Full Sail University is for-profit institution in Orlando, FL that offers 48 degree programs to 15,700 students in campus and online courses. Full-Sail University does not have a regional accreditation, but is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Full Sail University has won multiple awards, being recognized as the School/College of the year in 2008, one of the best music business programs, and one of the top ten new-media schools. Film is also an award-winning program at Full Sail University.

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The Good

  • Fast-Paced Programs
  • Diverse Program Options

Fast-Paced Programs

Full Sail heavily focuses on preparing students to enter the workforce. Their many different programs are designed to help students through the program and then subsequently land them a job in the industry they studied. Full Sail degrees are accelerated, with Bachelor's taking no longer than 36 months to complete and Master's degrees taking no longer than 12 months.

Despite using a fast-paced curriculum, Full Sail's accelerated degree programs does not seem to stress out students. Typically, degree programs begin each month, and courses last for four weeks, with students taking two classes at a time.

Diverse Program Options

The flexibility of their online courses makes it easy for students to work while completing a degree. Full Sail also was very careful in modeling many of their online degree programs after their campus-based programs, making sure that online courses are rigorous and intensive. The Full Sail University areas of study include:

  • Art and Design
  • Music and Recording
  • Film and Television
  • Web and Technology
  • Games
  • Media and Communications
  • Sports
  • Business

The Bad

  • Tuition and Fees
  • Student Concerns
  • Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

Unfortunately, Full Sail University is expensive and often leaves students with a load of debt which becomes burdensome when they need to pay it back. The undergraduate tuition ranged from $7,125 to $8,444 depending on the program and graduate tuition ranged from $10,333 to $12,000 per semester for an online education. This is one of the higher tuition rates for online platforms.

Student Concerns

Students who have graduated from Full Sail University or who are currently enrolled also expressed dissatisfaction with some of the institution's practices. These include:

  • Coursework that can be done elsewhere
    • Students in the web and technology school said they could obtain the knowledge they needed by getting certified with Google
  • Lack of communication with professors

Financial Aid

Also, Full Sail's financial aid services does not apply to a number of students. Only ten percent of students received some sort of grant or scholarship. While Full Sail doesn't offer a total job placement rate, their film graduates did report 80% employment. Students have been troubled that they couldn't find job placement information that gave an overall view of how their degree might help their employment potential. Even though the acceptance rate is high, the percentage that really matters is the number of employed graduates leaving the Full Sail programs.

The Bottom Line

Full Sail University is a viable option for some students looking for a unique online experience, however it is rather expensive and students can get an education through other platforms. Many students are left with debt close to or more than $100,000. Even though Full Sail offers unique programs, the expense and time commitment required of students make traditional colleges or other online programs more viable for those wanting to enter the entertainment industry.

If Full Sail University seems like a good fit, prospective students will need to apply for admission. Before enrolling, students should consider the following:

  1. Calculate tuition - whether on-campus or online, students should find out what their degree is going to cost
  2. Housing - if on-campus, look into housing options
  3. Financial aid - look into a variety of financial aid option, do not just depend on Full Sail to do it for you
  4. Request additional information - contact an advisor and ask questions

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