Full Sail University Reviews

Full Sail University
( 56 reviews )

Full Sail University is a trade school specializing in higher learning that offers a variety of degrees in audio, film, design, computer animation, and other fields.

Full Sail University is located in Winter Park, Florida, and was founded in 1979.

How Does it Work?

Full Sail University is often called a 'scam' by former students for a variety of reasons.  Perhaps the largest reason is the high expense of receiving an education there.  

Tuition ranges from around $36,000 to around $75,000 for a full degree program.  Students frequently complain of having paid such high tuition prices and yet still having difficulty finding a job in their field.

Now, many students of universities all over the nation make the very same complaint, especially with the current state of the economy and job market.

What makes Full Sail University different, however, is that they are a for-profit institution.

Controversy Surrounding For-Profit Schools

For-profit schools have a laundry list of complaints and criticisms lodged against them on a regular basis.  The biggest issue by far with for-profit schools is their accreditation.

For-profit schools like Full Sail University have federal accreditation through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), which is a third party, independent commission recognized by the US Department of Education to accredit schools.

However, this accreditation is incredibly specific, and unlike regional accreditation given to public universities and colleges, it is not necessarily recognized or accepted by other schools or employers.

This means that whatever credits you accumulate at Full Sail University will not transfer to or be accepted by other universities if you need to transfer.

In addition, if you receive a bachelor's degree at Full Sail and are looking to another institution to receive a Master's degree, they are not guaranteed to recognize your bachelor's degree.

In addition, former students have complained their employers have not recognized Full Sail degrees, meaning they were not promoted or given salary compensation for having received a higher degree.

This problem has become so prevalent in the United States, that the Federal Government is proposing legislation that would make for-profit colleges ineligible for student loans funded by the Federal Government.

Is Full Sail University Legit?

Well, despite the complaints both from former students and employees, what Full Sail University is doing is completely legal.

Other for-profit institutions with potential accreditation problems include Phoenix University and DeVry University, as well as most culinary and art institutions.

However, it is up to every student who is entering college to think long and hard about the money it will cost to attain a degree, as well as whether or not that institution or degree will work for them.

Researching that school's rankings and reputation for the degree you wish to receive, as well as their graduation and job placement rate is absolutely necessary before you take on the financial commitment.

If you have any experience with Full Sail University or their services, please leave your reviews below.

Full Sail University Customer Reviews

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Great Experience, no complaints
June 2, 2022

I had an amazing experience at Full Sail. Although, unlike many students, I'm a military veteran and was able to use my Education benefits, so I didn't have to worry about the high tuition price. I attended the BS media communications online program and feel like I learned so much.

I also built a pretty good portfolio. Compared to other colleges I have attended, I feel like I actually learned necessary knowledge for my field of interest. It's a very hands on learning type of school, even if it is online. Almost everything you do its project based.

Also, everyone I have communicated with at Full Sail (advisors, tech support, instructors) has been friendly and helpful, so I am surprised by the number of negative reviews. I will be going back for my master's soon.

Interested in Full Sail
September 28, 2020

I'm a parent with a junior interested in Full Sail. Upon reading the approach to teaching the coursework, I liked what I read. Mind you, I graduated with a traditional degree but I picked up the vocational skills by pure happen chance with the luck of the draw type of career altering non-traditional switch up early out of college.

Those working for big studios, what talent do they go up against? What's the comparable "college" or "university" track degree program? Are they formally disciplined to approach "solving a business challenge" using a formal based project methodology to move the project from start to finish or hypothesis to solution, and ultimately delivery into production?

Quiet honestly, I foresee companies reorganizing their resources into projectized organization chart if they are not already informally organized that way. This takes a certain kind of person to maintain--almost entrepreneurial spirited or at least a facilitator at the helm to chart the way.

August 26, 2020


You will owe a whole lot of tuition even Financial Aid can't help you there. You think FAFSA will cover you but be prepared to owe a whole lot of money. I learned nothing from this school and now I owe $7,450 and that was only for attending under 4 months. It's really not worth it. If you're on Financial Aid GET PREPARED to being in debt because eventually it's money that you'll owe for a while till you finish paying it off.

Mikepowell October 28, 2021

Begging your pardon ,allow me to respond to your review. In your opinion you said this school is a scam but yet you only attended 4 months and obviously you signed up for the classes,my question is this, how can you attend under one semester and expect to be able to earn anything? The amount you owe correlates to what is owed per semester,I am gonna venture to say that you signed up for online classes and didn't expect it to take the time and dedication it needs to make it worth it. you realized that it was gonna be a 40 to 50 hr a week full time job type commitment to get your degree, you decided not to attend and now they are holding you to your debt for the one semester. so, in my opinion Full Sail delivered the education you owe for and its you who is scamming. You cannot hold the university responsible for your lack of commitment and personal accountability. you knew exactly what you would owe before you started orientation when you signed your paperwork detailing the expenditure.

TRIPPYMLG Junkrat March 06, 2022

Considering 8000 dollars in only 4 months that's pretty ridiculous no matter how u try to cut it up lol

Lola May 14, 2022

My experience there is different -- I applied and "auditioned" for a teaching position in the graphic design department. As such I got to meet a lot of higher-ups and faculty. I am myself a graduate of a top independent art college in the Midwest -- a standard BFA (meaning I did not just have to complete art classes, but English, History, Psychology, Sociology and other mainstream coursework).

So I can tell you this place is a very costly fraud. They "sell people" on a SHORTCUT to jobs in very competitive industries, but they don't teach you anything special you could not have earned in a community college class -- for about 1/5th the cost. These are not even real degrees (AA, BS, BFA and so on) but just "certificates". They have no creds if you decide to transfer to a four year university.

Don't go to any of these fake schools.
June 12, 2020
Full sail, but the logo is a plane not a boat. Get your $43k Pell grant and hand that over. Now you're in debt. You could have gone to a real community college for half that. I worked for ITT on campus briefly (2 years) and saw all this before. I have a "real" Masters Degree from a real state university.

Lola May 14, 2022

Thanks for mentioning that! I thought that was super weird years ago. "Full Sail" clearly means "a ship under sail" (think "Cutty Sark") but they use an AIRPLANE? do planes sail? Maybe a glider. But then it crashes. Is that an intentional visual joke?

Community college is more like $6000 a year and you get a REAL Associates Degree (that would transfer to any state university! should you want a bachelor's degree later on!) -- instead it is $43,000 (OR MORE) to study... what? Computer animation? video game design? Those are not even high paying jobs.

You could go to different community colleges for 8 years and probably not spend $43K. (Oh and don't forget -- if you can't live at home -- if you don't live in the general Orlando area -- you've got very pricey housing costs, commuting expenses -- you need a car, Orlando is NOT walkable -- food, a high-end computer and so on.)

ITT was another fake school with very compelling commercials, pretending they could prepare you for "high tech jobs". In fact, it was a scam to get Federal loans and put students in shockingly high debts for basically unusable degrees.

NOTE: Full Sail does not provide information on how many graduates actually achieve TOP JOBS in creative industries such as gaming and animation.

It is worth noting that Disney closed their Orlando studio around 2003-2004 -- they don't even DO animation in Florida today. It's all based in California.

It was a great experience!
March 11, 2020

You will find many people writing negative stuff about Full Sail University. I finished a Game Development Bachelor of Science in 2019. I would tell you it was a great experience! It was on campus by the way. However, Full Sail University is a very challenging school.

The programs are very fast and intense. Subjects such as programming, graphics programming, engine development are hard. But, there are all the resources you need if you really want to learn. At least, the program I did was amazing. Every school has somethings you may not like. Full Sail is a great school, but I met bad students along the way. Many of them did not make it, those are the ones putting bad reviews.

Many of my classmates are already working for big studios such as Epic Games, EA. Today, I met one currently working on Doom Eternal. So, don't blame the school all the resources are there.

Worst two years of my life
March 10, 2020


Bad class structure

Small lackluster campus

Extremely expensive compared to other uni's of the same caliber

In my final month of my Bachelor of Science in Game Art. If I'm going to be completely honest it has been the worst two years of my life first of all the way the courses work sucks big time every month you start a completely new topic and have a completely new teacher so you basically spend a whole month building a rapport with your teacher then when you are finally getting to know them you get given a new teacher.

The campus is also pretty bland, not much to do compared with others I have visited. The library's pretty lackluster as well although to be fair they do have a fairly large online library. No dorms on campus either so you will need to rent an apartment that adds more bills onto an already expensive student bill. Because my parents don't live in the US I wasn't applicable for any student aid luckily I was able to land a scholarship that made a fairly large dent but I still feel the pricing is fairly ridiculous.

Honestly avoid Full Sail at all costs it looks amazing on paper but it really isnt. If you've got loads of money and your finding a new way to burn it sure go get yourself a masters but for someone trying to find a uni that's going to help them get a job or someone who wants to have a great time on campus go find a traditional uni there are hundreds out there that do the same courses as Full Sail for half the price.

They had a good start
March 2, 2020

I went there back in 1986. And they were dishing out courses at a fast pace especially those that involved electronics. Such as when assembling equipment to make sure of proper grounding or soldering or figuring out amperage/voltage etc.

Looking back THEY HAD A LOT OF EGO (Jon Phelps and some other staff) and it was all about collecting those checks from students which most had filed for financial ass. They had very little interest if you successfully graduated hence they were scathed with hot criticism concerning their legitimacy.

Scam! Scam!
February 18, 2020

Wont give me a tax form also added time to my education by saying my 2 year program is now a 4 year.

Never talk to a live teacher! All classes I have to do by myself without help by looking at videos on YouTube from other palaces.. When I ask a question I am told not to. This place is a scam. Do not go here!

Lola May 14, 2022

At least when I was there -- I was applying to be a graphic design instructor, not a student -- I thought the whole "schtick" was you could complete an AA degree in only a year or slightly more -- that it was MUCH QUICKER than a stodgy old degree from a university or community college -- more hands on tech instruction -- no boring bothersome "academics" -- so you hit the jobs market at only 19 or 20, ready to get high pay for a job in the gaming or animation industries.

Has that changed? BTW: it is a rip off to have classes on video -- zoom -- or any way but with a real instructor you can talk to and ask questions of -- and who is available for assistance after hours.

You also have to consider COST. Are they offering such unique instruction or access to technologies, that it is WORTH paying as much as for Harvard or Yale... are these classes you could have taken at a community college or state university, for 1/8th the price?

Full Sail is a complete fraud!
November 5, 2019
Their degrees are not valid in the real world and leave students in extreme debt. Do not be fooled by their marketing. This is not a school! It is a high priced amusement park.

Never had a problem
October 6, 2019

Well I went and currently in the Masters if Internet marketing program. I got my bachelors in Digital cinematography. With the degree alone I can't say I got a job with it cause I have my own hosting business.

As for the accreditation I was able to get a in the alternative teacher program to teach technology applications in the school district here in Frisco, TX so technically I am working now at first I was doing PR however it was not challenging I switch to masters in marketing which is bit hard either depending on your personal goals would be to determine if this is the right school I have never had a problem when it came to being an accredited school

Go somewhere else
August 9, 2019

For anyone thinking about the school - go somewhere else - my experience starts when I could have done a job transfer at a popular retailer in the area like most college students do, but reject due to the school itself & nothing on my side that was even before going. This was my first red flag & it didn't leave ever since. These negative reviews are always going to be more right than any of the positives which sadly made even the nicest person a recruiter for a cult.

I want to start with this statement "you get want you out into it", I went through a burnout just to be there even if I did well & showed my talents in projects. I also worked there & didn't get a chance to move up like everyone should. So, imagine that - I wish I just got to go somewhere else & making it happen. So, that isn't true & if you are in situation where you are burning out like that - that is a very dangerous statement. And if you are this type of student - BS!

I had a classmate who hated the major to the point of just not showing up & made the group do all their work. This is in a lot of reviews - and it creates a false image of the school that students need to completely stop for this reason alone - it is too much like a cult or a pyramid scheme to do that. The school's policies except for the clause about negative comments (hint this comment is why it doesn't work) are so badly forced that I saw classmates who have been even kicked, come back & just become more popular. There is a lot of bullying at the school & it does go to the sexual parts.

I was in a sexual harassment case where I had to drop it because I was to look like a stripper when I wasn't because it was reported to a teacher & all I got was an email that was very clearly a trap that I didn't respond to it (for very good reason). I wanted out as long as I got that & only believe they had the opportunity I was seeking except I found other places for the same opportunity. Background checks are needed as many students are just around questionable people that just manipulate others to point of being taken advantage of - if the group you were in wasn't strong enough to say no - it was a nightmare for you.

The school stalks your social media accounts & if you are thinking - they will act fast to keep you. This is the only personal part - I went to a job interview that the school disagree with & forced out to bring me to work in an office when I didn't state & was only using what others thought just to keep me in a toxic place. I was getting gaslighted on job postings & I know this as one of my job postings had a skill I didn't require enough of to make a career of. They do this to every single student they don't like. I learned that I was getting better responses with a community college degree from another state than Florida & job postings from Indeed that when they finally did the last act to keep me there - I just wanted to do a college transfer which is why if the comment - if you love to be in a career in the media - don't go here - most will have to leave & will be in misery.

Also, I'm making it clear - to anyone who hates full sail & going there right - get out before the degree including your last class - I know, but graduation- this school doesn't care & take care of your health & have a part time job - it will get more than being called a recruiter for a college that has that same behaviors as the MLM selling leggings that rip holes even before you wear that.

Hal E February 03, 2020

Reading through your review I can see why you didn’t excel. Your post was impossible to follow, your sentences didn’t convey any coherent thought and it was difficult to even comprehend the nonsense you were trying to get across. You should start from scratch maybe learn to write before you try higher education... Maybe take an English class. No one with any semblance of intellect would go on an unintelligible rant like that forgoing all grammar and spelling and coherency. Please do the world a great favor and never procreate.

Zeekatt February 15, 2020

Ditto Hal Emmerich... Take a grammar and English course. It would serve you well. My son spent 18 months at Full Sail - loved it - has never been unemployed in his field of sound engineering and production. In other words, he is a happy camper.

You learn a lot
July 25, 2019

I really do not understand how people had a negative experience at full sail. If you do the work, and use the resources, you learn a lot. I was in the graphic design program and learned more at full sail than I did at a large university.

I was online , and yes you have to had a little more drive, but my portfolio was large and had projects in every area in GD. was able to land a job in a month.

Bp January 29, 2020

Hi there! 'm in the enrollment process now for graphic design and 'm just wondering if you did online or in class degree? If you did online were the classes engaging? Or were they just YouTube videos? Where were you able to find a job? Did your employer have any issues with you going to full sail?

I loved their programs
July 8, 2019

Not sure why you guys are speaking so negative about Full Sail University, I am a 2 time graduate and I loved their programs, they have taught me everything I need to know for the real world. I have received an handsome raise at my job.

I know several alumni such that work in very lucrative jobs in the music industry (Leslie Brathwaithe Grammy award winning producer) as well as the movie industry (Keicon Cherry-The Voice, Katalynn Crawford-Fox Sports). Do your research before jumping on the bandwagon of negativity.

Full Sail is not a traditional school but is well worth it. By the way other universities do in fact accept their credits but also remember each university doesn't have to accept any credits from any school so singling out Full Sail isn't fair. Any questions please feel free to email me at [email protected]

I am EPTV Channel 22 Station Manger or you can got to Eastpointcity.org and look under the office of communications and find my information. Thanks to Full Sail and my education I was able to obtain this job.

Mike Dimock

Absolute waste of time!
May 21, 2019

You're better off pursuing a practical degree path. Financial aid is a joke. They WILL find a way to keep your approved Financial Aid money from you. Instructors offer little, if any, assistance with assignments.


NOT WORTH the money
February 26, 2019
I went to Full Sail university and I have to say, it was NOT WORTH the money. I'm now $60k in debt and unable to pay. They promised job placement and have offered none. They promised a comprehensive education in my field and NONE of the instructors had ever even worked in the field. Hell, I found that one of the courses; every single test was taken (word for word) from another college's tests. It's a farce and I really hope that people are able to see through the crappy value they offer better than I did.

Palco August 20, 2019

Bro no one offers jobs in full sail everyone know that and all the time we the students say that out in open that by hard work it might take 4 to 5 years but if you keep on working about your passion as long as it takes you are on the right track ok! You went to full sail for jobs or publicity I can tell you by reading your comment that it's all your fault ...

I was disillusioned
August 24, 2018
Attended Full Sail in the summer of 2013, By 2014 I was disillusioned. Playing games was a common theme. Work pace of lessons too quick and nothing is transferable. I took web development, why they were pushing gameplay is beyond me. Another issue was with communication. This high tech school was using AOL IM! I wonder what they now use since AOL finally pulled the plug on that ancient architecture.

August 21, 2018

I graduated from the Internet Marketing online master's program in 2016. Guys, I really wanted to believe that the program was worth it. I really did.

I started out with considerable work experience in the field, so I thought that a higher degree was the smartest next step. I bought the motivational discourse and chose to "invest in myself".

2 years after graduation, I am still unemployed. This degree has left me in major debt and zero help from their Career Placement office. They called me once to see if I was working, but apparently "working on a project" qualifies as self-employed, which means you are not their problem anymore.

This is what makes Full Sail a scam.

Why is it scam? The government requires for-profit schools to maintain a 30% employement placement rate in order to receive federal funding. By categorizing graduates who are freelancing (ie. Struggling to survive and defaulting student loans) as "employed", Full Sail is meeting that minimum with a loophole. So they not only scam you, they're scamming tax payers, too!

Sure, you can't expect them to find you a job. However, you ARE assured that you will receive interview coaching, help with your resume, and a lot of other crap that simply is NOT true.

To make matters worse, the Internet Marketing field is so over-saturated that their "degree" is worth shit. The master's online program is nothing but an overview of topics that are general knowledge, at a pace so ridiculous that it makes you believe that you're learning something.

I've started deleting FSU from my resumes and applications to improve my chances, and I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that it will get shut down one day. Full Sail is the worst mistake I've ever made.

GregHartigan April 26, 2022

Thanks any thoughts on best in class alternative school for gaming?

July 20, 2018
This school is absolutely terrible, you could learn most of what they teach through Youtube and Lydia. Its not worth how much money you're putting into the programs and the credits are non transferable. The staff is not looking out for your best interest and only want your money.

GregHartigan April 26, 2022

Thanks any good alternative schools?

May 9, 2018

I am a former student AND Full Sail employee. I worked in the admissions department for a year before enrolling and graduating from the Film Program in 2000.

Worst decision I have made in my entire adult life. Seriously, if I could change just ONE thing, I would never set foot on the Winter Park property.

When reading reviews, notice the following: GREAT reviews come, most often, from current students or people who have gone on the tour and are considering enrolling. The few other positive reviews come from the same few people who post repeatedly. One has to wonder if those "cheerleaders" are getting paid to advocate for this "school".

The majority of negative reviews come from graduated alum who now have no job in their field, but staggering loan payments. (You are more likely to have to move back in with your parents than finding a real job in your field.)

Notice, as well, how the same lines are repeated, over and over again in the positive reviews: you get what you put in to it. You can't succeed if you are lazy. You didn't finish, so you were never fit for it to begin with.

I heard that brainwashing EVERY DAY, even 17 years ago. These people are just repeating what they are told and desperately want to believe... I mean, for the kind of money they are paying, who can blame them?

Truth is: Full Sail profits greatly from lies and propaganda and cashing in on people's dreams. That last one is what really burns my *ss.

Do current students like it? Sure they do! But consider this: would you sink yourself into debt for the bulk of your adult life just to attend Space Camp? It's a great experience, sure, but at its completion, you are not an astronaut and you will not be going into space. It really won't matter how good your grades were.

I was at the top of my class, moved to Chicago two weeks after graduation, and despite my hustle, learned to go hungry.

A few people WILL find work, for sure. Good for them, really. You could also play the lottery, and maybe, eventually, you'll win big and never have to work again.

The worst part of it is that people DO work hard, they DO hustle afterwards. They go hungry, live with their parents, agree to work unpaid internships and end up with careers at Walmart.

It's the SCHOOL that isn't working for its high-paying students.

For the price, Full Sail simply does not benefit even half of its graduates in the "Real World".

Full Sail Fails.

Amelia Lasar -2000

Diego T February 23, 2019

Hi Amelia, I was just at my school's college fair and I had a few questions about Full Sail.

Can we talk sometime soon?

email - [email protected]


Diego Taboada

GregHartigan April 26, 2022

Thanks any ideas on best alternatives for gaming ?

Lola May 14, 2022

Consider that some of the "glowing reviews" from grads who claim great jobs... might be people who would have succeeded with NO degree or one in an alternate field... because they have INSIDER INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS -- nepotism, etc.

You don't want to hear anecdotes about employment after graduation -- you want hard statistics about who is working in their field (not just "any random job") -- how much they get paid -- freelancing and personal projects DO NOT COUNT.

January 3, 2018
I didn't go to full sail and am considering enrolling in either the audio production or music business bachelors program. I can't give any input about Full Sail, however, I did attend and graduate from an audio technology program about a year ago and can attest to what all of these Full Sail grads are saying about securing employment in the industry. I know engineers who don't have a lick of higher education (some not even having a high school diploma) who are doing very well for themselves as freelance engineers. I also know engineers who graduated from schools like SAE (where I studied) and Full Sail who either own and run successful studios or get steady engineering work as freelancers. There are people achieving success at all kinds of companies in my field and I PROMISE you that the ONE thing employers in the music industry care about more than anything is EXPERIENCE. And if you don't have that, you BETTER be happy getting coffee, making food and beverage runs, cleaning the dishes and bathroom, taking out garbage, and doing any documentation an assistant engineer would do for a lead engineer on top of all of the intern stuff. These expectations aren't because you're a rookie or because where you got your degree isn't impressive, but rather to see how badly you really want to be there. And if you do want to be there, you will do all these things happily and patiently wait for that golden moment to step up to the plate when an engineer is needed and the lead engineer has an emergency at home. This isn't how you get your foot in the door but how you kick it down, guns blazing, ready to show and prove you do the job better than the engineer they initially booked anyway. I have been able to secure a lot of freelance work since graduating from SAE Miami (a FOR-PROFIT school that ONLY awards certificates), and the pay is really good too. The work isn't very consistent but that is because I am still building my brand. Im confident that an education from Full Sail (or one of the other universities I am considering) will earn me the knowledge I need to apply to my business and take it to the next level. Stop making excuses. If I can find employment in the entertainment industry with a simple certificate, there is no excuse for someone with an actual degree to not find work. No school anywhere on the planet, promises or guarantees job placement. Thats a very stupid reason to slander an institution for higher learning and shows me that your lack of success is your own fault and that you lack the maturity to accept responsibility for your own life. Grads from Harvard and Yale and Stanford even have to network to find the jobs of their dreams (if they aren't coming up with their own ideas to make money). Why should grads from an art school be handed anything ? When I read all of the griping and see all of the incessant scrutiny on youtube, its obvious the people making the comments are just bitter because they thought they were going to be able to coast through an art school and land a job at SKYWALKER RANCH right out the gate. Thats just pathetic. You all sound like a bunch entitled brats that were never told "no" and given participation ribbons for every competition you didn't place in. The school has been operating for almost 40 years and began as full sail recording workshop. After ONLY a year of educating, they received so many awards for education, they were able to change their name to Full Sail College. And it wasn't long after that they had everything they needed to call themselves a University. Bottom line is, this school is doing something right. The main reason its come this far at all is because of all of the recognitions for education. Do your research. Naysayers are usually only naysayers because they are cantdoers and quit because of it. The entertainment industry is a competitive industry. Its the one industry almost EVERYONE wishes and dreams they could work in but don't even make an attempt to because of how intimidating it is. Well, its intimidating for a reason. Its the DREAM COME TRUE career for damn near any american.

Marlyn February 20, 2019

thank you David because I was a bit confuse on these comments and start to wonder about the college. My son get accepted but haven't complete paper work as yet, he should be starting in September of this year in the music production field, if he don't change his mind. If the college is a good college why people are giving the school such a bad name. I was ready to give up until I read your posting, thank you.