I am sure Full Sail is a fine school, I am not getting a warm fuzzy from this guy. Perhaps find a review from someone who has actually finished their "diploma" from the school.

Just my two cents. I could be wrong.
Ohmanoggin

CornColonel
10-24-2011, 09:36 PM
That reviewer is me. The pasted excerpt was some guy I don't know. As a veteran, I have a lot of education benefits. I wanted to maximize the bang for my buck, so to speak. This is the reason for my concurrent enrollment at the public university. It's just for fun, as a side project. If I didn't have the benefits to do so much school at once, I would do only Full Sail.

To answer your first question, yes, compared to Full Sail, classes at public university do feel slow and dumbed down, even at advanced levels. I'm also sure the classes don't feel slow and dull for everyone. Many Full Sail students fail their classes because the pace is too fast. In their Game Development degree, there is an average 18% on-time graduation rate, so obviously not everyone is able to keep up. For me personally, I find the pace to be just right, and the pace of regular school to be slow. If you're an average lazy 18 year old, then regular school probably feels fast for you. I'm not, and it doesn't for me.

Most of the programming and machine architecture credits from Full Sail can be transferred to nearby Valencia or UCF without issue. The general ed courses (Composition I, Public Speaking, etc.,) also can be transferred out. Some of the game-specific stuff, such as the "Rules of the Game" or the "Game preproduction" classes cannot transfer to credit as an equivalent of anything Valencia or UCF has to offer. The math classes at Full Sail do not transfer out, because they are condensed math. It can, however, get me department approval to test out of the intermediate classes. For example, my Calculus and Trigonometry class at Full Sail taught most of Calc I, some of Calc II, and a little Trig. It is not sufficient to gain credit for Trig at my other school, but I do have the option of testing out of both Trig and Calc I. To fill electives, however, I chose to just take Trig and Calc again (education benefits make tuition a non-issue) and get an easy A in both since I'm already proficient at both. On the same token, Full Sail accepted transfer credits from all general ed classes I'd done at Valencia. They did not accept the programming credits, nor the Operating Systems credit, because the ones taught at Valencia did not meet the higher standard of those classes at Full Sail, and after taking those classes at both schools, I wholeheartedly agree with that. I do not dispute that not everything will transfer in or out. The majority of it will. As far as transferring from a Full Sail BS into a Master's at a regionally accredited university, that would be very tricky. It is possible, but I wouldn't recommend it. Mostly because if you hold a BS in Game Dev and you want a Master's, why not do the Game Design MS at Full Sail too?

As far as Full Sail's other programs, like Web Design, Computer Animation, Sound and Film, they all appear to be very good at teaching their respective fields. Of course, I am also of the opinion that 99% Film and Recording Arts students in general (not just at Full Sail) are idiots with a pipe dream. To spend borrowed money on training in a competitive industry during a recession is just bad decision-making. If film or music is truly your passion in life and nothing makes you happier, I say go for it. However, I do not believe most of these students have discovered their passion yet, and I think many of them have unrealistic expectations about their job prospects when they finish. Game programming is a tough industry, but with this degree you can still fall back on a decent living in general software development and maintenance, which is significantly easier to come by than a decent living in film or music. If you have to borrow money for school, and you want to be able to pay it back, I'd say avoid film and recording arts and do something realistic.

Ohmanoggin
10-25-2011, 03:25 PM
I was concerned that someone might try to hack your original link and change some stuff, so I thought it might be helpful to post it here, so you had a record of what it says.

Ohmanoggin
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Sail University: A comprehensive review by MSTK

Okay, the time has come for me to address all this misguided Full Sail blasting. I'm always blown away by people who have never even set foot in Full Sail and know nothing about the school, but choose to say Full Sail is a scam and to make asinine speculations about it anyway. There seems to be a slew of negative reviews on Full Sail that have been spammed all over the place, and from what I can gather, by the same handful of disgruntled drop-outs and parents of troglodytic flunkies. I see a lot of young aspiring students in various forums inquire about Full Sail with regard to their film, audio, game design, art, and computer animation dreams. Most of these inquiries are met with caustic remarks that range from mild derision to outright scorn and blatant misrepresentation, coming from a small group of people with little to no actual personal experience with Full Sail or any of its students. This little review of mine is intended to correct the misinformation spread by the irate and the ignorant, and to provide accurate answers to those still curious about the prospect of attending this school.

First I'll start by sharing what credentials I have to make the assertions I do. I’ve gone to college in the past, my first year being in 2000 at a 4-year university in Missouri (I also spent some time at Valencia College and UF). In those days, I wasn't yet sure of what career path I wanted to take. I had a lot of interests, and dabbled in several of them educationally. I worked in IT (some repair, some database), for a few years until I decided that I was unable to find focus and needed to do something solid with my life. I joined the US Army. In my last year of service, I discovered my true passion in life, which dissuaded me from reenlisting. Once my service was complete, I chose to make a career-change into programming. I’m now currently enrolled in the Game Dev BS program. I’m also concurrently attending public university (Computer Programming AS from Valencia College transfer to Electrical Engineering in Robotics BS). I maintain a 4.0 GPA in both. I feel I have enough exposure to both traditional public college and Full Sail University to write an objective analysis between the two. This has been my experience so far.

ACCREDITATION
One of the things I hear most often is that Full Sail isn’t accredited. This is not true. Most public universities are regionally accredited by one of several regional accreditation agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education. Full Sail is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, which is also recognized by the Department of Education, and which you can learn more about by visiting the Department of Education government website. This is because Full Sail is a trade school. At trade school, you learn how to perform a job. There is very little general education required. All this means is the criteria for transferring credits between Full Sail and a regionally accredited school differs slightly from the criteria for transferring credits between two regionally accredited schools. You would face the same issues in transferring credits from a school accredited by one regional accreditation agency (such as the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges) to a school accredited by a different regional accreditation agency (such as the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges). To say that Full Sail is not accredited is, quite frankly, a lie. As far as employers go, it makes no difference what accreditation your school has, so long as it is officially recognized by the Department of Education. To drive my point home, my regionally accredited university has had no problem accepting transfer credits for courses I’ve completed at Full Sail, so the whole case against Full Sail’s accreditation is moot.

ADMINISTRATION
This is one I'm willing to yield to the critics. Full Sail’s administrative offices are my biggest complaint, as the various departments tend to have trouble communicating and coordinating with each other. It took several weeks, as well as escalation to higher management, for them to figure out my VA benefits, FAFSA eligibility, billing, transfer credit, etc. My student advisor has been the only person so far who seems to be on top of their game. Without her, the already grueling process of sorting out all these issues would have been nothing short of a nightmare. However, once all my administrative stuff was taken care of it, somewhere during my 2nd month of class, it was smooth sailing thereafter.

INSTRUCTORS & CURRICULUM
The teaching staff has been great. Every instructor I’ve had has been knowledgeable, experienced, available, and easy to learn from. You don't have to take my word for it, as they have the high ratings on ratemyprofessor.com to back it up. Even the lab techs are extremely knowledgeable, personable, and available. The material is also great. Very little time is wasted on irrelevant general ed courses, leaving only those which actually benefit you in the field (Composition, Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, etc.), and the rest is all core training. I have nothing negative to report on any of the instructors so far. On the contrary, they actually seem much more personable and accessible, willing to provide their patience and understanding to help students learn. This is in stark contrast to the cold and distant attitude of probably 80% of the instructors I dealt with in other schools.

COMPARISON: PUBLIC UNIVERSITY
As previously mentioned, I’m attending Full Sail and a nearby public university at the same time, and doing this has made me realize just how much I love Full Sail. Education at a traditional public university feels so slow, dumbed-down, and dull. Doing 6 classes at a time, none of which are zeroed in enough on the topics they are supposed to teach, and having those same classes for 3-4 months straight tends to leave me scattered, unfocused, and bored. A year of college left me feeling like I had the same level of expertise as I did before I started. Then public school has the added stressors of hoping the class you need next is scheduled to run next semester, hoping you can register for it in time before it fills, figuring out which book (the one on the website or the one in the syllabus) is the right one for your class, finding and buying that book before class starts, and often having to attend different campuses all over town to get the class you need. Half the time the instructors have very little involvement with the class and are only at the school for their own research projects, are inaccessible, and have poor teaching practices as reflected in their ratings. Tutors sometimes cost money too. Parking decals run about $80 a term. There are some student success programs, but I’ve never seen much recruiting done on campus at any of the public colleges I’ve attended, especially not from any of the larger well-known companies. A 2-3 hour class drags on painfully when I'm sitting there bored checking the clock every 2 minutes.

COMPARISON: FULL SAIL
By contrast, at Full Sail I focus on one or two classes at a time, delve deep into the subject, and learn so much more in a single 1-month class than I learn in six 4-month classes at public school. I mean that literally. My first 1-month long programming class taught me more than I’d learned in a year of programming in public school. My scheduling is done automatically. My books are issued to me before each new class, so there is no hassle of finding and buying them, plus they are all brand new. All my core classes are in one building. Laptops with the appropriate software pre-installed are issued during orientation week. Tutors are available for free. Classes failed can be retaken for free. Even classes passed can be retaken for free. You’re (usually) free to sit in on any class in the program if you have the free time and desire to do so. Parking is free. I’ve personally witnessed representatives from AMD, ATI, Google, and EA recruiting on-campus. An 8-hour class blasts by in the blink of an eye, sometimes before I’m even ready to leave.

To summarize in a side-by-side comparison:
Public University
Full Sail University

Take 3-6 classes at a time.
Take 4 years to graduate.
Classes are slow and dumbed down.
Hope the class you need is available next semester.
Hope you register for class in time before it fills.
Figure out which book you need, then find and buy it before class.
Attend various campuses all over town to get the class you need.
Aloof attitude from instructors.
Tutors cost money.
Work-study pays minimum wage.
Parking decals run about $80 a term.
Scant recruiting on campus.
Start/stop at any time, transfer in and out.
Curriculum offers a vague understanding of your chosen field.
Possible to skirt by on the minimum and graduate with little proficiency.
Pay to retake failed classes.
Pay to retake passed classes (for refresher).
Sit in on future classes in your program generally not allowed.
No professionalism standards.
On-campus housing.
Surrounded by bimbos and wanna be thugs.
Math entrance exam will accept as low as pre-algebra.


Take 1-2 classes at a time.
Take 2 years to graduate.
Classes are fast-paced and delve in deep.
The class you need is always running.
Scheduling is automatic, not competitive.
Books are new, and issued at the start of each class.
All core classes are in one building, all classes on one campus.
Instructors are courteous, patient, and accessible.
Tutors are free.
Work-study pays $10 an hour.
Parking is free.
Several large companies recruit on campus.
Expect to keep going until you finish. Transferring is tricky.
Curriculum offers indepth expertise of your chosen field.
Not possible to progress without proficiency.
Retake failed classes for free.
Retake any passed class for free, any time.
Sit in on future classes in your program generally allowed.
GPS point program tracks your professionalism in school.
No on-campus housing available.
Surrounded by wanna be producers, very few females.
Math entrance exam requires college-level algebra and trigonometry.

EXPENSE
Full Sail is expensive. This is true. However, it's not so much more expensive than other schools as you may have been told by the previously mentioned troglodytes. My Game Dev BS costs around $80,000 total in tuition and fees. That may sound like a lot of tuition for less than 2 years (if you don't fail any classes) of school. That part is true. But what's often forgotten here is the fact that this 2 years covers a 4-year degree. That's 2 years worth of living expenses you save. Depending on what your living expenses run, that alone could make up for the high tuition. Your tuition and fees also cover all of your books, brand new, issued to you at the start of each class. No fussing about books. It covers parking. No fussing about decals. It covers tutors. No fussing about help. It covers your laptop. No fussing about equipment and software. It covers retakes. No fussing about failed classes. Oh yeah, and it's worth mentioning again, TWO YEARS OF LIVING EXPENSES saved.

JOB PROSPECTS
All I can say on this topic is how tired I am of hearing people blame their schools for their inability to get a job. No matter what school you graduate from, that school does not control the job market. If they could, I'm sure they would. It is your responsibility to exercise due diligence before committing to a major life decision like your educational and career path. It's up to you to choose the degree you want. If you pay a school for an education, they will give it to you. It doesn't matter how stupid your chosen major is. If your school offers a degree in Women's Studies or Weasel Poop and you choose it, they will give it to you. What you do with it once you leave their doors is all on you, not them. It's no secret that entertainment media in general is an extremely competitive industry. Much more so than any other industry. Maybe one of a thousand film students will "make it big" and become rich or famous. The rest might work at a failing video rental store. You KNOW this before you start. If you choose a dumb thing to major in, and expect everything to be spoonfed or handed to you on a silver platter, you will fail. You will be one of the disgruntled dropouts writing negative reviews. Choose the education you want wisely, and take responsibiliy for yourself instead of blaming Full Sail, the government, Obama, Big Oil, Islam, or whatever other ignorant crap you people try to push your failures onto.

For a quick case study of the job situation, here's a snippet from http://forum.freelanceswitch.com/topic.php?id=10936&page=2 (http://forum.freelanceswitch.com/topic.php?id=10936&page=2)
http://www.mylittlepwnies.com/FS/FSworthit.png

PERSONAL PREFERENCE
To illustrate just how much I value the quality of my Full Sail education, as a veteran, my education benefits would pay for me to attend any public school I want 100% free. To attend Full Sail, however, I have to spend several thousands out of pocket, because the VA pays private schools much less. I chose Full Sail anyway, and I couldn’t be happier with that choice.

RECOMMENDATION
On a final note, I do want to stress what others have said, that if you don’t really know what your passion is, and you don’t have a strong work ethic, then Full Sail will be too fast, focused, and demanding for you. If you "just want to make phat beats," if you think you should do game dev because you "like to play a lot of games," if you want to be a "famous Hollywood director," or any other half-assed pipe dreams, then you shouldn't be blowing an $80,000 load on your overdue wake-up call into reality. If you have a true, deeply founded personal passion, I mean PASSION for it - when no matter how much you do it it never gets old, you constantly crave more of it, you don't go in and out of phases of it every year - then Full Sail is a place where you can dabble in your fantasy and start a future working toward it.

Ohmanoggin
10-25-2011, 03:47 PM
CornColonel,
You stated:
“As a veteran, I have a lot of education benefits. I wanted to maximize the bang for my buck, so to speak. This is the reason for my concurrent enrollment at the public university. It's just for fun, as a side project. If I didn't have the benefits to do so much school at once, I would do only Full Sail.”

I am impressed that the GI bill will contribute tuition at two schools at once.

Thanks for updating your original review. Yesterday, the review said you were taking Computer Science at UCF. Now it says Electrical Engineering in robotics. Wow, since I went to engineering school too, and know how hard we had to study and how dedicated we had to be, I am amazed that someone could do such a rigourous program at Full Sail AND study engineering at the same time. I am really impressed.

I am still a little puzzled though…
You state: “The math classes at Full Sail do not transfer out, because they are condensed math.” You say they cover Calc I, some Calc II and little Trig.

Assuming Calc I and Calc II means Differential and Integral Calculus. I am absolutely blown away by the fact that you could get an easy A in Calc I and Trig after only having studied them for 4 week (one month) in courses that you say are “condensed”. I always thought condensed ment they leave stuff out. I guess those focused, intense courses must really pay off.

I am also equally blown away by the fact that you could use these two courses as ELECTIVES in an engineering program. I was always under the impression that Trig was a prerequisite (usually taken in High School) for Calculus, and Calculus was a core course that ALL engineering students must take. My school screwed us over by making us take electives that were not part of the required course work. I chose an extra course in Linear Algebra and another in Statistics.

You state:
“As far as transferring from a Full Sail BS into a Master's at a regionally accredited university, that would be very tricky. It is possible, but I wouldn't recommend it. Mostly because if you hold a BS in Game Dev and you want a Master's, why not do the Game Design MS at Full Sail too?”

If you locate ONE, just one master’s program outside of Full Sail that will accept your bachelor’s degree as their prerequisitve, please post who they are. It is okay if it is “tricky”, as long as it can be done.

Just curious. The price of the bachelor’s degree in Game Development is $80,000. Just what is the price of the Master’s Degree at Full Sail? Please be gentle. :D


Ohmanoggin

CornColonel
10-25-2011, 05:14 PM
That was my bad. I changed it when you said Computer Science. I was originally doing a Computer Programming AS transfer to Computer Science BS at UCF, but I later decided to do Robotics instead. I'm no longer working toward a Computer Science BS because the curriculum was useless for me and I'd like to do robotics as a fun side project. I could retake Trig and Calc I as electives to complete a 2-year degree at Valencia because Valencia doesn't require anything beyond College Algebra, not even for Programming. The BS requires these courses OR department approval (testing out), but testing out does not give me credit. Since I am still required to have a certain amount of math credits for the BS AND they can be used as electives in the AS, I chose to just redo the ones I already know for an easy A instead of testing out and doing more advanced math in the BS.

The GI Bill will pay for two schools at the same time, but only under certain conditions (if the classes at the secondary school will transfer into the degree at the primary school, or if you're pursuing two related degrees at the same school but taking some of the classes at outside schools). I do pay for some of my education out of pocket, but the amount is negligible. Since I'm technically unemployed while attending school (apparently my property rental income either isn't high enough or doesn't count), I am still eligible to receive other federal education benefits such as the Pell Grant that I could use to pay for gaps in tuition if I needed to.

Yes you are right. Before going to Full Sail, the highest math I had completed was College Algebra in public school. I had low math-self-esteem, so I was procrastinating the advanced maths for as long as possible (and the Programming degree at public school didn't require anything beyond MAC1105). I jumped straight from College Algebra into Calculus with Trigonometry. While I feel I am a fast learner when it comes to programming, I am not quite so fast at learning math. I'm good at it once I do learn it, but math takes a LOT more effort for me to learn. I won't lie, it hurt. Luckily, that was the only class I had that month, and it met 8 hours a day for 2 days a week. I spent 6 hours a day after school doing the homework, for a grand total of 14 straight hours of math on school days. Then I spent another good 6-10 hours a day working on it on non-school days. I got a 78 on my first test in that class, which is the lowest grade I've ever gotten on anything in my life. I dedicated the vast majority of my waking hours to doing math, and managed an A on all subsequent tests, and a 100 on the final exam. Yes, some people are capable of acing that class in a month little work put into it (I sat next to a kid that could do calculus problems that took me 2 pages of writing to do, all in his head). Some people, like me, are only capable of acing it with a LOT of work and dedication. And of course some people simply can't learn that much math in that amount of time, as many failed that class.

I don't know which of Full Sail's BS programs can transfer into a MS at which universities, since 1) I have no interest in a Master's related to Game Development and 2) I don't know what every university has to offer. The only reason I know it's possible is because some of the lab assistants in my early classes were Full Sail grads who were working on an outside Master's. One was in Computer Science at UCF, I don't know what any of the others were. Personally, if I wanted to pursue a MS, I would do Full Sail's MS. What that costs, however, I'm not sure. It is listed on their site, but I'm too lazy to look at it right now. I think it was something like $30,000 for the 1-year program.

The whole accreditation issue isn't really an issue for most people. Full Sail tends to accept most incoming regionally-accredited general ed and math credits, and Full Sail is not designed to be abandoned halfway through and transferred elsewhere. If you go to Full Sail, you go because you plan to finish there. If transferring to an outside Master's after Full Sail is a concern, I would recommend researching those possibilities prior to enrolling at Full Sail to make sure everything will work out for you with limited redundancy. If you can't find something that works to your liking, then maybe you shouldn't go to Full Sail, or maybe you should re-evaluate your educational goals.

Anyway, the purpose of my review was to lay to rest some of the misconceptions about Full Sail that have been propagated by people who base their knowledge off someone else's review. There are a small handful of people who have been spamming negative reviews of Full Sail EVERYWHERE. These people include: one 50-year old woman (Nancy Ford) who failed out of the film program and claims to be a film industry professional in some places (in other places she claims to be a school teacher), one mother of a recording arts fail-out, and one recording arts grad who is upset that he didn't get a high-paying job after graduation. These people have reposted their reviews on every Full Sail review page, comment board, and youtube video on the internet.

I've seen forums where potential students ask about Full Sail, and other random people who have no knowledge whatsoever link them to some of these reviews saying "sounds like a scam, I would avoid it," and other such nonsense. When I was researching Full Sail before enrolling, I was a almost scared away by all the negative reviews and negative comments based on those negative reviews. Now I'm glad I didn't let the comments of a few ignorant people sway my decision. I want to make sure these gross misrepresentations don't influence anyone else either.

In my second programming class, there were two students who stood out to me. One was a guy who I swear had to be borderline autistic or something. He was about 400 lbs, regularly picked things off his head and arms and ate them, hiccuped to get attention, and frequently made retarded sounding groans, grunts, and shouts, and spastic arm movements. He was a huge distraction and everyone in the class hated him. He failed both his classes that month, so fortunately for the rest of us, he won't end up on any of our teams later in the program. The other student is a female who said she had already taken the first two programming classes at Full Sail before, got caught cheating and got kicked out. She said in order to be allowed back at Full Sail, she had to take programming classes at an outside college for a certain amount of time (I can't remember of it was a year or a semester). Apparently she did, and was also required to retake these classes her second time at Full Sail. She failed the second programming class again. I overheard her talking to her friend about it, and her scathing remarks about the school I'm sure would eventually make their way into an online review.

The two students above can be found in any school. There is always someone who is too lazy to stay awake in class, too dumb to major in a scientific field, or too inept keep up with their studies. Of course their reviews are going to have a negative bias, because nobody wants to admit their own failures when it's so much easier to just blame the school, the teacher, or anything else. I wanted to provide my first-hand experience and knowledge so that others can make informed decisions based on real facts, not on some disgruntled drop-out's complaint. Full Sail is a great school, but it is not for everyone nor for every purpose. I can't stress enough how important due diligence is when making educational plans. You can't let Full Sail's flashy appearance and fancy tours coax you into paying tuition you can't afford for an education that can't get a job that will pay it back. You also can't let random people on the internet talk you out of a quality education just because Full Sail is different.

That is all.

CornColonel
10-25-2011, 10:53 PM
UPDATE: I added a section about billing, since I see a lot of mentions about being billed for the entire program even if you quit after a month. In reality, you pay for a full term, and just like in public school, you don't get your tuition back if you withdraw in the middle of the term. I have a copy of one of my enrollment documents somewhere that covers refunds for terms that I never started, so if I can locate that document I'll upload a shot of that section too.

rhinton
10-26-2011, 03:05 PM
I believe one major flaw to this thread is, the poster didn't state what course they had in mind when attending Full Sail.

But I'll post my opinions again as well, take your quotes and update them a little bit. Again, this is just from my experience.

"Full Sail’s administrative offices are my biggest complaint, as the various departments tend to have trouble communicating and coordinating with each other."

I will completely agree with this. I went for Computer Animation and toward the end of the program some classmates and I took a ridiculous course that we felt was not necessary for our education. We tried speaking with some office officials about this, but you could never get a hold of anyone. Not even when you showed up there in person. It was some philosophy course/team building. Basically how to work with others but it was a waste of time and money. (Most of us were older students and understood how to work well with others.)
We wanted to voice our opinions and get our money back, and later found out the person teaching this course was an Executive at the school who formed the course and we believe to justify her position at the school. I'm not going to lie, we played kickball outside. :surprised
This was not why I wanted to go to Full Sail and I didn't want to waste $1,000+ in my tuition money to do that nonsense. It was a shame it was so late in the program and I had no idea that course was coming up (as they were always playing with the schedule and still trying to find a correct balance in what courses to teach). Along with kickball was rock climbing and other outdoor activities.
We thought the lady got a kick (ha!) out of seeing computer geeks running around trying to catch a ball, like we were on some type of comedy show. Horrible.

Full Sail 2011 Course List Catalog (http://www.fullsail.edu/alfresco/ROOT/Shared%20Content/_Media/pdf-downloads/FSUnivCampusCatalog_2011web.pdf)

Looking at the above link, it looks like they have changed that course to a Public Speaking course now. Which I hope is nothing like what I had to deal with. Really fires me up just thinking about it.


"The teaching staff has been great. Every instructor I’ve had has been knowledgeable, experienced, available, and easy to learn from."

The teaching staff that you've explained are excellent. I have no complaints.
When I was attending they were all very knowledgeable and loved to help out.
On the other hand, you've got to look out for the lab instructors. Some of those guys are interning at Full Sail and don't really care to help you out or have egos of their own and think they are much high and mightier than you. I had to put one in his place as I got tired of his little attitude toward others and myself. He said he learned his lesson, but I heard from later graduates he was still a jerk.


"Classes failed can be retaken for free. Even classes passed can be retaken for free. You’re (usually) free to sit in on any class in the program if you have the free time and desire to do so."

If you fail for attendance, you will not be able to retake a course for free.
If you fail the first time for bad grades, you will be able to retake the course for free.
If you fail a second time for bad grades, I believe it is in their practice to charge full price for that specific course.
If you fail a third time you are put on probation and will not be able to come back for awhile. I think they even charge you more money than just specific course cost to come back in.

If you want to sit in a course after you graduate, you have to be able to attend that courses' hours. Lets say you have a 8:00am - 5:00pm EST job. If a course you'd like to take is at 9:00a - 1:00pm for the lecture and 2:00pm - 6:00pm for the lab, I've been told you have to attend those course hours just to sit in. You have to sign up and take the full scheduled hours.
It's not just a walk in, sit down, and leave whenever you want type of deal.
If that was the case, they'd have no order in the classroom setting. Students attending would be confused and would not pay attention while people come and go through the door.
So good luck retaking courses if you've got a real job.


"Mostly because if you hold a BS in Game Dev and you want a Master's, why not do the Game Design MS at Full Sail too?"

Full Sail Masters Tuition Link (http://www.fullsail.edu/admissions/tuition)

Why take the Masters? I sure wouldn't want to waste another $32,000 in getting a Masters degree there. You'll probably have to take out more student living expense money as well, so maybe add another $10,000 - $20,000 to that. You're looking at another $52,000.
And from your first BS degree there, you've already racked up a good $90,000 - $110,000 if you had to take out living expense loans.

You've stated it's accredited based on trade school rules, and I believe you're correct. A friend of mine did the research on it and basically it's an accreditation that a taxidermy school would get.
If you don't get a Masters at Full Sail after your Bachelors, then it's going to be hard to get a Masters anywhere else without having to take a lot more additional courses.


"Game programming is a tough industry, but with this degree you can still fall back on a decent living in general software development and maintenance, which is significantly easier to come by than a decent living in film or music."

Very true!
I know some people that knew programming before going into Full Sail. They are doing excellent!
They know what they were doing going in and coming out they were more knowledgeable in the world of the game industry. Plus if you can't get a job in the game industry doing programming, you can use those skills else where.



I haven't posted much on here, but it seems like I usually do so about Full Sail.
As much as I liked going there, liked my professors and peers, I don't know if I can fully recommend it.
There are much cheaper ways of getting this type of education. Digital Tutors, Animation Mentor, the list can get long with online tutorials and classes.
If I could do it over, I wouldn't have attended. I would have saved the money and bought a house.

Sure I've learned some valuable skills, but it all comes down to how much time you put into your work and portfolio pieces.
I can say that from experience, and I should have listened to my community college professor about that before attending Full Sail.

CornColonel
10-26-2011, 06:34 PM
I've never failed a class at Full Sail, so my knowledge on how that works is based on what my student adviser has told me, and what I've seen other students go through when they did fail. From what I can gather, and this information could be erroneous, is this:

If you fail for attendance, yes you have to pay to retake the class (unless it was excused, such as time spent in the hospital or something). That's a given, because why let you reserve a seat in a class you're too lazy to show up for?

If you fail for grades, you retake the class for free, without having a second class that month to distract you.

If you fail again, you get kicked out of the program (probation), at which point (this is where my information is shady, based only on what other people claim they had to do when they failed twice) you are required to attend programming classes (or whatever class you failed) somewhere else for a certain amount of time (1 semester or 1 year, can't remember which), then you will be allowed back at Full Sail to retake the class for free. If you fail it twice again, I think you are removed from the program permanently. If you paid for any terms ahead, you get refunded your tuition for them (not for the term you're in though - which is still quite costly).

Again, this is mostly hearsay. I've known several people who failed classes once and retook them for free. I've only known one person who failed twice and came back and told us about it, and they ended up failing their first attempt back at Full Sail again, and they are apparently retaking the class this month. I don't know what will happen if they fail it again, but I THINK they get kicked out of that degree program for good.

Anyway, as far as my "why not just do the MS at Full Sail" comment, I just figured if you could afford Full Sail's BS, I don't see how the MS could be too much more trouble for you. Anyway, you did the Compuater Animation degree? If you don't mind me asking, when did you go, and how was it? Was it as good as I'm finding the Game Dev program to be (freaking fantastic)? I've seen some stuff from the Computer Animation students here and it looks pretty awesome. If I wasn't so in love with programming I'd have been tempted to go for that degree.

rhinton
10-26-2011, 08:30 PM
I graduated in 2009, so it hasn't been too terribly long ago, however looking at their new course schedule it's changed a bit.
A lot of my professors that I looked up to are gone and onto other things, which is excellent, and I hope any new professors teaching are up to the pedigree I was taught under.

I liked it, but for the price, don't know if it was worth it. All that money came out of my pocket.
Having been to several other colleges, I was ready for the challenge that Full Sail offered. And at the beginning I was still working a full time job, then dropped down to part time, then just school as it all got a lot harder with deadlines on projects.
There is a class I failed, it was rigging. It was a rough time because of late hours working on other things, then having to get up for lectures early, then having the rigging test based on memory with no notes. It's a boot camp in some aspects.
Am I ashamed, nope. Did I get Valedictorian of my class? No, and honestly, who cares about that title? I was there to learn and I didn't understand rigging, so it looked like I needed to go through it again (I don't like rigging by the way :) and will need a book or tutorial again if I approach it for complicated character rigs).
Also I got deducted a letter grade because I didn't draw a darker outline on my 2D piece of artwork. I'm really not over exaggerating this.
Isn't art in the eye of the beholder? Just like beauty?
Then I see another student's artwork that looked like something a 4 year child produced and I just shook my head and was glad I was almost done with the whole thing. That was in my Historical Archetypes and Mythology course. I did approached them about this later, but to no avail. They said that's the grade you got without much discussion.

I know several that failed out, some didn't return, another did and they had to pay a lot of money to get back in. Like you said, they drop like flies.
Sometimes though you've got things in life that just happen and you might fail for attendance. Everyone has different issues that may pop up, it might not be because someone is lazy.

Maybe if attending and investing so much money, one should wear a Nerf suit, and drive a Nerf car just so you don't get in an accident going to and from school.

I'm grateful for learning new things, but I do want people to know that you can learn most 3D aspects through other means besides an expensive school.

Ohmanoggin
10-26-2011, 09:36 PM
CornColonel,

You stated:

"I don't know which of Full Sail's BS programs can transfer into a MS at which universities, since 1) I have no interest in a Master's related to Game Developmentand 2) I don't know what every university has to offer.

The only reason I know it's possible is because some of the lab assistants in my early classes were Full Sail grads who were working on an outside Master's. One was in Computer Science at UCF, I don't know what any of the others were. Personally, if I wanted to pursue a MS, I would do Full Sail's MS. What that costs, however, I'm not sure. It is listed on their site, but I'm too lazy to look at it right now. I think it was something like $30,000 for the 1-year program."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Are you sure your instructors used a Full Sail bachelor degree as their prerequisite for a "Master's" program at UCF?

Like I said before, it is simple to call admissions at any school and ask about transferring credits and degrees. I went ahead and called graduate admissions at UCF and they said exactly what I have been saying. You can't use a bachelor's degree that is not regionally accredited to enroll in a graduate program, and this definitely includes the Computer Science department.

Sorry,
Ohmanoggin

CornColonel
10-26-2011, 10:59 PM
Yes, I am sure. He did mention that he had to make a lot of phone calls and appeals and fussing to get it his way because of the accreditation. Sorry I can't provide more detail than that, I only knew the guy for a month and only talked to him maybe 3 times. Your questions are the same ones I had at the time because I thought it would be near impossible to transfer into a regional MS program from a Full Sail degree, so I asked about it and this is all I was told. Again, just hearsay, I have no idea what the process would actually be for doing what he was doing. It's also worth mentioning that this guy was already a month away from graduating from the Full Sail MS in Game Design, so I don't know if he just transferred enough credits, did the two degrees concurrently like I am, or what. Unless I run into him again, it will remain mystery to me. With me personally, my electrical engineering is completely separate from my game development. At most, I might transfer out some credits from Full Sail to fill any possible electives, but I don't expect nor care to do a MS in either of them. If I did, I'd do Full Sail's MS.

rhinton
10-27-2011, 01:33 PM
Wanted to comment on this as well for anyone thinking of doing 3D Animation instead of Programming.

"Laptops with the appropriate software pre-installed are issued during orientation week."

They will not be pre-installed with all the tools you need. They might still be doing the Adobe Creative Suite, but that's pretty much it.
We pleaded for 3D software, and especially with how much you're paying, you should get it.
The lab computers, on campus, have Maya, maybe some versions of Max, but I believe they have switched over to XSI since I've been gone.
You'll want to use your lab hours very wisely if you choose to attend.

You can also download software from Autodesk, taken from their site:

Autodesk FAQ (http://students.autodesk.com/?nd=community_faq#useofsoftware)
Does the software that I get on the Education Community “timeout” after a period of time?
Yes. The software you get from the Autodesk Education Community comes with a 36 month license.

Ohmanoggin
10-27-2011, 09:49 PM
Yes, I am sure. He did mention that he had to make a lot of phone calls and appeals and fussing to get it his way because of the accreditation. Sorry I can't provide more detail than that, I only knew the guy for a month and only talked to him maybe 3 times. Your questions are the same ones I had at the time because I thought it would be near impossible to transfer into a regional MS program from a Full Sail degree, so I asked about it and this is all I was told. Again, just hearsay, I have no idea what the process would actually be for doing what he was doing. It's also worth mentioning that this guy was already a month away from graduating from the Full Sail MS in Game Design, so I don't know if he just transferred enough credits, did the two degrees concurrently like I am, or what. Unless I run into him again, it will remain mystery to me. With me personally, my electrical engineering is completely separate from my game development. At most, I might transfer out some credits from Full Sail to fill any possible electives, but I don't expect nor care to do a MS in either of them. If I did, I'd do Full Sail's MS.

CornColonel,
Sorry to keep brining up this issue, but there is no way anyone can get into a Master's program at UCF using their Full Sail degree as their prerequisite. It would make no difference if they are already in the Full Sail Master's program or even completed it. All the phone calls and fussing in the world will not get be enough. I am concerned the instructor was not being completely truthful with you.

To me it is kind of big deal to verify transferring credits and degrees. People, yourself included, are paying a lot of money for training from Full Sail. If they or anyone who represents them (including instructors) says there is no problem transfering credits and degrees, then they need to back it up. Promises (or hearsay) are not good enough at the prices they are asking.

I realize you have no interest in doing so, but what about other students? As you have already stated, the job market is pretty tough with no garantees of any job. In this wacky world, some people actually want to use the credits and degrees they earn and continue their education at another institution- Especially after paying so much for such an education.

Ohmanoggin

CornColonel
10-27-2011, 10:53 PM
I am concerned the instructor was not being completely truthful with you.

Thanks for your concern. As mentioned, it was a lab assistant who was about to graduate from the Full Sail MS in Game Design, not an instructor. I have no reason to believe he was lying. If anything, he has just as much reason to inform others of problems as you or I do. He may have simply had enough transfer credit to only have to spend a little time at UCF before earning that MS. I don't know, and don't really care. Regardless, the fact remains that the majority of FS classes (in my program) transfer into credit at the nearby regionally-accredited schools. If it means I only need to spend 1 year at public school instead of 4 to end up with both degrees, well that's just swell.

I realize you have no interest in doing so, but what about other students?
To that I will refer you to my previous post in which I mentioned exercising due diligence before making an educational commitment. No information is hidden from you, and no information has been misrepresented for as long as I've been here at least. If you want to spend an extra 3 years on inferior training (in software development at least, can't speak for the other programs) at a public school, by all means go. I'm not trying to talk anyone out of that. On the contrary, I wish it was possible to vote some people off the island and back to a slower-paced public school where they belong.

What I can't figure out is why people are so hung up on the ability to transfer at all. It makes no sense to approach the idea of going to Full Sail with some preconceived plan to abandon the program before finishing it. That's like getting a BS in creative writing with plans to advance into a MS in astronomy. You should know your plan BEFORE you execute any part of it. I can't imagine why anyone would want to go to Full Sail without finishing their education there. Here's my simple solution: If you don't know what education you want, don't commit to one at Full Sail (or any other trade school). If you're so fickle that you think you might want to change majors, change schools, or transfer credits all over the place, stick to a system that supports such a whimsical education, and stay in public school.

On a side note, I'm about to start tutoring Game Dev students in C++. Maybe I'll get to find out from the failed students more about the how probation works at Full Sail.

Bitter
10-28-2011, 02:03 AM
The teaching staff that you've explained are excellent. I have no complaints.

After having taught there and knowing many people who are still there, I can say many of them are passionate and knowledgeable. Unlike many tenured professors at Universities that backup to a paycheck, many of these instructors work hard to stay current. I'm glad to hear that many of them have good reputations even outside the school.

But the caveat to that is: Your money doesn't really go to the instructors. :sad:

Professors at a public institution make nearly twice that. Non-terminal degree instructors make $20k-$30k more annually as well. So please be nice to them and understand they are going to be hard on you for a reason sometimes. (I was constantly told in student reviews I was mean as Hell.)

And as a side note, education is expensive. (duh) Graduating with as little debt as possible is best. The industry does not pay the salary it used to pay even 10 years ago. And you will have a harder time finding jobs where benefits are included.

rhinton
10-28-2011, 07:03 PM
But the caveat to that is: Your money doesn't really go to the instructors. :sad:

I was actually thinking about that as I was typing some things together. When I got wind of how much the instructors were making, I was pretty disappointed.
It made me think, 'Why let a good educator go when you can at least pay him/her what they might be making at a studio?'

With the amount of knowledge that one has to learn every time there might be an update in a specific software or some new tool being created to use in the industry and then taught back to the students, it's a bit crazy.

I think our United States educational system as a whole is to blame, but I'll keep away from that topic.

Ohmanoggin
10-28-2011, 07:15 PM
CornColonel,
You stated:
"If you want to spend an extra 3 years on inferior training (in software development at least, can't speak for the other programs) at a public school, by all means go. I'm not trying to talk anyone out of that.”

You are cracking me up. Didn’t you just spit on public univeristies and then say “I’m not trying to talk anyone out of it”? By the way it would be an extra 2 years of “inferior training”.

I noticed their are two Master’s programs at Full Sail: “ Entertainment Business” and “Game Design”. So, if you or anyone else actually wanted to continue their education, it would have to be somewhere else anyway. If so, you are going to have to start almost at the bottom to get ANOTHER bachelor’s degree to even be considered for a Master’s program.

Honestly, I have nothing against Full Sail for training. However, when the discussion turns to ragging public universities or someone implies you can easily transfer credits to one, I feel it is doing a big diservice to potential students to make such claims.

Respecfully,
Ohmanoggin

Ohmanoggin
10-28-2011, 07:20 PM
After having taught there and knowing many people who are still there, I can say many of them are passionate and knowledgeable. Unlike many tenured professors at Universities that backup to a paycheck, many of these instructors work hard to stay current. I'm glad to hear that many of them have good reputations even outside the school.

But the caveat to that is: Your money doesn't really go to the instructors. :sad:

Professors at a public institution make nearly twice that. Non-terminal degree instructors make $20k-$30k more annually as well. So please be nice to them and understand they are going to be hard on you for a reason sometimes. (I was constantly told in student reviews I was mean as Hell.)

And as a side note, education is expensive. (duh) Graduating with as little debt as possible is best. The industry does not pay the salary it used to pay even 10 years ago. And you will have a harder time finding jobs where benefits are included.

So you are saying that instructors are not paid even the amount of ONE student's tution for a bachelor's program. Are their at least medical benefits?

Ohmanoggin

Bitter
10-29-2011, 02:17 AM
However, when the discussion turns to ragging public universities or someone implies you can easily transfer credits to one, I feel it is doing a big diservice to potential students to make such claims.

Full Sail is accredited by a national organization while most universities are accredited by regional organizations.

Universities (public or otherwise) make their own decisions on what credits to accept. This means you will find different information about what is accepted and what isn't because it can change school to school.

You need to discuss this with anywhere you may plan on attending.

So you are saying that instructors are not paid even the amount of ONE student's tution for a bachelor's program. Are their at least medical benefits?

Full Sail does provide benefits. Average salary is around $35k with experience in the field. So the instructor that's there with you at 2am is getting paid about that amount. Compared to comparable salary at UCF even for non-terminal degree instructors it is at least $20k more than that. (Professors with terminal degrees make greater than $100k a year on average at UCF.)

There is no tenure track or union. Many of them are there because they like the field and like to teach. Teaching also gives them the ability to do their own projects and focus on their own special interests. Studios would mean they lose that freedom so teaching has a certain allure. But that allure is not pay.

Looking at the facilities and what the executives drive will be the best clue where your tuition is spent.

CornColonel
10-29-2011, 02:42 AM
CornColonel,
You stated:
"If you want to spend an extra 3 years on inferior training (in software development at least, can't speak for the other programs) at a public school, by all means go. I'm not trying to talk anyone out of that.”

You are cracking me up. Didn’t you just spit on public univeristies and then say “I’m not trying to talk anyone out of it”?

Yes I did. I'm not trying to talk anyone out of it because I believe some people aren't equipped to handle Full Sail, and should stay in a slower-paced system.

By the way it would be an extra 2 years of “inferior training”.

In general it takes 6 years to complete a Master's in a related field, while Full Sail takes 3. So that's a difference of an extra 3 years. Your math skills really make that public education shine, don't they?

I noticed their are two Master’s programs at Full Sail: “ Entertainment Business” and “Game Design”. So, if you or anyone else actually wanted to continue their education, it would have to be somewhere else anyway.

Eh, no it wouldn't. The Game Dev BS I'm doing at Full Sail transfers straight into the Game Design MS at Full Sail. If I wanted to continue my education, it would not have to be somewhere else. Do you read what you write before you post it?

Ohmanoggin
11-01-2011, 02:49 PM
Yes I did. I'm not trying to talk anyone out of it because I believe some people aren't equipped to handle Full Sail, and should stay in a slower-paced system.



In general it takes 6 years to complete a Master's in a related field, while Full Sail takes 3. So that's a difference of an extra 3 years. Your math skills really make that public education shine, don't they?



Eh, no it wouldn't. The Game Dev BS I'm doing at Full Sail transfers straight into the Game Design MS at Full Sail. If I wanted to continue my education, it would not have to be somewhere else. Do you read what you write before you post it?

I assumed you were referring to a bachelor's degree, so 2 versus 4 years is correct. Thus the 3 years was assumed to be a typo. I wasn't trying to comment on your math skills.

Of course you could transfer into the Game Design MS program. My point was that you were studying Game Development, which is a completely different job skill than Game Design. So, if you wanted to get your Masters in game development, which is your chosen field, YOU would have no choice but to transfer, which I have pointed out is not really possible.

So, again, I am sure the training at Full Sail is great, but for those that want to continue their education (unless they happen to want to change to Game Design) the issue of transferring is not trivial at all.

Ohmanoggin

CornColonel
11-01-2011, 10:02 PM
First, you obviously don't know anything about game design. Second, your contribution to the discussion seems to have been whittled down to repeating your "I'm sure it's great, but not really" mantra after each response. It's like you're hellbent on getting the last word in just so you can try to "win" the conversation. Sorry, but until you actually have any experience at Full Sail, you can't win a discussion about it. You obviously just like hearing yourself talk, so talk away. I'm done listening because I have some games to make.

muskie4242
11-02-2011, 12:08 AM
Ok, then I will say something.

I have a degree in Computer Animation from Full Sail and have completed an internship under a former Disney Animator, who is now the Course Director of the 2DA class.

Full Sail University's expectations of it's students is in no way lacking compared to any other school; Public or For Profit. Its initial reputation was less than satisfactory, but it has worked extremely hard to quell the previously stated negatives. In my opinion it has done an excellent job. I would not be so bold as to say that our average student is the same as the top schools worldwide. However, I would see strong competition of our best graduates, to any other school's best in the world. I would compare our staff to the staff of any other school as well.

As an animator, I have worked with nearly 20 former Disney animators, that flocked to Full Sail's teaching positions after the Orlando studio shut down.

An accelerated program does not simply mean less time. It means more work in less time.

taxguy
11-02-2011, 12:53 PM
I am sure that Full Sail gets some good instructors and has decent facilities. I would even bet that they can showcase some students who have achieved success with major studios..... BUT

1. If they pay way below normal university medians for professors, don't you think that the better faculty will go to the places that pay more? Really think about this!

2. I don't care how good the instructor may or may not be, art and design take time to develop. There are just so many hours that a person can work before they either burn out or just stop absorbing the required material. All accelerated programs have this problem.

3. The tuition of $77,500 plus fees is very high and almost as high as non-accelerated programs. Thus, why not go to a program that isn't accelerated. An extra year or so won't kill you. True, it is cheaper than most private schools;however, if you are a good student and/or have a good portfolio or are in financial need, you could get a good scholarship from the schools noted in item 4, below. With a scholarship, it might cost about the same to attend these schools for four years that Full Sail charges for much less time.

4. I do think that Full Sail may be working hard on their reputation and quality. However, as of today, they don't have the stellar reputation that other animation schools have including Ringling, CalArts, Risd, RIT, SVA, Sheridan, UCSJ, Pratt, Gnomon or even SCAD or Digipen. Thus, why pay a lot of money for a school without the same cache as those mentioned.

5. Perceived reality becomes reality in many ways. For example, I would bet that that the average quality of student at the schools that I noted above in item 4, are generally much better than that of Full Sail because of their perceived quality. I would bet that firms would take a closer look at demo reel and resumes from the schools mentioned above over that of Full Sail. Don't discount this. Having higher quality students benefits every one's work. It also attracts better professors. Let's face it: would a professor prefer to teach better , more motivated students or teach those of lessor quality and who have less motivation? Which would you rather teach?

6. Don't discount the importance of training in liberal arts and English. If you want to advance in your career, you may need to be a good reader and writer. For example, my daughter interned at a animation house that develops trailers for movies. For several projects, she had to read the scripts and develop a well-written report on what should be in the trailer and what should be in the promotional web site.

I say this because Full Sail also abridges liberal arts courses. I really don't believe that these grads get the same quality of liberal arts and writing training as those of many other, non- accelerated schools. This may not seem that important to you now,but it really can be in the future.

Maybe I am missing something,but I just don't understand why anyone would go there.. Saving money is great, and I don't discount that. However, the drawbacks incurred don't seem to outway the $10,000-$15,000 that you might save overall. In fact, a good student, with a good porfolio, can get some decent scholarship money from schools that I noted above that could make the cost equal or even less than that of Full Sail. College is a one-time, life changing experience. I wouldn't short cut it to save maybe 10-20% of the total costs, if even that much.

Ohmanoggin
11-02-2011, 02:25 PM
First, you obviously don't know anything about game design. Second, your contribution to the discussion seems to have been whittled down to repeating your "I'm sure it's great, but not really" mantra after each response. It's like you're hellbent on getting the last word in just so you can try to "win" the conversation. Sorry, but until you actually have any experience at Full Sail, you can't win a discussion about it. You obviously just like hearing yourself talk, so talk away. I'm done listening because I have some games to make.

Are you saying Game Development and Game Design are the same thing?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is the description on the Full Sail site:
Video games have grown up. First person shooters, online role-playing games, rhythm games, sports titles – each genre is providing gamers with sophisticated gameplay, graphics, and storylines that could hardly have been imagined a decade ago.

The gaming industry relies on strong leaders to coordinate the teams of artists, designers, and programmers working to create that level of immersion. Full Sail’s Game Design Master’s Degree Program is designed to prepare students to take on those leadership roles, and oversee the next generation of innovation in the field of video games.

Specialized courses will help you develop an understanding of team leadership, project development, and collaborative design – with supporting projects that involve the practical applications of the game production process from both the technical and managerial sides. You’ll learn about different design mechanics and production software, as well as how to communicate effectively and inspire a team of artists and programmers to stay focused when developing a singular creative vision.

You’ll bring that balanced knowledge together for a final design project where you will oversee a team of artists and programmers in developing a complete game title. All this work will take place in a professional studio environment as you write the game’s design documents and coordinate the production schedule, everything you would do as a producer in the industry, from the initial concepting stage to the final integration of assets into the game code.

Having worked through a full production cycle as producer, you’ll graduate from the Game Design Master’s Degree with an understanding of the personal skills needed to be successful leader of a creative team, as well as the corporate responsibilities required in the management roles at a game studio.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aren't "Game Developers" the "programmers" in the teams the "Game Designer" is managing. So, again if you wanted to actually continue game development in a Masters program, it will have to be somewhere else.

As for you comment: "your contribution to the discussion seems to have been whittled down to repeating your "I'm sure it's great, but not really" mantra after each response."

From the start I have been focused on the same thing, which I clearly stated when I said: "Honestly, I have nothing against Full Sail for training. However, when the discussion turns to ragging public universities or someone implies you can easily transfer credits to one, I feel it is doing a big diservice to potential students to make such claims. "

I got into this thread originally because someone was making these claims, and I re-entered when you did with your review. Again, I really have nothing against Full Sail, I just don't think you or anyone else has the right to imply transfering credits or going onto graduate programs is a "moot" issue as you say.

Ohmanoggin

Decency
11-02-2011, 03:11 PM
Let me start by saying I have attended FullSail, and I have also worked there.

I would encourage any young people considering FullSail to very thoroughly read Rhintons posts in this thread. I won't quote them and make this even longer, but his observations and comments are spot on, and something to think about before making a commitment like this.

The other piece of advice I will give personally is this; if you are under 20 years of age, do not attend FullSail right away.

This is not a knock against the school. You can indeed learn a ton of useful skills at FullSail, and I know many students who have fantastic careers who did very well at the school. However, I suggest waiting until you are at least 20 in order to make sure you fully comprehend the gravity of the commitment you make to go there. 80k in loans may not sound like a big deal fresh out of high school, but how does
a 700-800 dollar per month payment for the next 10 years sound? This is a very serious financial burden, especially given the uncertainty and instability of the entertainment industry.

Layoffs are common, long hours are common, and moving around the country is common. This is not a lifestyle everyone can get used to an succeed in.

If you are just graduating high school and are dead-set on FullSail, take at least one year at a community college. Work, save up some money, and attend classes at a "normal" school. You will have a much greater appreciation for FullSail after that, and I promise it will translate into a better education if you decide to go. You can also use your free time to get a huge headstart on software or training before you even get to FullSail, which will allow you to use your time their for more advanced topics.

Also, as a young 18-year old ready to take on the world, you may not give a rat about accreditation or credits transferring or whatnot. I didn't either. Now, however, I will be attending another school and I will be starting at the bottom. Not a single thing I did at FullSail is transferring, not one class, so I have to begin an Associate degree from scratch. And since I now work full-time, this will take between 2 and 3 years to finish. This isn't something I ever thought I would do, but funny how 18 year old me didn't think of everything I would encounter in the future.

TLDR: FullSail is a fine school, but take some serious time to think about it and get experience at another school before you go there. Whether you decide to go or not, you will be better for it.

CornColonel
11-02-2011, 05:37 PM
I definitely agree with Decency's post. My game dev classes are full of kids fresh out of high school, and they drop like flies from the program. Many of them complain about the littlest things, oblivious to how spoiled they are at Full Sail. Much of my appreciation for the school stems from my prior college experience when I was younger, and my continued concurrent education at public school now. Doing them side-by-side really makes Full Sail's greatness stand out to me.

I also agree that most people in their teens and early 20's don't know what their passion in life is yet, and therefore should NOT make an $80,000 commitment to learning one. So many people in my first programming classes had absolutely no programming experience or even familiarity whatsoever. So many also frequently screamed out "I ****ing hate programming" out of frustration when working on projects. At least half of those people failed at least once if not more of the early programming classes. Some failed so many times they are no longer in the program. This is something I don't understand. I knew I wanted to do Game dev because I dabbled in programming and discovered I LOVED IT. Even after an 8-hour class in programming, I go home and spend almost the same amount of time doing it just for fun. I've received an A+ in every single class at Full Sail so far. So yeah, if you're young, even if you're indignant and think you want to go to Full Sail and grown-ups don't know anything, I'd suggest at least doing transferable general ed classes at a cheaper public school, then transfer into Full Sail later after adult life has had some time to marinate in your brain for a while. Even that little bit of public school will give you greater appreciation for Full Sail's style, and hopefully expose you to enough other fields to discover your interest if it turns out Full Sail isn't for you.

Next, and this is specifically for prospective game dev students, do some programming BEFORE you decide to go to Full Sail for game dev or game design. Don't choose game dev just because you "like to play games a lot" and "have some good ideas for games to make." Programming is ****ING COMPLEX. It's hard, and infinitely harder if you don't like doing it. Even for the Game Design master's, you're going to need to know a significant amount of programming. No, the game design MS itself does not entail any real programming, but you still need to know programming. Why? Because there is no such thing as graduating with a degree in design and then jumping straight into a job designing games (in which you would be leading programmers). If you want to oversee games, your best bet is starting as a junior programmer and working your way up to senior project leader. We're talking YEARS of work in the industry before you're ever a designer of anything more than a macaroni sculpture. Designers MUST have programming knowledge and experience to be qualified for their job. You can't possibly design a game if you don't know how a game goes together.

If you're a student already pursuing an education in software development but are stuck in a watered down degree like Computer Science, then Full Sail's Game dev degree could be a good choice for you. Like most trade schools and even many AAS and BAS degrees at public school (my programming AS required only 1 math, 1 humanities, 1 communication, and 1 public speaking course), much of the superfluous liberal arts is cut in favor of more pertinent job training. Having a well-rounded education is a good thing, but being proficient at your particular trade is better. The tuition is high, but don't forget the savings in living expenses can be high too. I own my home, but from what I see most of the students in my classes share apartments and pay around $450 a month individually toward rent and utilities. What they spend on food just blows my mind. I spend about $300 a month on food for myself and my s/o, but these kids spend twice that with the amount of fast food and dining out they do. What ever happened to college kids who lived off Ramen noodles? In any case, if you're spending say $1,000 a month on basic living expenses, not including transportation, entertainment, internet, phone, fun, etc., that on its own is $24,000 saved by doing 2 years less of school. It's up to you to do the math though and figure out what your expenses come out to.

My last piece of advice is don't major in film or music, don't major in film or music, don't major in film or music, DON'T MAJOR IN FILM OR MUSIC. Yes, Full Sail supposedly has some of the best training for film and music. Film and music are also extremely competitive but declining industries with extremely low pay for the majority of people trying to get into it. Ever notice all the political science majors working as restaurant waiters in and around Washington D.C.? The same thing happens with film and music majors on the other side of the country in and around Hollywood. Unless you have a rich family with money to throw at stupid shit, or you fully expect to make no more than $25,000 a year, unless you fully expect to never desire a better career, unless you passionately love drowning in film or music forever, and unless you have no hopes of ever having the money to pursue other common life goals like a nice house, raising a family, etc, don't go to Full Sail and spend $80,000 on a pipe dream of being a famous director.

Also, skinny jeans-clad, dorky box-framed glasses-wearing, and miniature hat-sporting film and music students always seem to be annoying, shrill-voiced whiners handing out business cards for their fake ass studios and bragging about their non-existent accomplishments. Ugh, amusing, but annoying when they're representing the school >.>

Bitter
11-02-2011, 07:10 PM
1. If they pay way below normal university medians for professors, don't you think that the better faculty will go to the places that pay more? Really think about this!

No, you don't understand how the University system works.

Most universities prefer a terminal degree (MFA) over experience based on accreditation. Full Sail prefers experience while requiring a Bachelors. In the VFX field at least, there are few people working with terminal degrees. This means they cannot teach at a University where they require a masters. One of my best coworkers worked on The Matrix, Big Fish, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, etc and had no Masters so he could not be a professor at, say, SCAD, as easily.

Tenured professors are also a scourge of education. Many of them simply back up to a paycheck. They cannot be fired unless there is an act of God. The vast majority of them are very VERY far behind the times. There is no tenure track at Full Sail.

My coworkers were people from Walt Disney, Digital Domain, Rhythm and Hues, Weta, Dreamworks, and ILM. Their credits included Brother Bear, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Matrix, King Kong, Lord of the Rings, Shrek, and more.

2. I don't care how good the instructor may or may not be, art and design take time to develop. There are just so many hours that a person can work before they either burn out or just stop absorbing the required material. All accelerated programs have this problem.

This is true and misleading, this is about knowing yourself. It's not a problem for everyone. If you have the traditional training already (or the natural talent) then this is fine. If you need more time then go somewhere else. No one is twisting your arm or hiding the accelerated nature of the program.

4. I do think that Full Sail may be working hard on their reputation and quality. However, as of today, they don't have the stellar reputation that other animation schools have including Ringling, CalArts, Risd, RIT, SVA, Sheridan, UCSJ, Pratt, Gnomon or even SCAD or Digipen. Thus, why pay a lot of money for a school without the same cache as those mentioned.

Living and working in the VFX field I can say this is unequivocally false. This used to be true but is not so any more. For animation this began to change about 2005-2006 where the program took a complete turn and has continued to accelerate since. Despite a few that still hold it back. . .the majority are accomplished professionals I still talk to today about current and common practices. (My own credits include Xmen, Thor, Hereafter, Fright Night, etc.)

Let's face it: would a professor prefer to teach better , more motivated students or teach those of lessor quality and who have less motivation? Which would you rather teach?

This is a moot point. I have taught at multiple schools and this is true anywhere you go. At Santa Monica Community College a friend of mine struggles with unmotivated students constantly. Welcome to life.

I say this because Full Sail also abridges liberal arts courses. I really don't believe that these grads get the same quality of liberal arts and writing training as those of many other, non- accelerated schools. This may not seem that important to you now,but it really can be in the future.

Writing is a required part of each class as designed by accredited programs. Things like creating a plan or explaining a method for your project.

However, they do not require as much because it is a technical university. If you find yourself struggling to communicate then you can always seek help.

It seems a large portion of the complaints are aimed at "It doesn't give. . .etc" This is self evident and not hidden. If you choose this type of education then it's not really the fault of the school. (Don't by a car with a manual transmission and claim you were duped.)

I think the pros and cons have been outlined quite nicely and are obvious.

The reservation I have is that a lot of these industries are lowering wages and outsourcing very often. So adding a burden of debt this large is a huge commitment that has a decreasing level of return.

CornColonel
11-02-2011, 09:12 PM
2. I don't care how good the instructor may or may not be, art and design take time to develop. There are just so many hours that a person can work before they either burn out or just stop absorbing the required material. All accelerated programs have this problem.

This is true and misleading, this is about knowing yourself. It's not a problem for everyone. If you have the traditional training already (or the natural talent) then this is fine. If you need more time then go somewhere else. No one is twisting your arm or hiding the accelerated nature of the program.


Also worth mentioning is the fact that Full Sail does offer an "extended" version of most of their programs, meaning you can get the same stellar training at a slower pace (1 class at a time instead of 2) and get the BS in 3 years of instead of 2. The extended pace still counts as full-time for financial aid purposes (a 4-month semester would involve 4 classes worth 3-4 credits each, for a total of 12-16 credits per semester).

CornColonel
11-05-2011, 02:31 AM
Any time you think Full Sail is "luring in" innocent students with misrepresented job prospects, you gotta see some of the other schools floating around in this country that offer similar degrees:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7675519043804402267

I like how they a) misrepresent game testing QA as "playing games" (it's not), b) have some head honcho walk in to tell the game testers that they "need another game designed," and c) the game testers say they need to "tighten up the graphics" on a level. Lulz.

bujin9
05-23-2012, 12:03 PM
Lots of interesting stuff on Full Sail. Just putting in my 2cents also....
I'm currently completing my 1st year. I have to say I'm unsure at this point of moving on. Unfortunatly, I've invested a years worth of tuition so its not a small decision. But a few thoughts from a current student.....

What everyone says about a lot of work is true. But quite honestly, it's all good info. I've been to 4 schools so far (one of which is engineering) and the other 3 are 3D Training Institute, Escape Studios VFX mentored course and Animation Mentor. All of them (not so much 3DTi) had huge amounts of work to do. But at the end, I was very happy with the quality of instruction and what I came out with (knowledge wise). I don't think people should let 'a lot of work' stop you from attending something you like unless of course you have real time constraints. I'm at the edge being a full time worker plus a single dad.
What I don't like of course is the cost vs what I'm getting. The online tuts are very good. Love 'em. But all the other courses had very good online tuts too....that includes FxPHD and DT. Now, obviously, they don't give you a B.A. so that's the 'catch' so to speak.
I really don't see any instruction though. Even in my current class, I recently asked the instructor to provide feedback on how they thought I was doing in my submissions so I can gauge where I stand (if I should be worried or not). I've asked twice with no answer yet. All that was told of me was to 'make sure I submit my work to the online critique forum' (where students put up their work for crits from other students and studio assistants. But my feeling is that if your asking your instructor for some real time thoughts, then I'm paying 60K or 70K for that service / advice. Otherwise, I'd pay the students in class my money. The other thing I've found is that although they have hours where you can seek advice from assistants, they're not always there at those times. I've gotten in that situation 3 times so far just in this months module. That makes a difference because someone like myself with serious time constraints can't always make the hour per week of the GoToTraining session. So if you log on for assistance from someone, and they're not there, it matters.
This isn't the first time this has happened so I'm concerned.

So what my take away so far is (as a year in), you can get the same quality at other places for way less cost. It depends how important you think the degree is. I decided to go specifically for the degree but I'm questioning my rational.
I do feel a lot of places look for the degree and if your up against someone with just as good art skills, the piece of paper will make the difference in hiring probably.
On the other hand, as a full time freelance, I got my job thru my reel.
Hope his helps, not trying to 'bash'...just putting it in some perspective from a current student and someone who's seen almost 50yrs on earth (so far and counting...I hope).

taxguy
05-24-2012, 01:03 PM
Bujin9, I think you are making the right choice going for a degree. A degree could always benefit you in many ways in the future. I don't agree that you attended Full Sail. I have said this before and will continue with this statement. Most things such as art and writing and reading skills take TIME! Full sails allots 1 month to all liberal arts and about 6 weeks to fundamental concepts such as drawing, 3d studies , color theory etc. This is to be contrasted with most art and design schools who allocate one full year to fundamental concepts and about one full year to liberal arts such as English, literature etc. Don't think that having good writing and reading skills aren't important to animators. They can only be ignored if you NEVER want to rise to management level, and then I am am not even sure of that!

Moreover, although I do believe that you can get some decent animation skills with Full Sail, this will only happen to a small percentage of the students. You really need to be a special person to be able to develop these skills with that kind of intensity required by their program. Sadly, people look at the shorter time frame to get a degree and the lessor amount of money required vs that of a four year school and make decisions on those factors. Sadly, for the reasons given, it is the wrong thing to do for the vast, vast majority of students.

By the way, in case you think that I may be wrong as to my opinion, read over many of the reviews concerning Full Sail that were made by students. You can find them all over the web such as at Students reviews etc. Here is one such forum: http://www.studentsreview.com/FL/FSRWE_comments.html



A fair review of them will show about 80% or more are negative and feel that Full Sail is nothing more than a money mill. Their attitude is to have "no dollar left behind." Moreover, some of the positive ones ( although possibly not all) are almost too perfectly crafted, which make me believe that they were posted by the someone in the Full Sail admininstration.There is just too much smoke about this school; and usually, where there is smoke, there is fire!

Also, you will find that having Full Sail on your resume is NOT a plus for most employers in the field. They don't have a great reputation. As proof, one student posted on the web that he had a 3.6 GPA at Full Sail and a 159 on the LSAT,which is a very good score. However, he didn't get accepted to any law school even those whose average LSAT were 148! He had to go back to another school and get a new bachelors degree before he could get into law school. Yes, the school may be accredited,but most graduate and professional programs don't view it as equal to a full bachelors degree from a regular 4- year program.

By the way, Full Sail isn't the only school that I have railed against. I don't want anyone to feel that I am singling them out. However, since this thread is about Full Sail, I have limited my discussion to them.

CornColonel
05-26-2012, 03:57 AM
Wow I totally forgot about this discussion. I suppose I should report that my time at Full Sail has been hands down and by far superior in quality to any other school I've attended. Each class gets better than the last. I'd already surpassed 2 years of public school in the first four months I spent there, and it's only gotten awesomer. Definitely has been worth it for me.

Anyway, in response to taxguy, I just wanted to say that the overwhelming number of negative reviews against Full Sail that I've found have turned out to be made by the same two fail-outs who reposted the same complaints under different names over and over on every review site. One was a Recording Arts drop-out, the other was a Film drop-out. I can't comment on those programs personally because I have no experience with them. In the one general ed class I had to share with them, I got the impression that they're all morons. It could very well be that Full Sail's Film and Audio students are utter morons and these programs suck, I don't know. I've noticed the instructors in those programs have disproportionately lower ratings on ratemyprofessors.com too. However, I've never found a single complaint about Full Sail's Game Dev program from any graduates, and on the contrary, the game dev graduates I did find didn't have any troubles finding work after. Most of the instructors in this program have high ratings. Also, I wanted to reiterate that Full Sail is nationally accredited by the ACCSC, not regionally accredited like most public universities. That is probably the reason the one student was unable to get into law school on his Full Sail merits (and what the hell, who goes to Full Sail to pursue an education in law?).

Since Film and Music are essentially pipe dreams compared to software development (based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' estimated number of jobs and average salary in each career field), I can't really take anyone seriously who finds it feasible to spend $80k on a degree that at best will fetch them a $20k salary that didn't require education in the first place. Game dev seems worth it. Computer Animation, Game Art, and Web Design seem valuable. The other degree programs? NOT WORTH IT in my opinion. Not because Full Sail doesn't provide quality, but just because the price isn't worth the end goal.

taxguy
05-27-2012, 04:20 PM
Corncolonel, I am glad that you feel that you have gotten a good education for your money. However, from what I am hearing, you are in the minority. There are just too many people complaining about it.

See: http://www.ripoffreport.com/colleges-and-universities/full-sail-university/full-sail-university-fullsail-14553.htm

and http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_movies_blog/2011/02/ex-students-go-to-war-with-full-sail-online.html

and http://www.studentsreview.com/FL/FSRWE_comments.html

and especially: http://www.oocities.org/fullsailexposed/tfse-ed3.html

Of course there is the NY Times article on them: http://blogs.orlandoweekly.com/index.php/2012/01/sunday-nyt-report-full-sail-sunk-its-not-an-italian-cruise-ship-but/

and http://fullsailreviews.net/about/

Also, you note that the first site that I cited in my 5/24 pos,t showing large numbers of negative reviews ,were by two disenchanted students. How did you know? There are no names given and no URLs noting Internet connections.

Finally, as I have said, the majority of people need time to develop reading, writing and visual arts skills. Time is not what Full Sail provides. It is an intensive program covering about 21 months of training. Frankly, this won't develop the appropriate skills for reading, writing or visual arts for the vast majority of students!

Finally, you have dismissed the fact that students applying to law schools and grad schools from Full Sail are treated as if they don't have a degree. You might feel this is irrelevant, however, a college degree should offer many choices. Folks never know where they will end up. Having some doors close solely because it is a Full Sail degree vs other college degrees should be considered unacceptable to anyone!

MrMint
05-28-2012, 09:51 AM
Hmm, 13 posts but only in this thread.....hmmm

CornColonel
05-31-2012, 07:44 PM
Hmm, 13 posts but only in this thread.....hmmm
This thread is what brought me here, because I have an interest in Full Sail. Why would I participate anywhere else? I'm not into CG. Why are you here if not to discuss the topic, Full Sail? Hmmm.



Also, you note that the first site that I cited in my 5/24 pos,t showing large numbers of negative reviews ,were by two disenchanted students. How did you know? There are no names given and no URLs noting Internet connections.


I suggested this because when I was researching Full Sail to decide whether or not it seemed too scammy for me, I started to notice a trend in almost every review site. I found the same complaints, some verbatim cut-and-paste, some with the same details in the same order with the same spelling and grammar errors and many posted within the same day of each other. I later went back and noticed that a lot of them used the same aliases that these two people had used on other sites. I figured out who they were and what aliases they used because a Google search of one of the quoted reviews turned up identical complaints on their personal blogs, which led me to their facebook and myspace pages which led me to some of their favorite sites and online communities where I learned their favorite aliases to go by. Both blogs have since been removed. The first was removed just a few months after all the posts. The more active poster (Nancy Ford) finally removed hers around 6 months or so ago. In any case, realizing they were all just reposts made me wonder if all the bad hype was really just a few whiners.

Ultimately I made the decision to go to Full Sail because, even though there ARE a lot of complaints from a lot of legitimate people, I have never found a single complaint from a Full Sail grad of the Game Dev program, which was the program I was heading into. It was a tough decision, because people who have a good experience somewhere don't tend to post about it as much as people who have a bad experience. The type of person to write about Full Sail is more likely to be someone who failed out or made poor choices and wants to point blame somewhere else. Diploma mills are a concern and I was inches away from scrapping the whole idea and dedicating my time to a traditional education at UCF. It was actually my plan at one point. The thing that ultimately changed my mind was when I finally came across a review of Full Sail from a pair of game dev grads who addressed the same concerns I'm addressing here. If I hadn't read that, I'd probably still be in public school right now, probably still lacking the ability to write even simple 2D graphical games and not learning about AI or networking or optimization or neural networks until my 5th year. The only reason I responded here is because I felt a few really big whiners who had dropped out, along with a lot of uninformed blabbermouths who have never set foot in and don't know anything about Full Sail but want to hear themselves talk about it anyway, were giving the school imbalanced representation, and I wanted to reassure any prospective game dev students that these complaints do not apply to the game dev program. It's awesome.

MrMint
05-31-2012, 08:57 PM
Why are you here if not to discuss the topic, Full Sail? Hmmm.
Take a guess. Shouldn`t be too hard.

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