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The Academy of Art University

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Nov 12 2014Art & Design Department
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
I greaduated AAU in December 2012. When I applied in 2006 they told me it would cost roughly $80,000 to get my BFA in Commercial Photography there. By the time I was done I was $144,000 in the hole before even counting in the interest.

While I was there instructors were in and out the door every semester so it was random luck if you were to get anyone good. From my experience you had about a 1 in 6 chance of getting someone good. But probably 3 out of those 6 we pretty awful.

From the time I started to the time I graduated the number of photo students more than tippled, studio hours decreased, and they in no way vaguely bothered to keep the amount of equipment up with the increased demand. (You could see how may of each piece of gear was available, or not, to loan out at any given time.)

The LA classes were laughably easy and were maybe, MAYBE, high-school level.
They charged about $1300 a month for a SHARED studio, while the market rate at the time was about that for a studio two building down the block , so housing rates are pretty much extortion.

The available transportation was never on time, so if you had back to back classes you were pretty much always late for the second.

Every year there they raised the tuition by something like $225 a unit (most classes are 3 units)
One year they told us the reason for the tuition increase was to offer us perpetual CS6 suite licences which they are now pulling from everyone one.

I can't even apply to consolidate my loans that I took to go to AAU because, banks, and credit unions (I've tried 2 banks and 3 CUs) don't believe that someone who attended the academy will be able to repay the loans.

Just don't go. Is there value to the education they offer? Yes. Is it anywhere near $144,000 dollars (roughly $300,000 if you include interest over the standard repayment time, (roughly $1,300 a month)) that it actually cost. NoThe Academy of Art University was the biggest mistake of my life.

Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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Starting Job: Bike shop sales Preparedness: D Reputation: F
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Dec 29 2013Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
While the professors are in the industry, some of them are very unhelpful. I was in the web design and new media and the instructors never gave feed back in a timely manner, sometimes assignments weren't looked at for more than a week. And then they would give you a B or A and say it looked great and no feedback. When you know there were issues that had to be resolved. All they care about is the money they rake in for tuition. They don't care about updating their curriculum, their instructions confuse a lot of the students because the curriculum says one thing and then the homework assignments say some thing else. Don't go to this school, at least don't take Web Design and New Media.
3rd Year Female -- Class 2013
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Collaboration/Competitive: C, Education Quality: F
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Apr 21 2013Music Education
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
I think the school is a joke. I have spent thousands of dollars to learn what I could've learned on my own playing with the software for a day. I recommend saving up and buying all the equipment that you use here. Not worth the money and they leaning is so unstructured. Just random people from the industry talking bout random shit at random times then just throwing homework on you like you have all the time in the world. The labs are hard to get access to because of the amount of people there are with different schedules it just gets booked. The schoo should supply the software for your assignments. For fuck sakes your tuition would cover it without it making too big of a dent in their wallet.
1st Year Male -- Class 2017
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Campus Aesthetics: A+, Education Quality: F
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