Is Full Sail University legit? Full Sail University is 100% legit. However, most people question their legitimacy based on their status as a private, for profit school. Moreover, Full Sail offers online courses, which most talk down on, considering the general reputation of online colleges. Some even go as far as describing this school as a ‘profit mill’ and a ‘scam’.
Again, this University is legit and real but they have had their own share of controversies and all. So, how I will structure this review is that it will contain the pros and cons of Full Sail University. You will then use these elements to judge for yourself. The truth is that no one understands you better than yourself, including your target and all, which determines whether the school is worth it for you or not.
Is Full Sail University Legit?
Full Sail University is legit, however, this is questioned by the fact that they are a private, for profit school. Unfortunately, this isn’t the benchmark you want to evaluate a school with. Even non-profits need the money to run the school’s business. The problem here is that some private schools tend to prioritize their investors over the quality of education.
Now, this is arguable when it comes to Full Sail. But this, this is a really expensive school—it isn’t for all. However, when you meet the equipment, you’ll probably change your mind about the tuition.
So, yes, the school is legit. It just won’t be worth it for some degrees, which is why you really need to look into this aspect, especially when it comes to accreditation. Now, Full Sail isn’t regionally accredited but they are nationally accredited. Even with national accreditation, many organizations won’t recognize them, including when you need to transfer credits.
Is Full Sail University Respected?
Before I say anything else on this, Full Sail is highly respected, that’s despite some of their controversial flares. But here is also something you need to know. In the film industry, graduates from Full Sail University hold a unique position. The school is well-known, thanks to extensive promotion, making Full Sail a more recognized name than many other colleges. When industry professionals learn that someone is a Full Sail graduate, they’re curious to see how they’ll perform. This curiosity stems from mixed experiences with past graduates: some have been outstanding (‘good apples’), leaving a positive impression, while others (‘bad apples’) have been less impressive.
However, graduating from Full Sail doesn’t guarantee instant success or high regard in the film industry, unlike what one might expect from an Ivy League institution like Harvard. In fact, a person without a degree but with hands-on experience, such as working on two shows as a production assistant, may be preferred over a Full Sail graduate with only academic project experience.
So, in the film industry, respect and opportunities come not from the name of your school but from the energy, vibe, and work ethic you bring to your job. So, if you’re considering Full Sail for your education, the degree alone won’t earn you industry respect.
Earlier, I mentioned that this review is structured based on the pros and cons of Full Sail University. The idea is to leave you to make a perfect judgment yourself.
Of course, the school does have several major positives that make it the go-to for your specific degree.
High Acceptance Rate
Full Sail University has a 100% acceptance rate. Nonetheless, a school with an open admissions policy can sometimes come off as not serious to some people. To apply here, you just need a high school diploma or a GED.
Online Enrollment is Flexible
Full Sail offers both online and offline schools. Online courses offer a unique learning experience, different from traditional in-person classes, and you’re not always required to attend live lectures. Instead, you might need to review recorded lectures at your own pace. While not all online courses include video content, most do, along with weekly lectures and an archive of past sessions. Whether online education is better than in-person learning really depends on your preferences. You might need the hands-on, flexible online courses if you are the busy type.
You Get a Free Laptop
Yes, Full Sail University gives free laptops to students through its Project LaunchBox program.
Full Sail Offers Financial Aid
You will get financial aid at Full Sail University to support your educational journey. Full Sail provides different categories of financial aid, including grants, loans, work-study programs, and scholarships.
You can apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal aid. You will need to complete and submit the FAFSA and follow up with Full Sail’s Enrollment Team to review the financial aid results.
Full Sail University does not offer an early decision option for applicants. Instead, it operates on a rolling admissions policy. This means students can apply at any time throughout the year, without a strict deadline. Applications are reviewed as soon as they are received.
However, Full Sail University admits students on a first-come, first-served basis. If classes are full, new applicants might be placed on a waiting list. Since new classes start every month, you can choose a different start month if you don’t get in right away. So, make sure to apply at least three months before their preferred start date for all the necessary preparations.
While there are positives, there are also negative aspects that might keep you from this school. This does not mean that you won’t excel.
Low Graduation Rate
Full Sail University’s graduation rate is estimated at less than 50%. So, why is Full Sail University graduation rate so low? Full Sail University can be quite challenging, especially due to its accelerated curriculum. The pace is fast, and it continuously builds up in complexity. It’s a common misconception that it’s an easy journey. In reality, it requires intense dedication and constant studying. If you fall behind, catching up is tough. And if you fail a class, you may need to retake it for about $500.
They Have No Regional Accreditation
Full Sail University is not regionally accredited. However, they are nationally under the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Depending on your type of trade and industry, a national accreditation may be okay, but it will not be recognized by many individuals and organizations. A lack of regional accreditation also means that credits here cannot be transferred to most schools.
It’s a Private, For Profit
Now, while Full Sail is for profit like many schools, even the ones that claim to be non-profit also make profits. Money is king and is always the deciding factor, so you need to get off that.
Full Sail is Overpriced
It appears this school is not for everyone. For example, in Computer Animation, the cost per credit hour is $792. For 120 credit hours, that’s $95,000. For Computer Science, the cost per credit hour is $783. For 120 credit hours, that’s $94,000. In general, the average tuition for their undergraduate degree programs is $80,000. For the graduate degree programs, the average is $37,000. But hey, the school might be expensive but if you ever visit the campus, you would understand why. They tend to have the latest tech, sound stages, and every industry-related development tool you could think of.
Higher Student Burnout
Attending Full Sail University for a degree in, for example, video game animation is notoriously demanding. So, expect a high rate of burnout. The intensity of the coursework often results in extended graduation timelines, with 5 to 6 years to complete the degree being more common than at other institutions.
The University is Very Specialized
The specialized nature of the video game animation degree can be a double-edged sword. While it might seem appealing to focus solely on this niche area, it restricts graduates’ skill sets, limiting their employability in other related fields like marketing, federal software development, graphic design, or web design. This over-specialization can be risky, as it narrows down job opportunities to a very specific sector.
Full Sail’s curriculum, focused tightly on video game animation, doesn’t provide the breadth of skills that might be necessary for such a contingency.
They Once Received an FTC Warning
Full Sail University’s type of marketing makes you think that earning a degree from them guarantees a successful, influential career. However, this is no more accurate for Full Sail than any other educational institution. They might not emphasize enough the significant effort and commitment needed to succeed after graduation. The intense workload at Full Sail does prepare graduates with the right mindset for success, provided they haven’t reached a point of burnout towards the end of their studies.
Meanwhile, Full Sail appeared on the FTC’s Notice of Penalty Offenses List in the Higher Education Marketplace in October 2021. Being on this list doesn’t necessarily mean the school has committed any wrongdoing. It’s a reminder that while Full Sail offers the foundation, the real work and dedication to success come post-graduation.
What is Taking Online Classes at Full Sail University Like?
Online classes at Full Sail University take place live, and you log in at specific times to join. But, they also record these classes so students can watch them later when it suits them. Both the online and on-campus courses at Full Sail need the same number of credits to graduate, usually 120 for a bachelor’s degree.
Studying at Full Sail online is handier for people who are working, have families, or can’t move to the campus. Although students can do their work at any time, they still need to turn it in by the deadlines.
As an online student at Full Sail, you get a complete college experience with lectures, tests, and assignments like you would on campus. Remember, though, some courses are only available online or only on campus, not both.
What Is it Like to Study On-campus at Full Sail University?
Full Sail University’s on-campus learning involves students attending 32 to 40 hours of classes and labs every week. These classes can take place during the day or at night, and after the lectures, there are lab sessions. Unlike many other colleges, Full Sail doesn’t provide housing on its campus.
It’s not known as a party school, but students won’t get bored. They can join various clubs and groups that focus on things like academics, volunteering, religion, and arts. Also, there are plenty of places to explore off-campus, like shopping areas, restaurants, bars, museums, and parks.
Since there’s no housing at Full Sail, students need to find their own places to live. The university does have a housing department to help them find apartments and roommates.
Nearby major cities close to Full Sail include:
- Nassau in the Bahamas
- Miami in Florida
- Havana in Cuba
- Saint Petersburg
- Jacksonville in Florida
- Santa Clara in Cuba
- Atlanta in Georgia
Is Full Sail University Worth It?
The response to this will depend on your situation as well as your course of study. Some courses aren’t worth it here at all. However, the specialty courses are. But, disregard the aggressiveness of Full Sail University’s. You would think that once you graduate here, you are at the top of your career but that isn’t the case. You have to do the work yourself. If you are studying online, it can even be tougher since you are left to encourage yourself.
Also, don’t be deceived by the high acceptance rate. While Full Sail takes in more people, it doesn’t mean that they play around with education. Theoretically, one of the reasons for the high acceptance rate could be due to many people dropping out for one thing or the other. The courses are not easier than average.
Conclusion—Is Full Sail University Legit?
So, I have been able to explain that Full University is indeed a legit university. In fact, they have been around since 1979—that’s a lot of experience right there. If you have the money and are willing to do most of the work, such as building your own network, then this is the school for you.
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