Is Full Sail University A Scam?

Are you someone who is interested in earning an accredited college degree online?  If so, you might have encountered an advertisement for Full Sail University at some point and wondered if the school is legit.  This is understandable since the school is not well known and there are some fake schools out there that award so called “life experience degrees.”  Since it’s always smart to investigate a school before enrolling, you may be wondering…is Full Sail University a scam?  To answer this question it’s necessary to take a look at the school’s background and accreditation.

A Little Background On The School And Its Mission

Full Sail University was originally established as a trade school in 1979 in Dayton, Ohio.  Its original name was Full Sail Recording Workshop.  The school relocated to Florida the next year and is currently located in Winter Park, Florida.  The original intent of the school was to offer courses in video and film production as well as other areas of study that pertained to media.  Full Sail has since expanded both its campus and degree offerings.  Its Winter Park campus is on a tract of 191 acres.  The school began offering online degree programs in 2007 and now has a student population over 12,000.

Full Sail University now offers degree programs in many fields including business, game design, computer animation, creative writing, digital arts, film, game art, game development, recording arts, marketing, show production, web design, graphic design, and recording engineering.  These programs of study are offered at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree level.

Does The School Have Accreditation Issues?

Before we delve into Full Sail University’s accreditation, it’s necessary to briefly review accreditation in the United States.  The gold standard of collegiate accreditation in the United States is known as regional accreditation.  There are six regional accrediting agencies that are each responsible for making sure schools located in their respective geographical regions meet or exceed minimum standards.  Yale, Duke, and Notre Dame, for example, all hold regional accreditation.

Full Sail University does not hold regional accreditation.  It is, however, accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).  The ACCSC is recognized by the United States Department of Education and is an agency that accredits vocational and career schools in the United States.  Having said that, if you complete a degree program through Full Sail University, you may have a difficult time being accepted into an advanced degree program from a school that holds regional accreditation.  In addition, if you take a few courses from Full Sail University, you may not be able to transfer them to another school.  Colleges and universities that hold regional accreditation are under no obligation to accept degrees or credits from schools that do not hold this accreditation.  In fact, it is rare for them to do so.

So, Is There A Full Sail University Scam?

Although Full Sail University’s accreditation is not on par with most colleges and universities in the United States, it is definitely not a scam.  The school’s programs are well known in the media and performing arts industry and can lead to employment in those fields.  The school has even received recognition for its programs.  It was named Best Recording School/Program by Mix Magazine from 1989 to 1991.

There’s definitely no Full Sail University scam.  The school offers legitimate training programs that can and do lead to employment in the media industry.  If the school were to pursue regional accreditation, it would be a major player in higher education.

  1. Thanks for the info on Full Sail University. I was looking into one of their programs but wasn’t sure if the school was legit. It helps to know that this school has a solid background.

  2. It’s good to know that Full Sail is a legit school. There are so many online schools these days that I need help keeping them all straight. Even if they aren’t up to Harvard standards taking classes from home is very convenient.

  3. My son was looking into this school for a while. They appear to have a good program for people who want to design video games. I think he is leaning toward a different career choice now though.

  4. I think with the money you pay for a college degree you’d better make sure it’s an accredited institution. You want to ensure you’re not paying for that student loan all your life and get nothing in return….

    • If the school wasn’t accredited, they wouldn’t be eligible for federal financial aid and the students wouldn’t be able to get those student loans in the first place. Durrrrrr

  5. Thanks for the info! I had never heard about this school, even though it’s not that far from where we love. Looks like a great place to go for someone interested in music or video.

  6. It’s not scam, there is not doubt about that from the information provided. It would be better though if they pursue regional accreditation so as to remove any doubt..Nice article.

  7. Lots of flashy advertising and not much information about who’s doing the teaching. College is a big investment. Do your research and choose wisely.

    fullsailuniversity review blogspot …. google it

    • Private schools are great, and they need to pay their bills. There’s alot of overhead in running a school(business). State schools get their bills paid by the u.s. taxpayer, regardless of quality. Anything for profit has the advantage of being quality-driven, trying to attract your dollars. Profitable non-mainstream schools can offer some pretty good salaries to attract some really good teaching talent. All the bureaucracy, regulation, teacher’s union problems, etc. really puts a damper on the main goal of Education. That’s what I have come to find out, anyway. I’ve heard some pretty good things about Full Sail, and they sure have grown over the years. Don’t let suspicions turn you off.

    • you are correct, when it comes to transfer credits. I work at a public university and what the article states about transferring courses from Full Sail to a regionally accredited university/college is true. If someone sticks out the for-profit tuition at Full Sail until they get the career they desire, that may be worth it. But it seems like a pipedream for the student with an average family budget that would eventually need to transfer to a cheaper yet regionally accredited public instutition.

  8. It’s good to know that it’s a legit school. But, I was on the discussion board and there’s a topic there about Full Sail where a lot of people say that they or someone they know got a degree from there and have had a very hard time getting a job, because of the fact that it’s not regionally accredited and not very well known. It’s very expensive as well and if it’s hard to get a job after you get the degree I’m thinking it may not be worth it. Maybe if you want to go the entrepreneur direction then it may be a good investment, since you would just want to learn everything and then go your own way without trying to get someone in the business to hire you based on it.
    I was really considering it, but I’m hesitant due to the high cost and the fact that others have said it’s so hard to get a job after.
    I think Berklee would be a better option. They offer certificate programs online and you could get a masters certificate in Music Business and Technology, which is what I am wanting to study, for way less then what Full Sail costs for the same type of program. Although Full Sail is a bachelors degree where Berklee is a certificate. But, it is much less at Berklee and they have artist management, tour management, entrepreneurship in music business, etc. offered along with the regular music business and technology degree for the same price. So, it seems better. However, Berklee does not accept federal financial aid, at least not for the online programs. They do not accept the federal direct loans either. They offer two loan options from Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo, both of which require a co-signer to get the loan. Since I am unable to get a co-signer it looks like Berklee is not an option for me. So, I’m seriously considering Full Sail, but like I said I’m hesitant with the cost because with a direct loan it looks like you’d be paying back about twice what you borrowed for the cost of the degree program and with Full Sail being so expensive that’s a huge amount.

    • The people you heard from don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re just continuing to spread misrepresentations that a few disgruntled dolts spammed all over the place. The accreditation of the school has no bearing on employment so long as the accreditation agency is recognized by the Department of Education. The ACCSC is, and they are who accredits Full Sail.

      • Nyx,

        I’m interested in the BS in Game Development track at Full Sail. Considering the hefty tuition I’m trying to collect as much information as possible before making a decision. Could I possibly pick your brain via email or some other medium to see what you’re learning and how the classes are structured?

        I’m looking to speak with someone in the class, not online advertising for the school.

        If so, please send an email to [email protected]

        Thanks in advance.

    • If a graduate of ANY school can not get a job, it is not because of the degree or school, it is because the job seeker does not know how to apply the information they were taught and they are not capable of doing the job, the degree is only a plus, in ANY field(except those that only base on degree) the degree is not being hired, it is the person. I know people with advanced degrees who could not dig a ditch, and people with NO degree who applied themselves and became corporate CEO, think about it.

    • It all falls on the student not the school. If you don’t have a great resume, comp nays are going t joust toss it in the trash. I know for a fact they do this. I have seen it with my own eyes. Now as for Full Sail, yes I’m a student. Im in the mbbs program and I will tell you this much. I have learned a lot about the music industry. Not many school can or will teach you what you want to know. Why teach all the bull shit you don’t need to know. So I say this get a degree in any school and go put in a half ass resume and see what will happen. I know a lot of people who have gone to all types of schools and for all types of degrees and still don’t have a job in the field they went to school for. So think about that.

  9. I just left this review of Full Sail, but thought it was worth a mention here:

    I’ve gone to college in the past, and as part of a career-change, I’m currently enrolled in the Game Dev BS program. I’m also concurrently attending public university for Computer Programming. I feel I have enough exposure to both traditional public college and Full Sail University to write a brief objective analysis between the two. This has been my experience so far.

    Full Sail is nationally accredited, not regionally accredited. All this means is the criteria for transferring credits into or out of Full Sail differs slightly from the criteria for transferring credits between two regionally accredited schools. It makes no difference to an employer. Full Sail’s administrative offices are my biggest complaint, as the various departments tend to have trouble communicating and coordinating with each other. It took several weeks for them to figure out my VA benefits, FAFSA eligibility, billing, transfer credit, etc. However, once all that was done, it was smooth sailing thereafter.

    The teaching staff has been great. Every instructor I’ve had has been knowledgeable, experienced, available, and easy to learn from. The material is also great. Very little time is wasted on irrelevant general ed courses, leaving only those which actually benefit you in the field (Composition, Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, etc.), and the rest is all core training.

    As previously mentioned, I’m attending Full Sail and a nearby public university at the same time, and doing this has made me realize just how much I love Full Sail. Education at a traditional public university feels so slow, dumbed-down, and dull. Doing 6 classes at a time, not zeroing in enough in any of them, and then having the same classes for 3-4 months straight tends to leave me scattered, unfocused, and bored. A year of college left me feeling like I had the same level of expertise as I did before I started. Then public school has the added stressors of hoping the class you need next is scheduled to run next semester, hoping you can register for it in time before it fills, figuring out which book (the one on the website or the one in the syllabus) is the right one for your class, finding and buying that book before class starts, and often having to attend different campuses all over town to get the class you need. Half the time the instructors have very little involvement with the class and are only at the school for their own research projects, are inaccessible, and have poor teaching practices as reflected in their ratings. Tutors sometimes cost money too. Parking decals run about $80 a term. There are some student success programs, but I’ve never seen much recruiting done on campus at any of the public colleges I’ve attended. A 2-3 hour class drags on painfully as I check the clock every 2 minutes.

    By contrast, at Full Sail I focus on one or two classes at a time, delve deep into the subject, and learn so much more in a single 1-month class than I learn in six 4-month classes at public school. I mean that literally. My first 1-month long programming class taught me more than I’d learned in a year of programming in public school. My scheduling is done automatically, my books are issued to me before each new class, and all my core classes are in one building. Brand new books are issued for free (covered by your tuition), laptops with the appropriate software pre-installed are issued (covered by your fees), tutors are available for free, and classes failed can be retaken for free. Even classes passed can be retaken for free. You’re (usually) free to sit in on any class in the program if you have the free time and desire to do so. All of my instructors so far have been great, and all of my instructors for my next few classes have high ratings. Parking is free. I’ve personally witnessed representatives from AMD, ATI, Google, and EA recruiting on-campus. An 8-hour class blasts by in the blink of an eye, sometimes before I’m even ready to leave.

    As a veteran, my education benefits would pay for me to attend any public school I want 100% free. To attend Full Sail, however, I have to spend several thousands out of pocket, because the VA pays private schools much less. I chose Full Sail anyway, and I couldn’t be happier with that choice.

    On a final note, I do want to stress what others have said, that if you don’t really know what your passion is, and you don’t have a strong work ethic, then Full Sail will be too fast, focused, and demanding for you.

  10. Does anyone know why full sail is not regionally accredited? Also, I have heard mixed reviews of their training material, such as that e.g. their maya tutorial information is out of date and badly made. Has anyone done their online courses? I am particularly hearing from overseas students. How easy is it to do a degree online with Full Sail? Exactly how much work is there? I am interested in the bachelor of writing and game design degrees. What is a typical workload?

    • Full Sail is not regionally accredited because most of their instructors don’t have college degrees… and the ones that do, got their degrees at…. Fool Sale. What’s the difference between a Fool Sale student and a Fool Sale instructor? Three months.

      • Actually fsisbs doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Full Sail is nationally accredited as most trade schools are. All of the instructors have degrees and several years industry experience. All of the instructors in the degree program I chose are all also highly rated on ratemyprofessor. fsisbs is just another troglodyte who likes to hear himself talk because nobody else will listen to him.

  11. I’m a student of Full Sail and I Love it. Is it expensive ? Yes but you get out of the school what you put in no matter what the cost. So if you are worried about transferring issues then maybe you ought to go somewhere else first see you hate it and come back.

  12. Wouldn’t any person be concerned about a school that is so entrenched with negative comments from former students? Beyond questions about this school’s accreditation, I think that the government needs to address a for-profit school’s ability to charge students the amount of tuition that this school requires. The majority of these students a taking out PRIVATE student loans for this school, since federal loans will only provide a maximum of $5,500 for an independent freshman college student, and this school does not offers scholarships. College students should be protected from taking tremendous financial risks through obtaining private student loans for colleges that are not regionally accredited (meaning that the majority of credits earned can not be transferred to other accredited colleges). Also, in light of the fact that graduates from this school can not obtain degrees that will be recognized by traditional colleges, and the fact that graduate success stories are largely exaggerated by Full Sail, there needs to be an investigation into the benefits of the educational product this school is offering. Before an individual purchases a home, there are home inspections in order for banks to validate the cost of home before a mortgage is obtained. The quality of the neighborhood and schools are also on public record. The same amount of regulation needs to applied to for-profit schools.

    • You are WRONG. Pell GRANT may only cover $5,500, loans cover much more. I am attending Full Sail and it is costing me NOTHING.(out of pocket) Of course at the end of my program(2 years BA) I will owe $30,000; when I attended University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee (traditional University) I spent $3,000 on books and supplies each year, ($12,000 out of pocket) at the end my 4 year program (BA) I owed $35,000. so 2 years less time and I owe less, plus I actually saved $12,000 out of pocket. DUH.

      • $35,000 for a real degree, or $30,000 for a fake one – Which is the better choice? I guess you’ll find out from employers soon. Sorry buddy.

        • I beat out other applicants with “real” degrees with my “fake” one from Full Sail. I guess I found out from employers. Sorry buddy.

      • Ha! How did you manage to spend $3000 on books? Ever heard of Amazon? Would have cost you about a third of that.

    • “Wouldn’t any person be concerned about a school that is so entrenched with negative comments form former students?”

      Not really. Look around you and play a game called, “spot the losers.” You’ll find plenty, and many of them have posted negative comments about a variety of things. I don’t just take their word on blind faith, just like I don’t blindly believe the words in the higher number of positive comments either. Facts are all that count, not misconceptions and embellished stories.

      “questions about this schools accreditation”

      What questions? They are nationally accredited by the ACCSC, as many private/trade schools are. Question answered.

      “this school does not offer scholarships”

      False. I received several scholarships while I attended Full Sail. My Pell Grant went to Full Sail, my Post-9/11 GI Bill went to Full Sail, and a small handful of other minor scholarships also went to Full Sail. By saying there are no scholarships, you are spreading more misinformation.

      “College students should be protected from taking tremendous financial risks.”

      Why? College students are adults. Adults are legally allowed to get married, enlist in the military, smoke cigarettes, take out mortgages, and buy cars. These are all risky endeavors. Nobody forces anyone into them. There has to be a line drawn somewhere at which point people are responsible for their own actions, and the law has, for the most part, drawn that line at 18. 18-year olds are stupid, yes, but I can’t think of a viable way to implement a “don’t let stupid people take big risks by themselves” law.

      “the majority of credits earned cannot be transferred to another accredited college”

      False. This is a statistic you simply pulled from your ass. I was able to successfully transfer nearly all of my credits both into and out of Full Sail. You are spreading misinformation once again.

      “Graduate success stories are largely exaggerated by Full Sail.”

      And where did you pull this statistic from? I’m not sure what you consider “success,” but I consider a successful educational endeavor to be one that results in having a degree and acquiring a job in a related field. I did that, and so did literally every single student in my graduating class. That may not be true for the graduates of Full Sail’s other degree programs, such as film and music, but that’s going to be true regardless of the university, because here’s a newsflash: public schools offer film and music degrees too, and those graduates aren’t any more likely to be famous directors either.

      “The same amount of regulation [as the quality of the neighborhood and schools when purchasing a home] needs to be applied”

      I don’t think you even know what you’re talking about. The quality of a neighborhood and schools is not part of a home inspection process. It’s also not public record, though there might be opinions or statistics posted somewhere that is in public. Full Sail posts all their statistics on their site. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is also freely accessible. The problem isn’t that there isn’t enough information, it’s that dummies aren’t looking at any of it or making decisions accordingly.

      It seems to me that it’s people like YOU, who have no experience with Full Sail and no first-hand knowledge of its policies or quality of education, but choose to spout off random misconceptions as fact, who give it a bad reputation, spawned out of nothing but pure speculation. I’m glad I didn’t let people like you dissuade me from enrolling there, because it was hands down and by far the best school I attended (comparing to two community colleges and three public universities I’ve also attended), and it’s because of Full Sail that I was able to land the wonderful job I have now.

  13. It sounds like there are a lot of people on here who are current students at Full Sail and don’t want to believe that they’re being duped. It seems that Full Sail has done a good job of finding a niche market. They advertise their programs as being really fun and interesting and play off people’s hopes and dreams, then take their money and send them out into the job market where they will fall on their face. I don’t entirely blame current students for emotionally clinging to the hope that Full Sail is legit, but the sad truth is that it’s not. Regional accreditation is of utmost importance. Stop feeding money to these lying thieves at Full Sale.

    • It sounds like there are a lot of people on here who were never students at Full Sail and don’t want to believe that they’re speaking out of their asses.

      I enrolled at Full Sail for Game Development and was hired by a large company at a more than comfortable salary before I even graduated. You know not of what you speak.

  14. I have been hesitant to tell my story publicly because I have been embarrassed by my choice to attend this school. I’m still embarrassed, but I guess apathy is finally setting in. If this post helps anyone, then so be it.

    In ’06 Full Sail looked like the answer to all of my problems in my seemingly directionless life. After an eye-popping tour of the school and a promise of over 80% job placement rate, I thought I had the answer to my future licked.

    ..I think in Month 10 when my fellow student copy and pasted the same paragraph for 6 pages and scored a 90 on his assignment I realized the true quality of education I was receiving. I had worked hard for 3 days, and was graded an 87.
    We laughed about it at the time, but I find little humor in it now.

    Post graduation, here is my advice: Look at the cost of tuition. You can have passion and drive shooting from every pore of your body, to the moon and back, but if you do not have this money in your pocket to blow before you enroll, do NOT GO TO THIS SCHOOL for RA. It is not worth the very basic things you could learn on your own through purchased gear and an internship. You don’t need a degree for an internship. In this case, passion and drive IS enough.

    I graduated with a degree in RA in 07 and would have been better off either spending money on a degree in a STABLE job field. I worked in the tech shop for the majority of my time there, and I discovered I wanted to transfer to an electronics degree a handful of months into schooling. But FS locks you into tuition (I believe 30% of the way into the program), and the credits are non-transferable to any school, anywhere. Hindsight is 20/20. A very painful 20/20.

    I am suffocating with debt working at a decent job in the electronics field. Unfortunately, I do not have the disposable income to go back to school in order to move up in the field. I do not qualify for the military, I looked. I will be paying $500/mo until I’m in my very late 30′s.. Maybe longer, maybe more if something happens and I can’t continue to make these payments. Somehow, 5 years later, I still owe the same 60K after regular payments, 2 years interest only payments, and 2 deferments. I’m scared out of my mind and the pressure to pay is encompassing my life. I wonder if I’ll be able to afford a home, children, etc. before I’m 40.
    I’m mentally worn, but thanks to my parents I was brought up with a great work ethic and the idea that you take care of your responsibilities- and that in itself keeps me moving.

    Private loans do not qualify for bankruptcy in any capacity. There are no IBR or ICR programs. Interest only payments last for only a few years. Forbearance and deferment will only inevitably shoot up your monthly payment due to daily accruing interest. You cannot consolidate with Sallie Mae, or with any other bank without collateral. There is no help. You will have to pay.

    The one thing I can say Full Sail is good at is directing students to Sallie Mae. They have an AWESOME Financial Aid department. They have an awesome power to get you the money to attend, even if a typical financial institution would look at you and laugh you out the door.
    So don’t worry, if you want to go, you’ll go.

    In closing, I believe the cost of tuition is not worth the very basic and shoddy education that is quickly and hastily crammed into your brain before you’re sent out the door for the next round of students.
    If you look up the definition of “Diploma Mill” in the dictionary you will find a picture of Full Sail.

    How do you think successful Engineers, Designers, and Film-makers got along without FS? They got themselves a true real-world education. In the real world.

    • i still do not understand this. People constantly complain about the 80% placement rate and blah blah blah. Yet, if one were to go to a standard 4 year school for any field and upon graduation really did much of nothing to find a job it is their fault not the schools. Resumes need to be put out there. RA is a very tough business to break into with or without a degree. I’m just very tired of people pissing and moaning that they were ripped off or whatever. No one broke your arm to attend this school. Several of their students have gone on to do great things in film and audio fields. look up the xyzanimator on youtube. She was a full sail grad and since graduating she has worked on Thor, Captain America, and the new 3d Titanic, all major motion pictures. Best advice is you get what you put into it. If you go and do absolutely everything possible to excel you will. Don’t listen to people who had a bad experience. They clearly did not apply themselves near hard enough. I don’t care what your field is you are never promised a job remember this and good luck guys.


      • Even if every student worked as hard as they possibly could, it is not realistic to expect them all to get jobs in the industry working on national projects that pay 50K or more a year.

        With over 500 students graduating EVERY month, think every one of them could realistically do that?

        And if you check with xyzanimator, check exactly what she did on those films. Check and see how she’s fairing with her loans.

        You have no idea what I’ve been through and how hard I’ve worked to get where I am and if I even still use my degree (I do, but it pays bunk). Something is broken with this diploma mill..i mean system.

      • Yeah, i bet that xyzanimator person was already extremely talented before she even enrolled at fullScam.Probably just wanted some sort of degree to go along with her talent. You know how I know this? Because fullscam doesn’t even teach you a fraction of what is supposed to be taught and learned in any given field. Online schools like fullscam like to throw around the old saying “you get out what you put in”…. FullScam Translation for this saying: you get a bare minimum education from us at a fast pace, we don’t cover even a fraction of any given subjects content and its up to YOU to go out and learn shit on your own.

  15. I went Full Sail a while back and I left before graduating for what ever reason. I been wanting to go back because when I was there I learned so many things thats been helping me with recording. Now I understand its costly, so is every school but is it really legit. No degree guarentees a job, especially in media, but like I said is it really legit. I feel like I can learn enough to really succeed whether I Do my own recoding or I work for someone else. Now an official degree that I can find great careers being in my field or not.

  16. Full Sail University is defiantly not what they make it out to be. I attended in 2009 and quickly realized that my student advisor was simply a salesman. The most you’ll ever walk away with from this school is years of headaches seeing that your student loan bill is outrageous and you don’t have that high paying job to repay it. Check out more info on full sail university at

  17. I see a lot of cry babes on here. You are not happy because you didn’t get a job for what you went to school for. HUMMMMMM. Lets see how many of you know how to do a great resume. This is the key to find any job now days. You will not get a job in any field with a half ass resume. not even a good resume will get you a job. It best be a great resume. Im a student at full sail and i love it. YEs it is a high cost but I get a lot in grants as well. I would much rather go to a school that is going to teach you the core materials not the bull shit you don’t need to know. I will get a great job when i graduate andI will have my own company as well. SO get a grip and stop blaming everyone else for your failures. Step up and be a man or a woman and do what you need to do LEARN HOW TO DO A GREAT RESUME.

      • I have two words for you: prove it. You seem OK with making claims about the validity of others comments – because, well your YOU and we should just be awed enough at that to accept whatever you say – of course you don’t extend that courtesy to anyone else, because obviously if they are disagreeing with you, well then they must be “one of them”! It’s so convenient for you isn’t it? To just tell everyone that anyone who has anything good to say about the school is a spy for the school being paid for their comment – that way anything anyone says that doesn’t support your claims isn’t to be taken seriously. Sounds to me like YOU are the one running a scam. Oh wait, but I’m “one of them” – I must be….you said so. But you know, I’m thinking maybe in reality you are a spy for a rival school paid to spread lies about Full Sail. Wait! No, I don’t think it; I know it! It’s a fact…because I say so!!! And if you disagree with me it will just go to prove that you are in actuality a spy, because if you weren’t a spy you would obviously not be constantly slamming the school and attacking people who say good things about it. YES!!! That’s it!!! That’s proof right there!!!! And anyone who disagrees with me is obviously sitting in a special secret room, being paid by you to sit on a computer all day scouring the internet for places where people disagree with you so they can say good things about you and pretend to actually like and agree with you. Yeah…that works for me.

  18. I really wish people wouldn’t spread things they’ve read as the gospel truth without doing the research for themselves first. Or maybe some people just enjoy spreading misinformation. I am a Full Sail student in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Creative Writing for Entertainment program (I started out in the Bachelors Graphic Design program, but become very interested in screenwriting, so I transferred over). I have been at this school for a year and a half. I also hold an Associates degree in Graphic Design from a public college and have attended other universities and schools. There are a lot of things that have been said on here that simply aren’t correct. To the person who said Full Sail doesn’t offer scholarships – well that’s a big surprise considering I’ve won 2 of their scholarships and have their scholarship book on my computer. To those saying no one will hire you with a Full Sail degree, especially on online degree – well, that’s a shock to the thousands of alumni who are employed at major studios in the various media fields, several of whom have gone on to win Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy awards (and no, this is not just BS the school tells you about; I’m in the industry and follow the careers of several of these former students). And here is another bit of information. Aside from having my degree in Graphic Design, I worked professionally in the field for 8 years, including 5 as an Art Director – and NEVER once, did a potential employer ask about what school I attended and if it was online or on campus, or even what grades I got – what they cared about was my portfolio and demo reel, and how I presented myself in my interview – was I knowledgeable about the job I was applying for. Full Sail is EXCEPTIONAL at graduating you with high quality professional portfolios and demo reels and your program is peppered with very useful classes that teach you about networking and presenting yourself professionally in the professional world. Actually, because Full Sail is what is known as an “industry” school, and it has a very high reputation within the entertainment and media industry, I’ve seen nothing but interest from people IN the industry when I mention I go to Full Sail (and they couldn’t care less that I happen to be an online student because Full Sail is known for having the most advanced and interactive online programs of any school that offers classes online). Now as to accreditation, as said by others, the school IS accredited and I happen to know for a fact that some universities WILL accept transfer credits from Full Sail – the University of Florida for one – but it isn’t a simple one to one ration, for the same reason that Full Sail is picky about what credits they will transfer IN from other schools – it’s because (and I know this from fact because I had to retake some graphic design classes I already had at my other college) a semester of say Adobe Illustrator training at a “regular” college, couldn’t hold a candle to a semester of the same subject at Full Sail – what you can get out of these classes is far superior. In fact, the one year of Graphic Design I had at Full Sail, taught me more than not only my 2 years at my “accredited”, cheaper college, but also everything I learned in the 8 years I was working in the industry. And I also know – for a fact – that Full Sail has been in debate within the University itself, about whether they should seek regional accreditation or not; they still may at some point, but they are reluctant to do so because what few people know is that to get regional accreditation, an institution has to give up a certain amount of autonomy – which means the requirements and ways of presenting classes leaves the hands of the school and goes to someone else – someone outside the entertainment and media industry who has no understanding of what media students need and how they prefer to learn. It may work great for an academic institution, but Full Sail is not about academia…it’s about learning and working in the various entertainment and media fields. Full Sail is more akin to a really heavy-duty internship than a traditional academic, “theory” based education. And that is exactly what many people interested in the entertainment industry want and need. Full Sail is a 24/7 school – which means if you attend campus classes, you could wind up taking a class at 9 in the morning, 3 in the afternoon, and 1 in the morning. The program is very difficult and fast-past and DEFINITELY NOT for the feint of heart. I would not recommend it for someone really young who has no university experience, unless the are an exceptionally mature, hard-working, and focused person who doesn’t mind the fact that you will probably not have much of a social life outside of school for the duration. You have to want to breath, sleep and eat entertainment and media. You have to be incredibly pro-active and need not one bit of hand-holding – because you won’t get it. What you will get is a serious taste of what the life of someone in the entertainment and media field is like – which includes sleepless nights, insane deadlines, and the normal frustrations of University life to boot. People say it over and over again, but it’s true: you get out of Full Sail exactly what you are willing to put in. This is not a place where you will be successful by doing the bare minimum – you may graduate, but no, you probably won’t get hired anywhere. You want to get hired – take advantage of every tidbit you learn about the industry, do your homework and network within the industry, create a killer portfolio and demo reel, use the resources you’re given to learn how to be successful in the industry in a professional way; but DO NOT expect them to coddle you and tell you every little step to take to be successful – use common sense on top of the knowledge and experience they give you. I know it’s a weird concept, but WORK YOUR ASS OFF! Full Sail is not a playground and it’s not perfect; you have sucky instructors beside the awesome instructors, financial burdens foisted upon you, frustrations with administration, etc – but I defy you to list a University or College that doesn’t have these things. I’ve ranted and raved when I’ve had to jump through hoop after hoop to get things done and pulled my hair out at miscommunications and misplaced paperwork – but I STILL love this school and wouldn’t trade my experience here for anything. Yes, I will probably be in debt for the rest of my life, but during that time, I am going to be working in a field I love, doing what makes me happy, and doing it extremely well. The fact that an alumni of Full Sail gets to come back and take any classes in their major for free – for LIFE – lets me know that my skills will never get rusty and I will always have a place to network back to. No, this school isn’t right for everyone – but in the same regards, not everyone is right for this school; and many of those who find this to be the case start to yell “scam!” – but just because you say something over and over, and very loudly…doesn’t make it fact.

    • It’s interesting to me that when TRUE comments are made about Full Sail University, the “real” slander team of Full Sail hits the web! Yes, Full Sail University has a team of dedicated people who do nothing but scour the web for comments that depict Full Sail University in a negative way and write “positive” PAID responses! Regardless of these paid responses, the school’s Dept of Education Numbers don’t lie! The school is all about lining the execs pockets and nothing more. Did you know that Full Sail increased their Title IV, tax payer backed, funding by 186% in just we academic years? During that same period, Garry Jones, President of Full Sail university, built a multi-million dollar mansion! Full Sail is nothing more than a business as evidenced by T.A. Associates, a private equity firm, investing in it (they only invest in profitable business! All that I am saying is backed up in writing from various govt stats and major news articles. To see more on Full Sail University, check out my website

      • I find it interesting that those who dislike Full Sail for whatever reason insist that anyone who has anything positive to say about it obviously MUST be some paid person who works for the school, because I don’t support YOUR version of the truth, that must be the case. That kind of logic is someone saying “I’m telling the truth. You are disagreeing with me, so logic dictates that you are lying because I”M telling the truth.” So no one’s truth but yours is “valid”. No dear, I do not work for Full Sail and if you read my post more carefully (or I should say without your biased blinders on), you will see that my post does not paint the school as the next coming. OF COURSE it’s a business! Whoever said it wasn’t? Being someone who’s not exactly fond of capitalism, I could shout out that EVERYTHING that is a business is a scam – applying the definition you hold up for Full Sail. I’ve already stated the school has flaws, but so does every other public school I’ve attended – oh, and those public universities I attended? Funnily enough, they kept pushing me to pay tuition too! Kept pestering me! Wouldn’t even let me go to class until I did!! Those Scam Artists!! How dare they!!! Oh! And I graduated with a degree in Graphic Design from one of them! And I couldn’t get a job!!! Those BASTARDS!!!! I can’t PROVE that I’m an attending student with experience of the school getting nothing from Full Sail for refuting the misinformation I see perpetuated; just like YOU can’t prove that you don’t work for a RIVAL school being paid to go about spreading misinformation and trying to invalidate truthful claims from students who have direct experience with the school. Guess we’re just at a stalemate aren’t we. Are some of your claims truthful – possibly. The president built a multi-million dollar mansion? Quite conceivable considering the school is friggin expensive. Does he or his execs or men from mars sit back cackling gleefully as they rake in ill gotten gains while schlepping useless knowledge on rubes mesmerized by magic evil fairy dust as they plot to overthrow the world as we know it….um….I’m gonna go with no on that one. Do they make a hefty living on the tuition collected from students that attend, some of whom don’t have what it takes to do well at this type of school but come anyway? Oh unquestionably. Does the school still provide a top-notch education that a serious, talented student can turn into an excellent and profitable career? You bet your sweet bippy; and anyone actually interested in researching FACTS can find plenty of evidence to support that claim. I would LOVE for EVERY school and university to be free. I HATE that people can be denied higher education for lack of money, or be saddled with debt the rest of their lives to achieve it. That does not change the fact that Full Sail can and does provide exceptional education in the media arts fields for those who are willing to work their asses off for it. And whether YOU believe me or not (as I could care less), I am one of those people doing just that. You’re mind is obviously made up and closed with a “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging on it. More power to you; I wouldn’t dream of thinking I could affect it with anything as trivial as experiential facts. My post is for others who are a little more cautious of making up their minds based on only one side of the story. My post is for those who are strong-minded and clever enough to know to pull their research from MULTIPLE sources, not just some internet forum where people rant and rave back and forth about their opinions and what they claim to be facts. My post is just one persons experience and thoughts – not the holy grail of truths upon which they should base their decisions about the school; I would never be so presumptuous or arrogant. My post is for those with the self-confidence, intelligence, maturity, and common sense to trust their own minds over the rantings of others. In other words, my post is for those that have what it takes to be successful should they decide they actually did want to attend Full Sail.

      • I can’t believe you built a web site just to slam a school because you don’t like it. I agree with Maggie: Your mentality is “I’m right because I said so”. Poor baby!

  19. My son Thomas Wilson has been at Fullsail since Sep.2011 making excellent grades and not missing one day of class.Today its May 6 2012 and somehow he cannot get any financial aid help.He was given aid to get through the first 9 months of his 2 years towards his recording arts degree.Now,FULLSAIL has sent him an 11000 dollar bill telling him he cannot get any more aid and destroying his hopes and dreams in the process.Thankyou Fullsail for abandoning a very good 19 year old kid and student his heart is broken!My last question is why would they give him an opportunity in the beginning just to strip it away from him?Heartless

  20. I just completed an app to attend full sail university,i must say im very excited about choice,as i begin to read this site,and former students comments,i was ready to call the school to back out,UNTILL,i came across MAGGIE SMITHS comments,thank you maggie for helping me to b solid in my decision to attend full sail,i believe the school provides the education,i have the talent,i believe its up to me what i do with what i have learned,writing is my life,if u can teach me anything about writing,that make me better than i am,i fill like its all gonna b worth it in the end,again thank u maggie smith,now about the money part,i got to get back with u all on that,i need money as well,but i still believe GOD will make away,because this is my hearts desire.

  21. Hi. I’m from Puerto Rico and my daughter wants to enroll in Full Sail University. I’ve been reading about all the things been said and I’m a little worried to make any decision. The tuition is way to expensive.

    • Hi, I’m also from Puerto Rico. Please save your money and don’t enroll. It will be a big mistake. I live in Cupey, San Juan. I enrolled in Oct 2011. I started online because I couldn’t move yet to Orlando. When I applied I told them that I was a Independent student because I got emancipated when I was 17. I sent all the documents in and everything was “good to go” until now. This will be my 8 month in the school and now they are telling me that my financial aid will not cover my 2 year tuition. They didn’t give me a reason of why it wouldn’t cover it, they just said no. They gave me two options either to get 32,000 in Private loans (using your credit) or to withdraw from school and pay cash. I’m way smarter than them so I went and spoke with 3 different lawyers about this situation and they told me that my documents were valid and that there is no way for them to deny me my Pell grant or student loans because that is from the Federal Government. That same day I got in contact with 3 other Full Sail students and they shared with me their story. I noticed that what I’m going through right now is what the school made them go through a few weeks before. I called the Federal government agency that manages the Pell Grant and they told me that the school shouldn’t be asking for more money because there is nothing wrong with my documents and information on file. That the school did got payed the first academic year (when they told me they didn’t) and that they will get payed for the second year which is starting this month. This is very suspicious and the fact that they are doing this to everybody is so wrong. Totally not worth the hassle and I will be dropping out of school as soon as the semester is over. No more of this scam crushing peoples dreams for some cash. Don’t do it, tell your daughter to try CCAT in PR which a school with the same programs as Full Sail and is way less expensive. If not then try something else in Boston or NYC but don’t enroll in this school.

  22. I graduated from Full Sail, its one of the best schools in the country. I also went to Private and State Universities, and got to go and sit in on Ivy League classes. Full Sail was better than all of them, in fact it was much better I knew more about electronic circuits than everyone I knew with Bachelor’s Degree’s in Electronics. I also knew 10x’s what anyone graduating with a degree in Communications or Broadcast Journalism about video production. Sure, its not perfect and you get what you put into it, like anything else. There are certain programs there, such as Recording Arts that you had better be willing to go wherever they’re willing to give you a job or you’ll have a hard time in the recording industry. The biggest complaint years after I graduated was that certain new grads had attitudes that they knew it all and didn’t exhibit standard industry protocol, I experienced this first hand.

  23. Earn a degree, and go out there and make something happen with it! So sad that this generation wants everything handed to them. Full Sail is the best at what they do. If you have a dream, take it serious, and learn the skills to be able to be excellent at your craft bring something to the table!!! Not everyone is cut out for the entertainment and media world…but for those who are, they will see the value of a Full Sail education. There are always going to be haters….but the people who put in the work and graduate from there are on another level then the rest… Sorry to all of those who couldn’t cut it. Don’t be mad…UPS is hiring….

  24. Hi, Everyone.

    Please save your money and don’t enroll. It will be a big mistake. I enrolled in Oct 2011. I started online because I couldn’t move yet to Orlando. When I applied I told them that I was a Independent student because I got emancipated when I was 17. I sent all the documents in and everything was “good to go” until now. This will be my 8 month in the school and now they are telling me that my financial aid will not cover my 2 year tuition. They didn’t give me a reason of why it wouldn’t cover it, they just said no. They gave me two options either to get $32,000 in Private loans (using your credit) or to withdraw from school and pay cash. I’m way smarter than them so I went and speak with 3 different lawyers about this situation and they told me that my documents were valid and that there is no way for them to deny me my Pell grant or student loans because that is from the Federal Government, they don’t control that. That same day I got in contact with 3 other Full Sail students and they shared with me their story. I noticed that what I’m going through right now is what the school made them go through a few weeks before. I called the Federal government agency that manages the Pell Grant and they told me that the school shouldn’t be asking for more money because there is nothing wrong with my documents and information on file. That the school did got payed the first academic year (when they told me they didn’t) and that they will get payed for the second year which is starting this month. This is very suspicious and the fact that they are doing this to everybody is so wrong. Totally not worth the hassle and I will be dropping out of school as soon as the semester is over. No more of this scam crushing peoples dreams for some cash. I transferred from a state university because of the amazing sales skills Full Sail has. They know you want to make your dram come true so they’ll move mountains to get you in. I’m currently waiting for them to give me a call soon to tell me if this uncomfortable moment is over or if they are going to keep trying to fool me. I’m prepared and my lawyers are prepared. The school is in big trouble if they decide to keep up with this non sense. Dear friends, I wish I had someone to give me some advice before I signed those papers. I really do, but whats done is done is this type of scam do happen everywhere thats why we must be careful. If you still have that desire to spend more than $70,000+ do so in a school that is worth it. For real music school go to Boston, New York or Los Angeles. This one will only get richer with your money. Classes are weak, and I can tell you coming from a state university. You won’t learn here, its better to go and read some books and learn by your self. At the end of the day is your choice but don’t complaint later on and say you haven’t been warned. Take care.


    • Hi Sam,
      This is an unfortunately familiar story. I’m a current full sail student myself in the graphic design online program, and this last year Full Sail tried to extract an extra 3600k out of me, because apparently my loans and grants didn’t pay for it. After scrambling, I got lucky, and a friend loaned me the remaining balance so I didn’t have to go into private loan debt. Then tax time came. Not only were my payments not reflected on my 1098-T, but my amounts billed didn’t match my total loan amounts from Sallie Mae (guess what? my loan amount was almost as much as the total amount billed. Weird) and it ALSO didn’t match up my quoted tuition cost from my student advisor. What the crap is the deal with this school???? What did your lawyers suggest, if you don’t mind my asking?

  25. Look at everyone talking so much
    crap about Full Sail. If you never attending Full Sail there should be no
    reason for any of you to talk so badly about the university. Even if you
    graduated from Full Sail and did not get a job after it, that is your fault completely.
    I know people who attending that university and they work for industries such
    as Zynga, Sony, Activision. It is what you put into it. IF YOU WORK YOUR ASS
    OFF THROUGHOUT SCHOOL, IT WILL PAY OFF IN THE END. The ones who talk so much
    crap about the school probably could not afford to even go there. Also, I am
    not being paid to say anything great about the school. If that was the case I
    would be making sure I do get paid but I am a regular person like everyone
    else. I have a degree in programming and computer science. I know how to do
    basically everything a regular game designer knows how to do. I have a kick ass
    resume and have been on plenty of job interviews but I did not get a job. I
    spoke to my friends for the companies I mentioned, and they even told me it is
    hard to get into a position like theirs without a degree as a game designer. I
    spoke to people in that industry and they hire people from Full Sail because of
    what they concentrate and focus on. Yes, it is a lot of money to attend but is
    it well worth it? Ask yourself what is the graduation rate? Will you get a job
    right after it? If you think, the school is just going to just offer you a job
    placement think again. They see how well you did in school and if you did half
    ass work and just did bare minimal work they will not even try to give you a
    job because you represent them. Do what you may want. Choose to attend or not
    too. But do not talk crap on the school if you never attended since you couldn’t
    get in or if you could not even pass a simple class.

  26. Wow it’s been a long time. Yeah, there was no scam here. My partner and I graduated as valedictorian and salutatorian from the game dev program. I was hired 3 months before graduation at a national game/sim company. He was hired by a national game company. Everyone in my graduating class had jobs in our field of study within 6 months of graduating. My classmates now work at the likes of EA, Rock Star, ARA, DARPA, Bohemia, and AMD. I believe the lowest paid former classmate currently earns a $50,000 salary. By comparison, some of my classmates who graduated from the public university I also attended for the CS program now have decent jobs as well, but many of them also work at places like Target and Taco Bell, because the traditional program allowed to too much room to choose irrelevant electives that stunted their growth as developers and they couldn’t get hired in programming positions. That’s something that Full Sail doesn’t allow.