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The Academy of Art University

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Date: May 29 2008
Major: Other (This Major's Salary over time)
Now that I am over two years removed from my second bachelors degree obtained at AAU, I can tell you that the experience was a miserable failure.

I regret sticking with the school, and I should have bailed out early on. It is simply NOT worth the money, period. Now I'm deeply in school loan debt and I feel like I wasted several years when I could have obtained the same amount of information for much less and much faster.

Problems with the school range from:

1-CURRICULUM is built to "stress" fundamentals, meaning you are forced to take many classes not directly related to your field until you get to the level you wanted in the first place. This process alone rakes in the money for AAU.

2-NO STUDENT BODY. Students have no say-so over much of anything, and the president/owner of the school runs it however she wants, like an evil corporation.

3-TEACHERS are hit-or-miss. Many times I saw Craigslist postings looking for teachers in various subjects right before the semester started. Some of the instructors I had had never taught before, some were very out of touch with the industry, and some were hired because they were former work buddies with the department director. Now, there are some great teachers as well, but it's a total crapshoot as far as who you get stuck with.

4-PRICES are outrageous. On top of getting ripped for $2 thousand per class, you are hit with a $400 lab fee in addition for many classes, even if you NEVER use the labs at all.

5-COUNSELORS and ADVISORS are ONLY there to keep you signed up. They will tell you anything to recruit you, for example that there is a high job placement rate. But they count ANY type of employment, even if you sell hot dogs. Advisors won't really help you much because most of them are either apathetic or know very little about the ever-changing programs.

My major was 3D Animation, and I can honestly say I have learned 10 times more since I LEFT the school than while I was there. If you are already experienced in animation, and just want to take the PIXAR classes, then good luck. Otherwise, you can learn much more and save A LOT of money by going elsewhere, such as AnimationMentor.com, or SF State, or even the Peralta Junior Colleges. Don't sign up for the school just to learn about animation or explore it-you'll be making a big mistake.

I sincerely hope you think long and hard, and don't just take my word for it- ask around before you waste your money here. Seriously.

I wish someone could have warned me about 5 years ago…

Thanks

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