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 2.59 out of 5 based on 117 reviews.
  • 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
  • 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 & nonething 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 - bullshit! 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • I really do not understand how ppl 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.
    • Hi there! I’m in the enrollment process now for graphic design and I’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?
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