Report: #814549

Complaint Review: Full Sail University

  • Submitted: Tue, December 27, 2011
  • Updated: Thu, January 17, 2013
  • Reported By: Munecita — Cabot Arkansas United States of America
  • Full Sail University

    Winter Park, Florida
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

This year my 20 year old son participated in online classes at Full Sail University. He began classes over the summer of 2011. Upon registering him in an accredited music school where I also attended, I learned that Full Sail had taken all of his Direct Student Loans and pell grant for the entire 2011-2012 budget.
In an attempt to resolve the issue, after literally weeks on the phone, I was asked to send over the information surrounding the circumstances. The information I sent over got me nowhere. Today, I contacted the Better Business Bureau to add myself to the 22 complaints previously filed against the well as the ombudsman group for the Department of Higher Ed. I have spent several hours on the phone trying to stop Direct Loans form disbursing any Additional funds to this school.
As it stands now, my son has no financial aid for the upcoming 2012 spring semester because Full Sail took it two months before the spring semester begins. I would advise anyone looking to attend Full Sail to be very careful when reading their policies prior to admissions to make sure this does not happen to you or your child. Please note that I never signed any financial aid documents to the department of financial aid at Full Sail which would allow them to apply pell grant money for my dependent son into escrow at their institution. Having the monies in their account allows them to draw interest my son's student loan money if they chose, while my continues to accrue interest.
I will say one thing positive about what I have learned from one of their graduates however. A couple of months ago, one of my students to me to a local club to talk with his cousin who recently graduated from Full Sail. Although he was not working in his field through job placement assistance from the university, he did make me one h**l of a hamburger!!!!!

When considering this school you should look at their own website.....   why would any school find it necessary to put on their own website.."Is Full Sail University a scam" if they did not have such a bad reputation. Good thing I know the owner of that club my friend took me to. Thanks to Full Sail University my son just may end up needing a burger flipping job to pay back the student loan money they took from him.
Standard practices for accredited universities take the 2012 pell grant and student loan disbursements in 2012. Make sure to contact, Fafsa, Direct Loans, the Ombudsmen group at 877-557-2575 and the U.S Department of Institutional Compliance 404-974-9303 if you feel like you have been misled or fraudulently been taken advantage by any institution of higher education. These people must be stopped from ending our kids college dreams!!!
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/27/2011 06:30 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

This school isn't good

AUTHOR: jordanotend - ()

I am a current student here at Full Sail and in my second year. Looking back, I wish I would have trusted all of the negative reviews I read. However, I turned a cheek to them and thought how bad could it be? Well, 2 years into it and I can't transfer out because no one accepts these worthless credits and I'm stuck in a bad school and stuck with a large tuition bill. Please trust this post and do not come here, you won't regret it. Think about it, how many other REAL schools do you see so many negative comments about?

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#2 General Comment

Nothing but love for full sail

AUTHOR: NothingButLoveForFullSail - ()

 I want to start off by stating I am a Sr. at Full Sail as an online student in the digital cinematography program. First off as for getting hit with a payment that seemed a little earlier than it should have been. Happened to me right before the start of my Sr. Year.  It was pretty scary but I was reminded that because of the exelarated program that the semester pretty much equils a year of schooling on any other college level.  Then after the figuring stuff out I was awarded the good student scholarship and full sail paid for my Sr. Year fully without me paying a dime.  

As what everyone else E_Halloway is saying in some of his posts on here. Full Sail is different. Full sail makes you be commited. Even as an online student there are times where I have lectures all parts of the night and day.  Its a whole years worth of class weather your on campus or online crammed into 4 weeks. You have to really work at everything you do while attending full sail. 

Full Sail does have a high dropout rate yes. But here is a thought that people dont look at, at all. Kids get a thought in their head by attending full sail that they are going to get to walk in and get a 35 mm camera and 10,000 ft of film and can film whatever they want whenever they want.  Thats rediculas. Same thing applys to music production. People think that because they are signed up they can go into a mixing room and instantly become the next big music producer.  What people dont realize is that full sail lets you use that stuff when you can prove that your ready. They do this so your not wasting your time or thier money. Nothing there is cheap. Film equipment some of the smallest most rediculas things coast more than most cars on the market do today. So new students come in and they get told no they cant do something they thought they were entitled too and immideatly get mad. Then they look at the classes they are in as a waste of time and then eventually drop out.  

From what I have seen personally because of my program specifically. In the Digital Cinematography program we get a brand new unused SONY NEX FS 100 camera. To keep for life! The campus students do not even get that.  What I am saying is that in my program you do not get it until month 15. Literally the half way point of your schooling carreer at full sail. You have no idea how many people I watched drop out as the time went on specific to the fact that they did not get the camera right away.  They do this to save you and save themselves the waste of money and product. If thats what you wanted then go off and buy it yourself but if you stay here we will show you how to use it and become a master in your craft.  

As far as finding a job goes you do have to utalize what full sail gives you. They do help you very much. The teachers alone have helped me so much. I talk to teachers still from year 1 on things I have going today.  You also have to go to the extra trainings that full sail has that you have to do on your own.  Everything just like in life is up to you.  I am still in school right now and I am already working in the news industry as a camera man and editer/visual story teller for local news.  If I would not have full sail as a reffrence I would never have had this oppertunity.  Its because full sail gave me the camera and the know how to produce what I need in the field to help me launch my carreer. 

As far as the time of day the classes are Hell yes they are 100% accurate. In the news feild as a camera op i have driven home from filming a story all day got home and was instantly called back in because something else happened. There were times I was sleeping and got a call at 3 am because there was fire.  On top of filming everything I also have to edit and return everything by a timed deadline. If i do not make that time I do not get paid for that job. That is 100% what the industry is all about.  I am sorry your kid dropped out but I feel that you needed to look into the bigger picture. Its not the schools fault that you or him did not stay on top of everything.  Full Sail helped me increadibly in my life.

I will always reccomend Full Sail to everyone.  I have co workers that went to the art institute in chicago and great friends of mine that were in the same program i was and taught almost nothing from them. Full Sail gives you the tools. Its up to you to use them.  The only way to find your style in making a movie is to go out and shoot. The only way to make music is to make 10000000 shitty beats to find that 1 beat thats worth it until you develope your style. Full sail is an amazing school and bashing it like you are is showing that you did 0 research and your kid probably did not utalize everything given to him. 

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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Let's set it straight...

AUTHOR: beClaus - ()

I graduated from Full Sail University in March of 2012. I can honestly say that I would not take back my experience there.

First of all, it is a 24/7 school, which means you are going to school at all hours of the day. Crazy right?! Guess what, once you get into the industry and start working, your schedule will be 24/7, so to those whining about the hours, either get used to it or this may not be your career field. At Full Sail they teach Real World Education with Real World Experience, and the hours are exactly that, a Real World Experience.

Now lets talk about the cost... It is expensive, I would put it close to over priced. However... I can guarantee you that you will not get the equipment at any other school. All Full Sail students do recieve a new MacBook Pro as well as all the programs to go with your degree. So if your a film major, you get Final Cut Suite, Adobe Premier, and Vector Works. You're looking at $3000+ in prgrams alone. Don't believe me? Look it up! All the programs are industry professional. As a film graduate from Full Sail, I got to use equipment that cost more than your average house. I know for a fact that USF (one of the top film schools in 2013) does not own ay Arri cameras. For those that don't know, the Arri is an industry standard camera. It is not available for consumer purchase either, but because Full Sail has a partnership with Arri, they get them. Now, where else can you say you got to work on a hot soundstage with sets? Does USF has that? Does NYU have that? All in all, it might be expensive, but any other school does not provide that equipment. Renting an Arri is $1000 a day, and to rent out a soundstage is expensive as well.

Onto another subject that I hear a lot about... Job Placement. No school out there is going to provide the student with a job, plain and simple. Full Sail does send me regular job leads, on a weekly basis probably and as an alumni it is your job to apply for the job or let the advisor know why you didnt like the job. So if your student is flipping hamburgers, thats his/her own fault for not being diligent enough to send an email out the the advisor to tell them why they werent applying for the job. And with all due respect, there are a lot of Alumni that don't keep in contact with the advisor about jobs and because of that, they waste job leads for those of us that care about our career.

On top of everything else, Full Sail is a big name in the industry. Full Sail recently partnered with WWE. NXT, which is a show on WWE, is filmed at Full Sail. Along with WWE, Full Sail has partnerships with Universal, Disney, Arri, Apple, Sony, Blizzard, as well as a wide list of other entertainment companies. Darren Lynn Bousman, the director of Saw 2-4 is on the huge list of noted alumni. They have regular guest speakers, more recently Rob Schnieder, Tom Savini, WWE's Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, speakers from Sony, Blizzard, Arri, RED, Apple, and a variety of others. I recently got hired at a local TV station. During my interview the guy said he selected me to be interviewed because I had Full Sail on my resume! Let me reprhase that... I got a job interview becuase I went to Full Sail!

Full Sail is a great school for those that are serious about the entertainment industry. If you live and breathe this industry, this is your school. If you're still not so sure, don't waste your time so you don't become another bad mouth for Full Sail.

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#4 General Comment

E_Honeywell, hickadoodle or whatever your name is

AUTHOR: aneal138 - ()

If Full Sail will admit people as immature as you, then it must let everyone and their dog go to school there if the price is right. It's a scam school... scam school. How many times does someone have to tell you that. You moved 1200 miles for a job. You had major wool pulled. My tax dollars got used on a scam. Thanks for patronizing.

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#5 General Comment

For Profit

AUTHOR: aneal138 - ()

$56,000 later...


What public school are you talking about, because I started straight into Trig in my public university because my College Algebra credit from high school counted. This is a for profit school, it will always be a rip off given how much debt you will be in and having to hunt for jobs. Anytime that a for profit "scam" school goes on your resume it is just that much harder to get a legit job let alone career.


Stop trying to defend a fancy ITT Tech. I'm about to get out the cane, Sugar Coat Master you.

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#6 Consumer Comment

Do you even hear yourself talk?

AUTHOR: ripoff@ (((email redacted))) - ()

The school is accredited by the ACCSC.  That is national accreditation, as many trade schools are.  Most cheap state schools are regionally accredited.  You mistake having a different accreditation from your local community college with not being accredited at all.  You clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

My entrance exam at Full Sail included a math test that covered college level algebra and trigonometry.  The first math class there was Calculus with Trigonometry.  My entrance math exam at my local public university (name withheld) covered basic high school level pre-algebra.  The first math class there that counts for credit is College Algebra.  In my 4th month at Full Sail, I was coding menu management systems, writing my own data structures and algorithms.  In my 4th month at public university for an equivalent degree program, I was still being taught what a struct is.  

In my 6th month at Full Sail, I was making 2D graphical games.  In my 6th month at public university I was once again being retaught what a loop is, because the C programming class was identical (even used the same book!) as the Intro to Programming prerequisite for it.  In my 8th month at Full Sail, I was using advanced design patterns and wielding DirectX to render 3D scenes.  In my 8th month at public university, I was just finishing up the identical programming class and being taught what a struct is again and how to use bubble sort on an array.  

In my 9th month at Full Sail, I wrote my first fully functional pseudo-2D game (using Direct3D quads with normal mapping).  In my 9th month at public university, I was using HTML to make a webpage that says my name on it.  In my 11th month at Full Sail, my team completed our first networked multiplayer game in which I contributed a Direct3D-based rendering engine and wrote several HLSL shaders.  In my 11th month at public university, I was learning how to use CSS to color my name on my webpage.  In my 12th month at Full Sail, I was loading 3D models from art tools like Maya into scenes rendered with OpenGL and GLSL and in multi-threaded applications.  

In my 12th month at public university, I was learning how to make a form on my webpage, but not how to make it work (no JavaScript or PHP).  In my 13th month at Full Sail, I was learning how to transition from a forward-rendering approach to a deferred shading approach, for more rich lighting.  I was also learning assembly, processor architectures and caching models, floating point representation and arithmetic, etc.  In my 13th month at public university, I was knocking out some general ed, and by that I mean I was copying and pasting vocabulary definitions for sociology, business, government, english, etc., for my assignments.  

In my 16th month at Full Sail, I was animating 3D models using morphing, articulated animation, rigid skinning, and smooth skinning.  I was also implementing AI behaviors for flocking, path-finding, and making battlebots.  In my 16th month at public university, I was copying and pasting the same vocabulary definitions from the assignments into the final exams.  

In my 17th month at Full Sail, I learned to use the Winsock API to network games and how to perform complex collision detection.  In my 17th month at public university, I was learning how to write my name in PHP and display it on a webpage.  In my final months at Full Sail, I built math libraries, rendering engines, audio systems, event systems, object management systems, physics engines, AI systems, input managers, network serializers, compression libraries, etc.  All before I was ever even taught what a data structure is in public univeristy.

So please, speak not of things you know nothing about.

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#7 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: e_h - (United States of America)

Idiot the school used to be in cincinatti, ohio until it moved.  It moved because it's a year round school.  There is no off time there.  They made partnerships with Disney and Universal Studios so of course the school would move to florida, RIGHT BY THOSE PLACES.  God you are seriously stupid.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Your lack of intelligence is insulting Emmalynn

AUTHOR: e_h - (United States of America)

My "Devry" education got me a job at Warner Bros. Entertainment, one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world.  What I meant by "not everyone is cut out for the school" is that it's a really hard institution to excel in.  It's 4 years of school crammed into 2 years.  I went to class 5 days a week for 8 hours a day, then had at least 8 to 10 hours of work outside of class in open labs the rest of the time, every day.  

It's not cut out for lazy people, or someone who isn't determined.  You can't just go to school there and party constantly and do normal stuff like regular colleges and universities can.  I attended the school for game art, which Full Sail is one of the top 3 schools in the nation that offer that type of degree.  The school is a university as well, it's been recognized as an institution of higher education.  

Another fact that will blow your mind was that last year the job placement rate for the game art degree program was 93%.  Why?  Because that's one part of full sail where the professors care and push you to your limits in order to become a great artist.  So instead of attacking me left and right why don't you actually have an intelligent conversation with me that contains facts to back your claims.  Learn to spell my name as well.  I've only posted it 3 times on here.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Oh Holloway, you can't be serious!

AUTHOR: Emmalynn B - (United States of America)

Most people are not "cut out" for Full Sail? Don't make me laugh. EVERYONE is cut out for Full Sail. Tell me, how hard were your entrance exams? What did you have to submit for acceptance other than Financial Aid for an overpriced, unaccredited school? Face it, you and all the others that attend there either couldn't get into a real university or hack it there if you did. Enjoy your $75,000 DeVry education.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Full Sail "Scam"

AUTHOR: Israel - (United States of America)

First, I attend Full Sail University and have every confidence in my 3rd year that what i'm being taught is the latest and best possible information for the entertainment industry. Then, I would like to address the graduate that decided to hash the person putting in his opinion-you are very unprofessional in your rebuttal and it wreaks of hubris. I'm glad you managed to get a job in your field, good for you, but that doesn't help the other 50%+ that may end up flipping hamburgers-something your great intelligence seemed to overlook. You should be addressing this positively, state your opinion and get off. 

Look at what she is saying here-"I learned that Full Sail had taken all of his Direct Student Loans and pell grant for the entire 2011-2012 budget". She also say's to read Full Sail's policy on how they take your student loans (if you want to go somewhere else). It's obvious there policy is to take the entire year (correct me if I'm wrong-professionally this time and with the courtesy taught at Full Sail). She is warning people to read the policy. Many people will flip burgers after a college degree, a degree does not gaurantee any job placement, that's up to the initiative and creativity of the person taking the degree, not the school, even though Full Sail does help with that as well. 

This also has nothing to do with credit problems, they simply wanted to change Universities. I also want to mention that this probably maps across to other online colleges as well. 

If anything should be mentioned, it would be that Full Sail probably has over 18,000 online students-do the math... my calculator says that 18,000 x an ave 54,000 for the two years is $972,000,000-that's big money. They try very hard to make things work for everyone, you can't always get a good instructor, some have different attitudes, I've even run into what I would coin as a prejudice against white people, but overall I have learned an incredible amount of information relating directly to the Entertainment industry. I am proud to go to this school, but I would say that everyone has to check out the degree wherever you go to see if it fits your mental capabilities and your pocketbook, as there are now gaps in the budget that were not there when I first attended the school. Alumni abound in the marketplace and are commonly referenced in their positions at major studios having contributed to some of the top movies (if not most) and music, as well as the gaming industry. 

I am not one of Full Sail's employees, I have given them H over what I would consider inaccurate grading of my work and the time zone difference of 3 hours for the West Coast, which makes a difference on deadlines for turning in work, but everytime an instructor or FSO support or student services has helped me out with these issues.

If you want to become an Attorney, don't go to Full Sail, if you want to go into computer graphics, or Internet Marketing, or any of the degrees offered, Full Sail is great-but figure out what you want to do and research it before you attend, that way you won't have to back out.

Go in realizing that now you will probably have to come up with an additional $15,000 (cash or private loan) to complete, they will try to work with you on this as long as your grades are up and you stay professional in attitude with them. Overall I highly recommend this school for what if offers ONLY. Use your head and research your field of interest on, your connections, etc. before you make the leap.

I hope this helps.  

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#11 Consumer Comment

Wow. Your stupidity amazes me.

AUTHOR: e_hollaway - (United States of America)

I find it very offensive that you would call me a liar and say I am some sort of "spy" for the school. It would have taken you literally 30 seconds to know I wasn't lying if you would have just googled my name, which I included at the bottom of my report. I was searching for an old article about the games program at full sail that I wanted to site for something when I came across this atrocity of a website. The title of your rebuttal tells me everything. "E_Haloway". My name is spelled out, I mean actually spelled out right in front of you, and you still mess it up. I'm dumbfounded. Plus if you really think I'm lying and I'm just some sort of review board poster for the school then why don't you visit my website- It will tell you all about me and show your lazy eyes what i learned while at Full Sail. You lose. Accept your loss and move on.
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#12 Consumer Comment

Dear e Haloway

AUTHOR: Emmalynn B - (United States of America)

If you're so satisfied with your experience, then why are you on a complaints board? Besides being an obvious shill for the university (by the way, you guys did a number on Yelp but the truth comes out and Yelpers always know frauds, your accounts are easy to spot) who is putting in his glowing review, you attack other people on their credit or whatever you have presumed. Taking this a wee bit peronally, eh?

Telling people they have to pay tuition equal to that of NYU for a school that isn't even accredited screams scam and there are thousands of documented complaints.

For a school that in the "biz" why is in the middle of Florida? This joke of a school couldn't even make the coffee for a real school like NYU.
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#13 General Comment

Sorry, but...

AUTHOR: e_hollaway - (United States of America)

You were denied loans because of your credit.  The same thing happened to my old roommate down there when he was also going to classes and had to pay out of pocket.  You should have perhaps done a little more planning before you went ahead and attended.  This is clearly not Full Sail's fault.
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#14 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I find this funny.

AUTHOR: e_hollaway - (United States of America)

Here's an interesting fact.  I graduated from Full Sail in March 2012, and had a job 1200 miles away less than 30 days later in my field.  How did I get this job?  Through career development. Which also tells me you know nothing about the school since you called it "placement assistance".  Don't patronize students when the point of your post is about financial aid, not job acquirement.  Oh and my financial aid went fine because I was PROACTIVE about it.  I can agree that the financial aid department can be difficult sometimes but in order to get things you have to do it yourself and not expect anyone to do it for you.  Full Sail is an amazing institution that gives the students the tools to become successful.  Too many people that go there expect the school to just give them everything and put them into a senior position upon graduation.  I find your lack of knowledge and your quest to "report" the school to these places downright disrespectful. I HATE reading things like this attacking Full Sail.  The best decision I ever made was to attend that school and graduate.  Most people aren't cut out for Full Sail so there inlays the problem as well.  Call financial aid, tell them your problem, and get them to fix it.  If you contact them either daily or at least a few times a week your problem will get solved.  So instead of wasting your time on ripoff report websites and sitting on the phone with the better business bureau, you could try and maybe contact the school.  If you put as much effort as you do reporting the school into taking steps to fix your problem, you never would have been here.

Full Sail Grad
Has a job in his field
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#15 Consumer Comment

I was ripped off too, I would like to talk to you mam and see what we can do

AUTHOR: rank357 - (United States of America)

I applied for other loans when my fasfa loan process took 2 months longer than I predicted the school gave me more classes but didn't tell me that they were charging me out of pocket. when I got the fasfa loan secure Full Sail told me that I needed to apply for a personal loan to pay for the 2 months classes they gave me. i applied for loans but was denied all. I googled Full Sail scam and found another report from a student that did some research and found out that Wells Fargo and Sallie Mae have quit giving loans for Full Sail. I am deeply hurt. Also students reported graduating from Full Sail only to be denied jobs and told that their degrees are worthless. I completed 8 months of classes and am in great debt. I have looked for class action lawsuits againt Full Sail but cannot find any. I feel for your son mam. Please contact me.
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#16 Consumer Comment

Not a problem with Full Sail, but with you.

AUTHOR: - (U.S.A.)

"I learned that Full Sail had taken all of his Direct Student Loans and pell grant for the entire 2011-2012 budget."

This is not Full Sail's problem.  It's yours and your son's.  You should have been budgeting your money, not blindly taking out loans and giving it to Full Sail.

"Please note that I never signed any financial aid documents to the department of financial aid at Full Sail which would allow them to apply pell grant money for my dependent son into escrow at their institution."
Yes you did.  Or he did.  It's an option in the contract.  You can opt out.

"Having the monies in their account allows them to draw interest my son's student loan money if they chose, while my continues to accrue interest."
Full Sail only takes the amount owed to them.  Depending on which option you chose when enrolling, they will take only that amount from the lender, or they will take the amount YOU specified and take only what is owed.  You can pick up the difference from the Business Office at any time.

"When considering this school you should look at their own website.....   why would any school find it necessary to put on their own website.."Is Full Sail University a scam" if they did not have such a bad reputation."
That is not a part of the Full Sail website.  That is the personal blog of a woman named Nancy Ford (which has since been removed by her) who dropped out of Full Sail and was angry that she couldn't get a refund for the term she was in when she dropped out, (just like any other school, you can't get refunds after a certain deadline, even if you only did 10% of your classes), so she spammed every review site on the internet with complaints about Full Sail.

Your problem with Full Sail is yourself.  You and your son lacked the due diligence and personal responsibility to make sure the school was a good fit and to arrange finances appropriately.  The quality of Full Sail's education hands down and by far the best I've had out of all the schools, public and private, that I've attended.
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