Full Sail University Reviews

Full Sail University
( 58 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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SCAM!
August 18, 2022

Full sail lies about their accreditation most if not all employers do not recognize their degree. INCLUDING ALL THEIR SISTER SCHOOLS AND THEIR FAKE DEGREES. They will pass you even if you do no work! THEY'RE A JOKE!!!! but good luck getting out because by the time you figure out they're a scam (one semester) they somehow have you on the hook for two years worth of student loans.

StacyPifher October 01, 2022

Full sail has always said they are nationally Credited and not regional accreditation. I know some public universities that has turned down public community college accreditation for whatever reason universe serve universities and colleges don’t have to except any transfers that they don’t want so crying about they lied they didn’t lie except to ask consumers to check out the facts before enrolling. As for me UCLA did except my transfer and all I have is a Full Sail University Degree.

You Get What You Put In
July 7, 2022

I’m currently a student at FSU studying Graphic Design. I see tons of negative reviews and loads of people that claim to have worked there, and all I can do is give y’all my honest to God opinion.

I’m an American, living in Japan, and attending FSU online. Though I am a military veteran and have been using my benefits to pay for the school, I can agree that it is rather pricey. That being said, I have a wife, 2 children under the age of 3, and a full time job. I manage. The coursework is insanely fast paced, but it’s not like they don’t tell you that before you start.

Everyone is complaining about “I took the online course and had to learn things from YouTube”. Yeah. True. Real shocker there right? You’re taking an online course, how else did you expect to learn things?

They do Zoom meetings at LEAST once a week, many of them offer you their own PERSONAL phone numbers telling you to hit them up with questions, and they also put you into a SLACK community where you can ask questions and discuss things with other students and industry professionals.

There are so many tools to use if you’re struggling, but most of y’all just want things handed to you. You have to put in a lot of work, and it’s understandable for what they offer. You get a 4 year degree in 29 months online. You work at your own pace, you’re told due dates, meetings, and even know what to expect later in class.

If you have poor time management skills, FSU isn’t for you, plain and simple. At the start of each class they make you confirm professionalism wickets each time, such as turning things in on time, not making excuses, and giving it your all. They operate much like the real world does, and tons of y’all are upset because you say you “didn’t know” before hand. It’s not easy. Not in the slightest, and many people in my class will probably flunk out or give up, I can tell just by the work they turn in.

I’m not even that far into my program and have been offered jobs and internships based on my work, but sadly turn them all down as I have no plans to leave Japan in the near future. FSU isn’t going to hand you a job, but what they WILL do is point you in the right direction, and give you the tools to be successful for whatever degree program you’re enrolled in.

Networking and putting yourself out there is also necessary to be successful here. All this pick me stuff everyone seems to feel entitled too is getting ridiculous. I dunno if I’ll be successful in the future with my FS degree, but I can tell you I’ll make the most of it with what I have now, and if I fail, I know I only have myself to blame. It’s not like I wasn’t told what to expect.

Don’t listen to everyone’s negative comments. If you wanna go to FSU, go for it. If you don’t, don’t. Apply yourself anywhere and you can go far.

Phoebe July 12, 2022

Bravo! I too am married with two babies under two, thanking God for my husband and babies support. I enrolled to FSU at the end of May 2022 best decision ever!

I see more negative comments then positive and it’s because I agree with you everyone wants things handed to them and it doesn’t work like that full sail isn’t bad like everyone is saying, not saying I won’t get challenges.

I too am online and if I don’t put in the work and turn in my assignments on time I won’t see no positive results(time-management). Full sail is fast-paced but you gotta want to be dedicated and willing to put in the work for success.

And that’s beyond Full Sail. We can’t blame a university for not receiving a job after graduation that’s anywhere! And what 4-year college you know allows you to graduate within 2 years? So I second this motion try out Full Sail for yourself if finances are a problem then get financial aid. Go for your dreams people you only live once(yolo).

JasonRichter August 18, 2022

NO you don't but you will find out soon enough.

StacyPifher October 01, 2022

I’m in DCBS program at Full sail University. First I want to point out is how many Professors in Digit Cinematography is A working Director, producer, PA, etc. you lean from working Hollywood professors, You get an IPad, apple MacBook Pro, a Sony FX6 Professional studio equipment with tripods and lights.

No other universities will send you supplies to be successful, in the “Real World” it’s up to you to spend that money and the DCBS launch box is over $10,000.00 even the LA Film School don’t offer all this. Not only they give you all the equipment they teach you how to use it. These classes are meant to be hard, because Hollywood is hard to get into and you must know what you're doing. I have a job as an Assistant Director/Producer.

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.

FULL SAIL IS A SCAM
August 26, 2020

LISTEN TO THE BAD REVIEWS

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.

Stacy June 28, 2022

I’m still a current student at Full sail and I have received a job at a major studio in Digital Cinematography field My FASFA, and student loans with 2 scholarships let me pay my tuition and full. Like any and all private or public schools , it’s up to the student to learn and put 100% in the studies, not every one is cut out for rigorous coursework.

Full Sail University proof is in the pudding quite a bit of the graduates are Grammy winners Oscar winners and Tony winners, what better prove is that. It’s not up to any private or public college to get you a job after graduation they can assist you by giving you leads but at the end of the day except to yourselves to sell yourself to the employer not the college or universities responsibility. Period.

I I guess Full Sail University and it’s classes in a place I went from making minimum wage 13 bucks an hour at fast food to make an $32 in a major studio doing what I love to do

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.

Stacy June 28, 2022

University in California for a bachelors degree can cost as much as $100,000.00+

If full sail is a scam why is there more people in Hollywood production making big money and earning awards, in my opinion the people that is complaining is the ones that does not have a full understanding. Plus part of the tuition is the Launchbox. The most current iPad, current Apple Mac Pro, and specific items for your degree program. As in my previous post I went from fast food making $14.00/hr to $35.00/hr. All because full sail gives the student the skills needed to succeed in the industry. Again it’s not up to any private or public schools to get a Parton a job, leads for jobs is what all colleges and private and public

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

TLDR:

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.

COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY!

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?