Full Sail University Reviews – Legit or Scam?

Full Sail University
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Full Sail University


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.

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 extreme difficulty finding a job in their field.

Now, many students of universities all over the nation make this very same complaint every single day, 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 problem 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 planning on passing a ban saying that student loans funded by the Federal Government cannot be placed toward for-profit schools.

Is Full Sail University a Scam?

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.

Note: If you’re in the process of researching online schools check out our helpful guide, “How to Choose the Right Online College.”

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Customer Responses, Reviews, or Complaints

Average Rating for " Full Sail University " is 2.58 out of 5 based on 118 reviews.
  • 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.


    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.
  • 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. Don't go to any of these fake schools.
  • 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.
  • 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 thats 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. 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 critisism concerning their legitamacy.
  • Scam! Scam! 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 tokd not to.

    This place is a scam. Do not go here!
  • Just wondering, is Dan Patrick really involved in a place like this?
  • Full Sail is a complete fraud! 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.
  • 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 scho 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
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