Full Sail University Reviews – Legit or Scam?

Full Sail University
from 114 reviews Review It
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.
  • This school is absolutely terrible, you could learn most of what they teach through Youtube and Lydia. Its not worth how much money you're putting into the programs and the credits are non transferable. The staff is not looking out for your best interest and only want your money.
  • I am a former student AND Full Sail employee. I worked in the admissions department for a year before enrolling and graduating from the Film Program in 2000.

    Worst decision I have made in my entire adult life. Seriously, if I could change just ONE thing, I would never set foot on the Winter Park property.

    When reading reviews, notice the following: GREAT reviews come, most often, from current students or people who have gone on the tour and are considering enrolling. The few other positive reviews come from the same few people who post repeatedly. One has to wonder if those “cheerleaders” are getting paid to advocate for this “school”.

    The majority of negative reviews come from graduated alum who now have no job in their field, but staggering loan payments. (You are more likely to have to move back in with your parents than finding a real job in your field.)

    Notice, as well, how the same lines are repeated, over and over again in the positive reviews: you get what you put in to it. You can’t succeed if you are lazy. You didn’t finish, so you were never fit for it to begin with.

    I heard that brainwashing EVERY DAY, even 17 years ago. These people are just repeating what they are told and desperately want to believe... I mean, for the kind of money they are paying, who can blame them?

    Truth is: Full Sail profits greatly from lies and propaganda and cashing in on people’s dreams. That last one is what really burns my *ss.

    Do current students like it? Sure they do! But consider this: would you sink yourself into debt for the bulk of your adult life just to attend Space Camp? It’s a great experience, sure, but at its completion, you are not an astronaut and you will not be going into space. It really won’t matter how good your grades were.

    I was at the top of my class, moved to Chicago two weeks after graduation, and despite my hustle, learned to go hungry.

    A few people WILL find work, for sure. Good for them, really. You could also play the lottery, and maybe, eventually, you’ll win big and never have to work again.

    The worst part of it is that people DO work hard, they DO hustle afterwards. They go hungry, live with their parents, agree to work unpaid internships and end up with careers at Walmart.

    It’s the SCHOOL that isn’t working for its high-paying students.

    For the price, Full Sail simply does not benefit even half of its graduates in the “Real World”.

    Full Sail Fails.

    Amelia Lasar -2000
  • I didn't go to full sail and am considering enrolling in either the audio production or music business bachelors program. I can't give any input about Full Sail, however, I did attend and graduate from an audio technology program about a year ago and can attest to what all of these Full Sail grads are saying about securing employment in the industry. I know engineers who don't have a lick of higher education (some not even having a high school diploma) who are doing very well for themselves as freelance engineers. I also know engineers who graduated from schools like SAE (where I studied) and Full Sail who either own and run successful studios or get steady engineering work as freelancers. There are people achieving success at all kinds of companies in my field and I PROMISE you that the ONE thing employers in the music industry care about more than anything is EXPERIENCE. And if you don't have that, you BETTER be happy getting coffee, making food and beverage runs, cleaning the dishes and bathroom, taking out garbage, and doing any documentation an assistant engineer would do for a lead engineer on top of all of the intern stuff. These expectations aren't because you're a rookie or because where you got your degree isn't impressive, but rather to see how badly you really want to be there. And if you do want to be there, you will do all these things happily and patiently wait for that golden moment to step up to the plate when an engineer is needed and the lead engineer has an emergency at home. This isn't how you get your foot in the door but how you kick it down, guns blazing, ready to show and prove you do the job better than the engineer they initially booked anyway. I have been able to secure a lot of freelance work since graduating from SAE Miami (a FOR-PROFIT school that ONLY awards certificates), and the pay is really good too. The work isn't very consistent but that is because I am still building my brand. Im confident that an education from Full Sail (or one of the other universities I am considering) will earn me the knowledge I need to apply to my business and take it to the next level. Stop making excuses. If I can find employment in the entertainment industry with a simple certificate, there is no excuse for someone with an actual degree to not find work. No school anywhere on the planet, promises or guarantees job placement. Thats a very stupid reason to slander an institution for higher learning and shows me that your lack of success is your own fault and that you lack the maturity to accept responsibility for your own life. Grads from Harvard and Yale and Stanford even have to network to find the jobs of their dreams (if they aren't coming up with their own ideas to make money). Why should grads from an art school be handed anything ? When I read all of the griping and see all of the incessant scrutiny on youtube, its obvious the people making the comments are just bitter because they thought they were going to be able to coast through an art school and land a job at SKYWALKER RANCH right out the gate. Thats just pathetic. You all sound like a bunch entitled brats that were never told "no" and given participation ribbons for every competition you didn't place in. The school has been operating for almost 40 years and began as full sail recording workshop. After ONLY a year of educating, they received so many awards for education, they were able to change their name to Full Sail College. And it wasn't long after that they had everything they needed to call themselves a University. Bottom line is, this school is doing something right. The main reason its come this far at all is because of all of the recognitions for education. Do your research. Naysayers are usually only naysayers because they are cantdoers and quit because of it. The entertainment industry is a competitive industry. Its the one industry almost EVERYONE wishes and dreams they could work in but don't even make an attempt to because of how intimidating it is. Well, its intimidating for a reason. Its the DREAM COME TRUE career for damn near any american.
    • thank you David because I was a bit confuse on these comments and start to wonder about the college. My son get accepted but haven't complete paper work as yet, he should be starting in September of this year in the music production field, if he don't change his mind. If the college is a good college why people are giving the school such a bad name. I was ready to give up until I read your posting, thank you.
  • I graduated from Full Sail summer 2016, valedictorian of my program. My program was 100% on line, audio production. Looking back I can honestly say I probably could have learned most of it myself via YouTube, Lynda, etc. there are tons of well produced tutorials on line that can teach you just about anything recording related. With that said it still was a great experience for me. I learned a lot, made great connections, and am the better for it. It's really about your personal goals. Mine is to teach youth, so the benefits of going through the program off me are different than most. Do you need to go there to make it in the industry and learn recording? No. Really depends on your end goals
  • look I know what I'm getting myself into with FSU And I know it'll cost me a lot of money but I start my classes in may and It's always been my dream to work with games! And nothing comes easy not even dreams it take's hard work and the way I see it is just like with everyone else they are just giving me the tools to do so it just depends on what you do with it you can sit around and complain or apply yourself it get it done!
  • It's too expensive for what you get, they are really good at selling you a reality that doesn't exist in their environment. Not even close to the quality of learning you get on a normal university. Go to a real university, one that has a respected accreditation in the world of education.
  • I started at Full Sail University in July of 2015, pursuing a B.S in Game Design. Currently I am in my second year of online courses and I think I can give it a solid four star review. As some reviews have stated above, FSU isn't easy and it is expensive. FSU claims that with at least 25-30 hours worth of work you will succeed, while this may be true for some, for others like myself who have a full time job and a family, it can be very difficult. But I am succeeding because I want to. It's all about what you put into it. If you think you can just sit back, relax and collect a good grade, you're wrong. There is a lot of hard work that needs to get done and you need to devote your time to FSU or else you will not learn properly.

    I see a lot of reviews about FSU using Lynda.com and YouTube a lot for their assignments, but to be honest, that's most schools. I have family members and friends who tell me the same stories about campus schools. But Full Sail also has some really great courses where I have learned more in those 4 weeks than I ever have before. It's all about the individual, if you want to learn, you will, if you want to succeed, you will. Sure, FSU has some courses that don't really apply to your degree of choice, or are sometimes "poorly" taught, but I realized that even this boring classes offer something. Maybe they taught me how to write better, or send a more professional looking e-mail. It's these little things that go a long way in my opinion.

    So, to make a long story short, I am really enjoying my time at FSU, I have spoken with many industry professionals who have also attended FSU and they all greatly enjoyed their time there and do not regret a second of it. Sure, it's a little expensive, but I have already landed a part-time paid job in the gaming industry and I'm only about half way through the program. So please, do your research and talk to ACTUAL people who have spent time at FSU. I did, and I made the choice to attend. I don't regret it.
  • This Spag person seems like an employee lol
  • It’s hard to find knowledgeable individuals on this subject, but you sound like you understand what you’re speaking about! Thanks
  • I graduated in 1990. I also started a masters program online a few years back. I quit for personal reasons. Not the school. I enjoyed this school. I believe it is a good school. They tell you up front there are specific schools that they have agreements with that will allow credit transfers. The entertainment industry is "tough" people. There are more people then jobs. If you go here you need to understand it is difficult to establish yourself in this industry. You may not find work. That is not the fault of the school. If this is what you want then bust your but till you find a job, any job, acquire contacts and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It will take time to establish yourself in the industry. DONT BLAME THE SCHOOL.
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