How to tell a good school from a bad school

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

THREAD CLOSED
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03 March 2009   #16
I agree, I withdraw my statement. I've just had a history knowing people who had the most issues with schools like those.
 
Old 03 March 2009   #17
Schools should be checked as to "non-profit" or "for profit" status

One more criteria that folks might want to check out would be "whether the school is a "for profit" school or a "non-profit school." This makes a lot of differences:

Benefits of Non- Profit: They don't pay tax on earnings. Contributions to them are usually tax deductible. They get much better rates on postage. They don't have an incentive to make a profit and use that money to line the pockets of their investors.

Cons of non-profits: Actually there aren't that many cons. They usually are less efficiently run than that of "for profit" institutions. Moreover, because profitability isn't a factor per se, they don 't have the same incentive to provide cutting edge programs or majors as quickly as that of "for profit" schools.

Benefits of "for profit" schools: They tend to be run much more efficiently than non profits and tend to focus on cutting edge training and majors quicker since these areas are most profitable.

Cons: They tend to be more expensive than the non-profits, net of scholarship,but I have seen exceptions of "for profit" schools being more reasonably priced too. A lot depends on the financial efficiency of the school.

The main con, however, is that there is a big incentive to drain the school of money for both income taxes and for distributions to the owners. It takes a REALLY open-minded owner to be willing to plow the profits back into the school in any significant way.

You might wonder why a school would be a "for-profit" school with all the "non profit" advantages. The reason is that schools remain "for profit" usually because the owners want to pay themselves more than they would or could with "non-profit status." Thus, owners of "for-profit" schools usually keep them as "for-profit" specifically because the owners want to take higher distributions to themselves than they would be able to do with a non-profit.

Schools like Ringling, Cal Arts are non-profits .
Schools like Full Sail are "for profit" endeavers

Let me make one thing clear though: I don't want to use this as a definitively determinative approach since "for profit" schools can be fine if the owners are willing to pump a lot of money back into the school, as per SVA and Gnomon, Matt the Mutt et. al.,and run their program as efficiently as some "for profit" schools tend to do. However, I think what I said does serve as a good general rule.

Thus, if a school is a "for profit" endeaver, it should entail increased scrutiny by you.

Last edited by taxguy : 04 April 2009 at 03:37 PM.
 
Old 03 March 2009   #18
Taxguy, I completely agree with your statement.
 
Old 04 April 2009   #19
I totally agree with you all about the for-profit only schools. Just from experience and observation, I can tell you a really reputable school does NOT need to spend that much money to do mass advertising all over the internet. This only shows that all they want is your money and does not care about the quality that the staff is supposed to give you. Also, when looking for a school, you should google on the private lenders that you use to pay for the tuition.
I am saying this because I am in debt for life and I admit that I sign a really bad contract without researching on the internet what Sallie Mae is really like. You can go to facebook, or just google Sallie Mae and find out what is consider legal or not when a school only offers a specific private lender. That is because alot of the technical schools gets pay a chunk whenever a student uses Sallie Mae. I found out a few weeks ago that schools should have been given other options about choice of private lenders instead of just Sallie Mae. That means it is illegal. And most importantly, once when you graduate, Sallie Mae uses every illegal collective tactics they can get away with to harrass all your neighbors, references, co-signers and your friends if you are using someone else's phone to call them. They call before 8AM and after 9PM and call at least 3 times a day. That is illegal. There alot of people who hated Sallie Mae has created forums and even on facebook who share their experiences about Sallie Mae. Trust me, it is not hard to find and if only I had known...
And Sallie Mae would gladly raise your interest rate and no matter how you try to negotiate after you graduated to lower the interest rate, they will not budge, they want you to be in debt for life whether you like it or not. So if any for-profit only school depend heavily on the usage of Sallie Mae as their meat and potatoes...RUN!!!
Sallie Mae is a big bully and it tells alot about a for-profit only school if they insist that you sign a blind contract with Sallie Mae. The school doesn't mind if you take alot more loans than you should because the school gets a chunk from that check. And another thing, they tell you this after you graduate that you cannot file for bankrupcy, Sallie Mae has a right to take possession of you bank account and whatever assets you have to pay back the loans you take out with interest...alot of interest.

I heard alot about FullSail and alot of it is not good. Go to a 4 year school, at least you will have time to practice your skills and learn real traditional arts and be really well rounded when you come out instead of just doing it to pass the course. And just because the school change their name from Full Sail Real World Education to Full Sail University does not mean it is a real University. When a school change their name like an apartment complex only means they are trying to make people forget their bad reputation and bad quality.

Alot of grads there are suing that school and I read there is a class lawsuit going on...same with Sallie Mae a class lawsuit.

And you are right KrzysztofFus and Taxguy, alot of the staff there got a job as a staff right after they graduated particularly the lab instructors who can barely help you nor give a crap because they are cheap labor with no professional experience. They stay because it is alot easier than competing in the industry contract after contract especially now when we are in a recession.

Dude, just google the schools and private lenders. Such information is not hard to find. Don't be blind sighted by the mass advertisings on the internet and their pretty catalogues or their website.
Right now, cheap is the best and get alot of the DVDs from Gnomon and Digital-tutors. All staff from those for-profit only school uses Gnomon DVDs.
Don't make the same mistake like alot of us did. You want to get your money's worth and you need time to learn both on your own and from a real professional who is patient enough to share their knowledge and passion.

Hope this information helps.
Good luck.
 
Old 04 April 2009   #20
I'm at agreement with A-there.

An ex-boyfriend of mine actually went to Collins College, found it a joke and left after a year (But I can also figure that he was just a lazy jerk... so I really can't say much about the school besides what I heard from him) and I'm still getting phone calls about -his- stupid Sallie Mae loan over a year later. I didn't even know he had me down as a reference!
 
Old 04 April 2009   #21
I do agree but....

As I said, for profit schools need further investigation. However, I think that saying that "all for=profit" schools should be avoided, going a bit too far. There are some for profit institututions that are considered quite good: Max the Mutt, SVA, even Gnomon ( although Gnomon is a bit expensive for what they give in my opinion).

Certainly, if you see a lot of advertising by any school, you have to ask , "who is paying for that?"
 
Old 04 April 2009   #22
A. Student work
B. Instructors work
C. Instructors tie to the industry
D. Graduation job rate
E. Avg salary after graduation
 
Old 04 April 2009   #23
Originally Posted by ZacD: A. Student work
B. Instructors work
C. Instructors tie to the industry
D. Graduation job rate
E. Avg salary after graduation


All great characteristics in a good CG school, but you forgot one.
F. Willingness to bust ass for himsel/herself.

At our small school, we have some students go to Pixar, others that meet with Sid Meier everyday, and we also have students that can't even turn in a project on time in 4 years. You have to want it, and then do it. No school, regardless of name and merit, can ever make you change yourself or give you drive. It has to come from within.
__________________
Concentrate!

Last edited by MrPositive : 04 April 2009 at 07:47 AM.
 
Old 04 April 2009   #24
Your right, its a very serious investment, but you probably should check out drop out rates just to make sure it doesn't burn too many people out
 
Old 04 April 2009   #25
I just read that the Los Angeles Film School (LAFS) and Recording School (LARS) got purchased by Full Sail few years ago.
I knew their look and feel of their advertisements on the internet look so familiar...exactly like a Full Sail logo.

Some of the grads from Los Angeles Film School are not that happy either since it changed to a more commercial and for-profit only school instead of artistic. I guess the LAFS is trying to make themselves the new Gnomon or something... Again, a good school only needs a good reputation not mass advertising on the internet that shows all the school really want is your money.

Full Sail just moved their Associate Degree Program from Florida to California...same quality, no difference, soon the same reputation. Mass advertising on the internet again to push out the other schools. Everything started with their crappy Associate Program, now they move that to California.

So beware! And google your research on all the for-profit only schools before putting yourself in debt for life.
 
Old 04 April 2009   #26
the best way to find out if the school is good or not is to first check out the student demo reels, then look for a breakdown of the program to see what classes they offer and what each class is supposed to teach you. then you google their instructors to see what you can find, and eventually VISIT the school. visiting the school is the most important part of the process because their you can see everything they didn't mention on the website or brochure, whether it be a bad or good.

but man there seems to be a lot of hate for full sail lol, but as a current student i guess i should fill you guys in with a few things. yes the school is expensive but a lot of the profit goes right back into the school... they update their software as soon as they can, us students got CS4, soon we'll get upgraded to master collection, and the new MacBookPros less then a month after release. Their also building a brand new huge building to house new equiptment and classes across all fields of study and it's to be done q1 of 2010. building started last month! the course directors here do have industry experience, out of the 2 course directors i've had so far (only 5 months in), history channels dog fights, starwars, rythm and hues, and some other stuff has been mentioned as past experience. our lab instructors i sadly can't say the same, but for the foundation stuff we are currently learning their knowledge is more then enough.

also the school does have a very high drop out rate and a very low graduation percentage.. but it's mainly the students fault, FullSail told us the program was tough as bricks and it will take dedication, but already half of our starting class has either failed classes or dropped out because they rather play video games late at night rather then invest time into projects. the school is forever evolving, every month or so theres something new happening, changed or being implemented to make it better, whether its a course, teacher, or equiptment.. something is always upgrading.

and no im not promoting or advertising the school in anyway.. it does has its good sides and it's bad, i just wanted to let you guys know what does go on behind full sail from the views of a current student.

and the last thing on my mind is that you NEED to dedicate yourself to it. also DO NOT rely on the school alone to provide you with a good enough understanding of your field of study, because you have to remember that your classmates are also your competition when you graduate.. so whatever you can do to get a step ahead of the game can only help.
 
Old 04 April 2009   #27
Amen!

Originally Posted by iaarvin:
and the last thing on my mind is that you NEED to dedicate yourself to it. also DO NOT rely on the school alone to provide you with a good enough understanding of your field of study, because you have to remember that your classmates are also your competition when you graduate.. so whatever you can do to get a step ahead of the game can only help.



The best way to be successful is to always do way more that is asked of you. Sacrifice your time (a LOT of time) and risk making mistakes. Push the limits of your creativity, strength and sanity and great things happen it your work.
__________________
KGrantham
 
Old 04 April 2009   #28
Wink

"our lab instructors i sadly can't say the same"
"also the school does have a very high drop out rate and a very low graduation percentage.. but it's mainly the students fault, FullSail told us the program was tough as bricks and it will take dedication, but already half of our starting class has either failed classes or dropped out" ----iaarvin

Hey iaarvin,

Thank you for proving our point about the drop out rates and the lab instructors. It is always nice to know that a present student can give his 2 cents and agree with what was already mentioned.

Btw, I love your gallery images. A+ dude!!!
 
Old 04 April 2009   #29
Originally Posted by MrPositive: All great characteristics in a good CG school, but you forgot one.
F. Willingness to bust ass for himsel/herself.,..


Ah the one thing money can't buy.
You thought that was love didn't you,... nope its dedication.
__________________
The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
Characters, Games, Toys
 
Old 04 April 2009   #30
Originally Posted by A-there: "our lab instructors i sadly can't say the same"

Hey iaarvin,

Thank you for proving our point about the drop out rates and the lab instructors. It is always nice to know that a present student can give his 2 cents and agree with what was already mentioned.

Btw, I love your gallery images. A+ dude!!!


lol thx man.

but i hope you didn't get what i said about our lab instructors wrong, because the way our classes are set up is that, our course director teaches us everything in lecture and preps us on our upcoming assignment in lab while giving us tips and other tid bits of information. the lab instructors are just their to help if your having problems or trouble with what ever it is your trying to accomplish, and so far i really have not had a question they couldn't answer. and of course teachers and lab instructors change from class to class, so i can't really tell what experience the other guys have.

but anyways, last bit of information i forgot to mention about picking a school.. you also need to pick the best one for your situation. things like family, loans, location, apartment or dorm, distance from school, distance to stores and places to look for inspiration or blow off stress.. all of that stuff also contributes to your over all educational experience.
 
Thread Closed share thread



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 10:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.