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Brooks Institute

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This school is not a school to attend if you plan on working through college. They look down upon students who work and they don't give any exceptions for students who do. Most students are spoiled kids who will never actually have to work a day in their life.
2nd Year Female -- Class 2014
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Education Quality: F
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I started in 2010 and graduated in 2013.AverageOther
I started in 2010 and graduated in 2013. Brooks Institute was bought by CEC. After the purchase by CEC they have lost a lot of their reputation (classic example of corporations buying and running things into the ground). People who attended Brooks during the film days were getting the best possible education in the world and were guaranteeing students jobs, which i believed they were being sued for in 2005. As things have started to change to digital they started to fall behind a little bit, but it seems now they are back on track. I would HIGHLY recommend it over any Art Institute or any other photography school for that matter. If you miss an assignment at Brooks you better forget about it and move on to the next one because most of the time IT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED LATE.

Right now they are going through a lot of change, they are in the process of leaving Santa Barbara and joining the film campus down in Ventura (should have done that from the beginning) that means CHEAPER living and easier to take more classes instead of choosing between Ventura and Santa Barbara campus classes. Although, Santa Barbara was AMAZING to live in.

College is expensive, period. I barely got into ANY college let alone Brooks. It's 80k to graduate. If you want the "college experience" DON'T GO HERE or go somewhere else first, like i did. It's boot camp for photographers the first 15 months and you have to have a lot of time on your hands and be willing to spend EVEN MORE money besides tuition such as: Models, Makeup artists, wardrobes, camera supplies, etc. Now when i say that i don't mean every week you need to spend 100s on models, there are a lot of aspiring models that will trade for print and supplies you can usually return to the store and get money back. Models, a lot of times, you can find someone in your class that will model for you, but you want to be different, so network outside of school too!

They have an awesome checkout system and you can get about anything you want, i know students who didn't buy a camera the whole time through Brooks, but don't do that.

One of the greatest things about this school (and main reason i went here) is EVERYTHING is focused on photography EVEN THE GE'S. The business classes are all focused on the business of photography and same with even the English classes, etc. Hence the "BFA"

Professors and classes i HIGHLY recommend:

Christy Schuler - Any post production classes she teaches TAKE THEM. She is very good with her students and knows what she is talking about. She's worked on feature films and does high-end retouching.

Dean Dephilipo - An all around fantastic guy and a great teacher in the video classes. One of the most helpful teachers I had.

Ralph Clevenger - The owner of the "iceberg picture" that everyone has seen, a master of stock photography and also a great teacher in video.

Greg Voight - Another awesome guy. Great in the commercial photography class and great to learn from in lower division classes.

There are many more, but these are a few that made the biggest impact on me personally.
Most people HATE Brooks because of the price. NEWSFLASH if you want to go to a private school you're gonna pay more! (still cheaper than the art institute and has better credentials) Education should be free, but I'm not gonna get all political on you right now.

Let's get this straight now. You DO NOT have to go to school to be a photographer, I chose to because i wanted to LEARN. If you're going here for "just the degree" than you are an idiot, straight up.

Fact: Most people who graduate from here start freelancing or assisting other photographers in the field right out of school. I am currently with a small company and DID NOT have to go to Brooks to work here, but I'm glad i did because i have better knowledge about the business of photography and what i learned helps me everyday.

Fact: Brooks does not guarantee you a job! Unless they wanna get sued again ;) but what i can say is they have helped me and a few others i know get jobs. In fact i wouldn't have my current job if it wasn't for their job leads they send to my email nearly EVERYDAY. I could be biased, but i spent my entire last semester job hunting and Brooks pulled through with my internship with a celebrity photographer (while I was in school) and my current job which I look forward to having for the next few years to come.

Most of your concern may be the price. Let me put that part in perspective for you. I took out a lot of loans, the maximum you can, for living expenses AND tuition. My monthly loan payments are around the 1500/mth range. NO, that is not a typo. School is expensive, because it's a business and they can charge any amount they want. 'Murica

Some of the employees are full of sh*t. I was offered, from the vice president of admissions, to buy my portfolio, well after interviewing with her and me calling her 100 times she completely stiffed me. I'm convinced it's still the best school for photography. For film you'd have to ask someone who graduated from that dept.

3rd Year Male -- Class 2013
Surrounding City: A+, Extracurricular Activities: F
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Brooks Institute was a powerhouse of knowledge andDesign Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Brooks Institute was a powerhouse of knowledge and a practice based school. Do not step into this college without knowing that you want to end up in your selected field. I loved the graphic design teachers and felt that their current industry knowledge was key to my current success. You need to be willing to go out and get a job right after leaving because the student loans are so high. However, being motivated and working constantly will put you in a great position for your chosen career. I have since gotten three raises and two huge bonuses because of the knowledge and skill I learned from this school.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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