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The Academy of Art University

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Date: Nov 09 2004
Major: Art & Design Department (This Major's Salary over time)
I went to AAU 1994-1999. Back then everyone complained about the quality and reputation of the school, including me. And honestly I'm pretty surprised that students are still complaining. One would think that the administration will do something about it. Guess not.

I was the average student. I went to my classes, but can't say that I was the most dedicated student. I had other things to worry about—money, family, friends, etc. One thing I can say is that there were LOTS of students there who just weren't into it, which discouraged serious students like me. The morale was very undermining at times. Couple that with the jaded attitudes of the instructors. Most of them came to teach classes after their day jobs and by that time were very tired and grumpy. I can't count how many times I've witnessed teachers lashing out their bad day (and bad luck) to students. It's awful.

Anyway, I did my own thing, cuz what can I do, I've gotten myself into a serious student loan debt and so I might as well get that diploma.

The school did nothing in terms of my creativity. It actually discouraged its students (at least in the advertising dept) to be expressive and different. They had very hard lines which you were obliged to follow unless you don't care about passing the class. Now that I've been working for about 5 years, I now know which agencies are good or not, and the teachers who taught those classes came from real stuffy agencies—not one came from a creative place, so this very much reflected what they taught. Even now, as I browse through current student work, it's still hard-lined. They all follow the bland old-fashioned advertising rules. Blah.

I dunno, do I recommend AAU? For undergraduate, no. For graduate, yes. And this is only because I think only mature students can see through all the muck. Go there if you want the skillz to pay the billz. But don't go there for inspiration, cuz you ain't getting none of that.

What sucks the most is that I'm always ashamed to tell people where I earned my BFA degree. No one ought to ever feel that way, especially if they paid so much money to get it.

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