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 2.6 out of 5 based on 114 reviews.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Not sure why you guys are speaking so negative about Full Sail University, I am a 2 time graduate and I loved their programs, they have taught me everything I need to know for the real world. I have received an handsome raise at my job. I know several alumni such that work in very lucrative jobs in the music industry (Leslie Brathwaithe Grammy award winning producer) as well as the movie industry (Keicon Cherry-The Voice, Katalynn Crawford-Fox Sports). Do your research before jumping on the bandwagon of negativity. Full Sail is not a traditional school but is well worth it. By the way other universities do in fact accept their credits but also remember each university doesn't have to accept any credits from any school so singling out Full Sail isn't fair. Any questions please feel free to email me at [email protected] I am EPTV Channel 22 Station Manger or you can got to Eastpointcity.org and look under the office of communications and find my information. Thanks to Full Sail and my education I was able to obtain this job.

    Mike Dimock
  • Absolute waste of time! You're better off pursuing a practical degree path. Financial aid is a joke. They WILL find a way to keep your approved Financial Aid money from you.

    Instructors offer little, if any, assistance with assignments.

  • Definitely a scam having a degree there does nothing for you.
  • I went to Full Sail university and I have to say, it was NOT WORTH the money. I'm now $60k in debt and unable to pay. They promised job placement and have offered none. They promised a comprehensive education in my field and NONE of the instructors had ever even worked in the field. Hell, I found that one of the courses; every single test was taken (word for word) from another college's tests. It's a farce and I really hope that people are able to see through the crappy value they offer better than I did.
    • Bro no one offers jobs in full sail everyone know that and all the time we the students say that out in open that by hard work it might take 4 to 5 years but if you keep on working about your passion as long as it takes you are on the right track ok! You went to full sail for jobs or publicity I can tell you by reading your comment that it's all your fault ...
  • Attended Full Sail in the summer of 2013, By 2014 I was disillusioned. Playing games was a common theme. Work pace of lessons too quick and nothing is transferable. I took web development, why they were pushing gameplay is beyond me. Another issue was with communication. This high tech school was using AOL IM! I wonder what they now use since AOL finally pulled the plug on that ancient architecture.
  • I graduated from the Internet Marketing online master's program in 2016. Guys, I really wanted to believe that the program was worth it. I really did.

    I started out with considerable work experience in the field, so I thought that a higher degree was the smartest next step. I bought the motivational discourse and chose to "invest in myself".

    2 years after graduation, I am still unemployed. This degree has left me in major debt and zero help from their Career Placement office. They called me once to see if I was working, but apparently "working on a project" qualifies as self-employed, which means you are not their problem anymore.

    This is what makes Full Sail a scam.

    Why is it scam? The government requires for-profit schools to maintain a 30% employement placement rate in order to receive federal funding. By categorizing graduates who are freelancing (ie. Struggling to survive and defaulting student loans) as "employed", Full Sail is meeting that minimum with a loophole. So they not only scam you, they're scamming tax payers, too!

    Sure, you can't expect them to find you a job. However, you ARE assured that you will receive interview coaching, help with your resume, and a lot of other crap that simply is NOT true.

    To make matters worse, the Internet Marketing field is so over-saturated that their "degree" is worth shit. The master's online program is nothing but an overview of topics that are general knowledge, at a pace so ridiculous that it makes you believe that you're learning something.

    I've started deleting FSU from my resumes and applications to improve my chances, and I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that it will get shut down one day. Full Sail is the worst mistake I've ever made.
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