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The goal of this group is to raise awareness of the fact that the heavily advertised "Art Institutes" are not real art schools, but corporate owned diploma mills that exploit young people’s dreams to sell fake education for ungodly amounts of money. I went briefly and dropped out after realizing my $120,000 ‘education’ was not going to get me a job anywhere or allow me entrance to a Grad school. Their over 40 locations are owned by the Education Management Corporation(EDMC) which is possibly the main villain in today’s corporate education scam. They have been sued many times, but are still in operation and growing. Now they have several other chains of schools other than the Art Institutes (Brown Mackie College, Southern University, Western State University, and Argosy University). In order to destroy them we must make sure everyone knows about this awful scheme so that they lose business and shut down on their own.


As the majority of DeviantArt is people who are interested in art, and around the age of choosing a college, I feel this is a relevant issue to make a group about here. Especially since it is impossible not to see “ART INSTITUTE OF PITTSBURGH” flashing all over the site. If anyone has any bad AI experiences, please share! Spread the awareness and don’t let this money hungry corporation ruin anyone else’s life! I personally went to an AI school and can verify bad things about the school that are mentioned in the reviews posted below. It keeps me awake at night thinking of all the people who are in massive debt and can’t get an above-minimum-wage job because of EDMC.


Read for yourself how this company has affected student’s lives:…

And read employee accounts as well:…


A portal with lots of useful reading:

video on the subject:…

NOTE: Not all art schools with ‘Institute’ in the name are EDMC owned (like the School of the Art Institute of Chicago). Research which ones are legitimate before requesting information!

Another scam art school frequently advertised on this site is Full Sail University. THEY ARE JUST AS BAD:…
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Jotamu Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2016
Train your self. Take art lessons for cheaper prices. You really don't need an art degree. 
Frisby-2007 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2016  Student General Artist
I left that place (Art Institute 2 years ago, & I don't regret it one bit! I'll admit I miss most of my teachers there (especially my anatomy/life drawing & photoshop teachers, they were the only useful classes I learned anything from), but I'm thankfully still in touch with them as they are great.

I wasted a lot of time there, don't make the same mistake I did anyone who reads this.
Poupites Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2016
So I go Googling

and this is how one files a Borrowers Defense:

yes the information is hidden in the government corinthian page and I was fortunate to speak to someone on the phone that gave me the following instruction to file the borrowers defense for my Art Institutes claim. Send to:

In your Borrower Defense to Repayment submission materials, you should include at a minimum:

  • A statement that the borrower wishes to assert a borrower defense to repayment based on state law
  • First, middle and last name
  • Date of birth
  • The last 4 digits of the borrower’s Social Security number
  • Home address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Name and location of the school
  • The program of study
  • Degree, certificate, or other credential attained or sought
  • Dates of enrollment
  • Documentation to confirm the borrower’s school, program of study, and dates of enrollment. Suggested items include transcripts and registration documents indicating your specific program of study and dates of enrollment.
  • Any details about the conduct of the school that the borrower believes violated state law including, but not limited to:
    • The state and applicable law or cause of action (if available)
    • Specific acts (including failures to act) of alleged misconduct by the school
    • How the alleged misconduct affected the borrower’s decision to attend the school and take out a loan to pay to attend the school
    • The injury suffered by the borrower as a result of the school’s alleged misconduct
    • Any other supporting information that would help the Department of Education review the borrower’s claim
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Take the time to submit your complaints about AI DIRECTLY TO THE GOVERNMENT AT THE ADDRESS ABOVE. I have been investigating this as a past AI student and there is a board reviewing our claims. Online and youtube complaints dont change policy in government. To have your voice heard submit a borrowers defense with the info I have detailed above. 

 SchoolClaims Heald 3,356 Everest1,701 WyoTech283 Art Institutes 931 ITT159University of Phoenix22Other239Total6,691

Source: U.S. Department of Education, “Second Report of the Special Master for Borrower Defense.”

Sandrick1 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2015
be sure to visit the many FB pages against AI.

I Am Ai
The Art Institutes Suck
Socal Students Against AI/EDMC
New England Institute of the Arts
the Art Institute Class Action 
Art Institutes: buyer beware

there are also numerous pages dedicated to the For profit college chains pf Everest, University of Phoenix, ITT Tech and others

the time of the for profits is coming to an end, with the company stocks near worthless and enrollments at an all time low. People are realizing that education is a right to all people that want to learn and that it should not only be risk free for the wealthy members of our country. 

Each of these chains has a pending investigation or currently running whistleblower court case. Each of them has at one time been raided by the feds. My hope is that people start understanding that higher education is a carefully made trap that has been made to enslave lower income people by forcing them to enter into a high risk debt situation as their only means of socio-economic mobility. This wasn't the dream of our fathers, it was the scheme of the corrupt who now think that they own this country.
ddcree Featured By Owner May 13, 2015
I went to The Art Institute of Phoenix and obtained an AAS degree in Computer Animation back in 2001. I just heard they are closing 15 locations. I feel like I received a quality education but agree, it is way too expensive. However, I was never questioned on the integrity of my degree. In all honesty, companies care more about talent and experience than a degree in that field. I did some freelance to bump up my portfolio then managed to find a fulltime animation job shortly after but I had to work at it. I have been a Creative Director for 3 years now. Not bad for someone with an AAS degree. I still do freelance occasionally since it can be quite lucritive and keeps my name out there. My advice for animation: Go for an AAS degree to learn the basics but don't waste your money on a BAS. Instead, invest your money in an awesome computer and the latest 3D software. You'll need it anyway if you plan to do any freelance and you will always want to keep your portfolio up to date.
kid45buu2 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I went to the Art institute of California. Huge Mistake. Although I learned much from my small time there, I got fucked over when the classes got overwhelming even when the least amount was taken. Plus due to a nice little clause in the fine fine print I'm in debt over ten thousand dollars. Go to a community college, much better.
kdethlefsen Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Hmm. I have seen a lot on the internet lately about Ai being a scam. I recently graduated from AiO with an Associate's in graphic design. It is extremely expensive, which is why I decided not to continue for my Bachelor's. In my current location, there are zero jobs available in the graphic design field that pay more than my current job, so even though I have graduated, I have not looked for work yet. I figure I would need to relocate or do some sort of online freelance kind of stuff. So, my concern is this: if I move to a city and apply at a design firm, are they going to laugh at me for having this degree? All that debt I have accumulated, is it all for nothing?
ghostanjo Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014
so what would you recommend? Are university's safe? 
amozofart Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I do not even attend the school, however I was charge was a spontaneous fee of $150 with a 12% annual interest rate for going to an open house and filling out an application. I was not warned of these fees at all ahead of time. I am truly disappointed and will most likely not attend Ai of Chicago. BE CAREFUL GUYS!!
LGW1234159 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
I was so so so close to attending the Art Institute, I came across them at a college fair at my local community college which is a much better school and wear I'm attending right now.  I expressed interest in their film program and the location in Philadelphia  seemed to fit me. I got info from the school and I got to talk to my advisor, he was like the nicest guy I ever met. He told me about the open house and me and my whole family drove the many hours there and got the tour. Being new to the college world I was really impressed with what I saw. I was then shown the dorms and honestly they sucked. I just thought that was how it was in college. So as time went on and with some suggestions from my teachers and counselor to attend the community college before going else to see what college life is like. I called them and told them that I will not be attending and too STOP calling me as they called me every single frickin day and it really annoyed my mother. I then saw the reception that the art institute had and I was relieved that I wouldn't be given a bad education and be in LARGE  amounts of debt with a degree that is worthless.

I also looked into Full Sail University since my counselor suggested it to me. I didn't get any calls or anything but from what I saw on their website and the brochure I was really impressed and wanted to go. I again came across the school's bad reputation and I immediately had no interest in any for profit school. This was the site that did


Do your research, you'll find a good school for your passion. Just don't go looking for it here      
troymation Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2016
Good Job, man! I went to the one in Philly, Trust dodged a bullet! I just graduated from SCAD, best thing I've ever done in my life and the best time I've ever had. Night and day in terms of quality of education.
LGW1234159 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2016  Hobbyist Filmographer

and awesome! I hear that's a great art collage to go to.

I was looking into going to SCAD but decided to remain in New York State as tuition is cheaper as a citizen. I looked in to schools like NYU and SU but decided not to go as they are very expensive like $40,000 to $50,000 a year which is a lot for an art degree, at least to me. And those schools are very prestigious and I don't think I'm smart enough to go to those schools any way.

But right now the schools that I'm looking into for my major of interest being film is the Rochester Institute of Technology which gives monetary benefits to those who are hard of hearing which I am and SUNY Purchase, Buffalo and Binghamton which are all are apart of the SUNY system which means lower costs to those in state rather then out of state being and roughly $27,000 and I won't be too far from home which is great for my parents who don't want me too far from home.

Anyone who wants a good education should get it from a school who wants to give the student the best rather then just take their money.     
StrandsOfMelody Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I thought "Finally, a school I could really see myself attending that will help me be successful AND happy in what I do." but.. now I feel... really really disappointed. 
blackkatzorlando Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for your candor....real schools in my area are giving me serious crap bc the last two semesters I had serious health problems....will steer clear of AI, thanks again ♡♥♡
xwolven Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
School is a scam that preys on naive young people who even think they might want to be artists.  They will promise you things by your final year that they don't even have at the time but promise they will have by the time you get there.   

   Why don't more artists just find a good Junior College that specializes in the type of art/film/fashion/music/cooking they want to learn?  Jr College is cheap but they have reputations and you can find one that is great for the type of field you want to go into.  You'll be so happy you did.  Tech Schools are pipe dreams that pretend to be something much more than they really are.  And all their big profits just go back into Advertising.  Not the school or in hiring good teachers who are often in fact rejected teachers from real colleges
troymation Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014…

Here is a great video that sums up "for profit" colleges like the "Art Institutes". He talks about game schools in the video because he is a professor of game development at Digpen but You can easily fill in "game school" with any for profit college....hit's the nail on the head, in my opinion.
LifeKO Featured By Owner Edited Sep 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am in 12th grade and I applied for the Art institute and like what people suggest I draw a lot of anime because I want to be a anime artist. My GPA is 3.3-3.4. The guy who calls me [Rep from AI] keeps telling me that I should leave my medical dreams to go to my art interest, but I want to study abroad in Japan. 
Thank you guys for the comments and warnings.
CharlieHartford Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014
  Rage  Yeah I'm a newbie to college, I didn't think before I applied at The Art Institute and now I'm trapped. I am in the film program, granted they have all the equipment but it's pointless if they don't fully teach you how to use it.  I'm only 30 and I'm already in debt. I've been attending for a year and 8 months now and I regret everyday, at first everything was  fine I was excited, when I signed up I had no clue what they were telling me. Not good with numbers and the financial terms that were used is a load of crap. I was under the impression I would be getting Financial Aid help, but all I get is Loans.
      I already out over 14 thousand dollars. I can't work a full time job, so I'm not making enough to survive and go to school. I live on campus in which I absolutely hate, they don't monitor these places at all, and they just shack you up with anyone. I don't smoke or drink and the people they have me here with have friends over who smoke WEED, etc, I don't do drugs nor do I want to be around any of that or inhale that stuff.  I too just wanted to leave home and be on my own, but I WENT ABOUT IT THE WRONG WAY, NO MONEY, NO CAR JUST WENT ON IMPULSE. You file complaints and they don't do anything.
      This school is very shady all they care about is the money, I know this now.  The teachers tend to be rude and arrogant at times.  They teach way too fast and never teach the entire lesson because the classes are too short to learn so much. I learn more form YOUTUBE than I do in class.  I wanted to take a quarter off to work and save up money and come to find out even if I'm out of school I still have to pay these people, why am I paying if I'm not attending class? That doesn't make any sense, and I've heard if you leave they will try to make you pay in full, which for me means $80,000 up front. I stay broke, feel like I'm not learning anything, not happy with the dorms and just don't know what to do anymore. I had to apply for food stamps cause I never have money in my pocket. Can't pay the bills. Feel like an idiot, all I wanted to do was learn how to make film, not go into debt for the rest of my life.  I know all schools are expensive but this one takes the cake. They try so hard to make you stay all yo are to them is a paycheck, it's sad and it's wrong. Something needs to be done. Waaaah! 
mishihime Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014
Honestly, I wish I dropped out the moment I found out something was wrong. I didn't want to leave empty handed but it's better than going the whole way through. 
CharlieHartford Featured By Owner May 16, 2015
Same here, I've dropped out now, I only owe 10 thousand, which is enough and I will be paying that off for the rst of my life because my current job sucks.
mishihime Featured By Owner May 20, 2015
Well EDMC has been found guilty of fraud and a lot of us are working on a "Defence of Repayment" case. Students who went to a scam school (similar to Ai) did it and their loans were fully discharged. Ai is guilty of many crimes. High pressure on people to sign things, False job placement statistics, false graduation statistics and now some of their schools are closing. President Obama is working on something called "Gainful Employment" this basically means that schools like Ai will not be eligible for sallie mae / naivent loans if most of their students like us don't end up with jobs in our field. 

If you are on Facebook consider joining this group.… will really open your eyes and show you how many people are in your spot. A lot of us were forced to drop after they got the loan money and grants from us. 
Xale1990 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014
I hear ya bro. I also just wanted to have my name on the credits of movies and they made me believe that could happen. They structure the classes like its so easy then when it comes time to graduate they will fail you to keep getting money from you until its inconvenient and give you a free pass and you still won't get a job.
CharlieHartford Featured By Owner May 16, 2015
Yeah, some of the schools are shutting down now. I've gotten out since that last post. Now I'm in major debt. Wish I would've never attended.
angelpink7 Featured By Owner Edited Jul 26, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I'm posting here, cause I just happened across this.

I was called up by the art institue o f pittsburg. I graduated with a GPA of 1.0 (I'm not stupid. I just had a horrible childhood in and out of foster care, and being moved around. I even did a G.E.D. program at one point, which was a work program. Until moving from Florida to Ohio once I turned 18 and actually went back and finished high school) Regardless, no actual art institute would take me,  until Ai called me. I haven't had a job for a year, and was housebound (we have one car and my boyfriend works from 2pm to 2am) I also suffer from a suffer paranoia when I leave the house alone, making it hard to go anywhere without my bf.
Regardless, AI Called me, and when I explained everything, no job, no real outside world access, the only income I made was through my art and odds and ends that I sell online. Which hardly brings in 50 dollars a month. They told me not to worry, they were more then certain that financial aid could cover almost all my cost, at most I would only have to pay a few hundred to get my my degree. Three days on the phone with them, going through things, setting up finacial aid and they gave me the good news. "Finacial Aid" sems to pay for everything". A d@mn dream come true. So Obviously, I didn't think to ask "How much  do classes cost?" After all, I'm not paying for it. So who cares?

Until two weeks later I get the bill for this first quarter 12 weeks of classes online. Tthousand dollars. And get this. Financial aid? Eh. Gov will cover a thousand. The rest they signed me up for student loans. And I' have the opinion of dropping out that very second and paying it ALL or wait until the end of the quarter and the governments financial aid will cover that 1000 at least.

i dropped out after the quarter of course, after learning stuff I ALREADY knew from my previous college classes at a community college that cost me 300 dollars a class. No where near this 7 thousand their asking. And I went to an actual campus where the school supplied us with our things.

Still don't have a job, no money to my name. (I am currently actually going through a trial where a family member of mine is being charged with stealing 2.5 thousand dollars of my money I had been saving up t pay for my to buy myself my own place) (The officer who is actually standing for me in trial (My paranoia does not allow me to do well in crowds, or under pressure, or when all eyes are on me, say testifying. This is one reason I dropped out of community college) kindly told me "You are the kind of person people will always turn to for a scam. You are the kind of woman who will get cornered by criminals when your alone. You're that type of person." He all honesty trying to give me a "You should watch yourself" advice, but it apparently still rings clear as I willingly run into a college that I should have been skeptical from the get go) I have medical bills and other non school debts that need to be paid.

Like I said, I am not a stupid person when it comes to intelligence, street smarts, not so much I agree, but I went into these classes and I wanted to cry at my classmates. I had some of the most stupidest people I had ever met in my classes. One man thought a picture showed "Idealism" because of the pole between the females legs (It was a picture of a amazon woman manniquin). I mean we were learning stuff I LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL. I should have known right off the bat, not only do to my GPA, but because they didn't ask for a portfolio or even a measley example of my work before they enrolled me. And believe me if any of the students I was with were to go by, I know exactly why college ask for these now. There were students who couldn't understand that making a "3 dimensional shape" consisted of actually doing more then putting a circle on a paper and then using a gradient tool on it.
MatchLight Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I just graduated from AI. Ridiculously high debt now. Kinda at a loss...
kdethlefsen Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Same here.
LazyMusician10 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Student Artist
Also the Art Institute wasn't my 1st choice for a college. I did get accepted to a way better art school in Atlanta, GA called SCAD (or Savannah of Creative Arts and Design). I had a bunch of scholarships plus they liked my portfolio. But the school is out of state for me and very expensive. My family couldn't do it, the Art Institute of Dallas was the second college I got accepted to. I really wanted to go to SCAD and aim for Sequential Art (become able to make your own comic books, graphic novels, manga) but I couldn't. I wanted to do there online classes but it was expensive as well. So I just decided to go to Dallas to get away from home, I always said when I wanted to get away (Im from Houston, TX by the way). I did send the Art Institute of Dallas my portfolio so I could be accepted into the Animation program and surprise I was accepted.
When I first started I wanted to aim to be a 2D Animator or a Concept Artists. But now that I'm in my 3rd quarter (about to end on June 21st) my mind keeps changing on what I want to do over the course f the classes I take. I notice of what I'm good at and what I'm not. So now I'm aiming to still be a Concept Artist and maybe a Watercolor Painter. For next quarter, one of my classes I'm taking is Introduction to Watercolor Painting. So I'm excited for that class, my other three are : 2D Animation, Figure Sculpting, and Storyboarding = everyone told e I was going to die in those classes. Well I hope not :p
troymation Featured By Owner Edited Jul 24, 2014
I'm sorry to hear that. I too graduated from the AI of Philadelphia with a BS associates degree in computer animation. What a joke of a school. I was like you and grasped at what was convenient in order to get out of the house, instead of what would propel my future forward. Don't get me wrong, I did ok. I storyboarded for Mtv animation...(When it still existed), I also had several freelance jobs for some pretty heavy gaming and digital design companies. Unfortunately I credit very little of my successes to the Art Institutes. I came in to that school with a skill set that most students don't have...namely my high school was a fine art school and I had a mentor (Kim Parr) for two years who taught me everything I know about painting...needless to say, I was a star student (whom AI attempted to exploit at every possible turn).

I decided to go back to school two years ago and am currently attending SCAD (by the way, they didn't take ANY of my AI credits so I had to start over). Please don't think I'm trying to rub it in or anything but..."you have no idea what you are missing!" SCAD is a FAAAAAAAARRRR superior school and I can't tell you what a breath of fresh air it was when I got accepted and toured the school. The atmosphere alone bleeds talent...hell just look at the work on the walls and visit any of the exhibitions they frequently hold or any of the panels they host from different speakers and celebrity guests. Just this quarter I will be attending a seminar held by the lead technical director at Dreamworks studios. I am about to take a quarter and study abroad at their campus in LaCoste France... A beautiful campus. It is set at one of the Marqui D'saad's castles. I've never seen anything like it.

The resources and equipment is state of the art. There is a special effects, sound and green-screen room on campus. The quality of instruction at SCAD in general, is amazing. The professors are top tier and either have or are still currently working in the industry and have done exactly what you want to do or have even written the software or partially invented some of the industry techniques they are teaching you. I'll put it this way: I'm in animation...Three of my professors where senior art directors at Disney and one of them turned down a job as technical director at EA games in order to work at SCAD. The woman who WROTE the premier book on technical lighting is "teaching" the digital lighting course I'm taking next quarter. I could go on but I think you get the picture.

The horizon is pretty competative whether you are a fine artist or if you want to illustrate or do concept art for gaming. You need the right tools.

Hang in there and I wish you well, but if you decide to go back to school (and you may need to) I hope you have the opportunity to attend a more reputable art school that you will enjoy better or maybe even SCAD in the future.
LazyMusician10 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Student Artist
Wow, congratz! I wish you all the luck as well with your abroad study in France. Sounds exciting as hell! Well this quarter I was debating a lot, but next quarter (Fall Quarter) I'll be switching to Graphic Design for I want to aim to Illustrate and Book Illustrate for Children s books or books in general. For I wanted to Illustrate in the first place when I came here. Just didn't know that Graphic Design had it lol. So I'm excited to start my new major next quarter and I still get to graduate in Winter of 2017 so that's a good thing. For I don't want to stay here to dang long. :p
LazyMusician10 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Student Artist
I heard about that murder when I got to Ai of Dallas. 
I'm currently attending Ai of Dallas (majoring in Media Arts and Animation), I've been here for 9 months now and already hearing about there being sued again from people. An that this is there seventh time being sued (heard this from a friend last week).
When I went to the Tech lab just now to rent out a Wacom table to use to work on my homework, there was a guy in the back reading the article out loud about how the Art Institutes in a whole were being sued a lot of money. I don't exactly know the full details on what the suing is all about; think it's dealing with Financial Aid. But until they make an announcement that there being sued or they lost the case, I won't be applying else where just yet nor telling my mother. :/  But over all I'm liking my experience here, I'm learning and hating homework at the same time but I'm doing my work to pass and move on to the next quarter. But I'll come back here and let yall know if anything big happens here at our school with the suing thing or if they decided to raise my price higher on how much of my tuition I'm paying each darn month, for I swear if it bumps up $200+ for my tuition each month I will transfer (Im already paying $348 or $358 each month). :) 
Serinji Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I fell for this, I was talked into doing the school online. I'm only $1500 in debt, not much, but still, I can't get into any school til that's paid off and I don't know what do either. I want to get into animation, but I'm also fine with just doing graphic design or ending up in the gaming industry, it sucks that this was all a scam cuz now I feel stupid for enrolling in the first place.
Lady-of-Icarus Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014  Student General Artist
where the heck has this been happening? the most i got was small money issues and people complaining about the higher ups just messing around with firing and hiring professors when it wasn't necessary. i think its mostly because the professor helps us along against what the institute wants. (which is also probably why they keep getting rid of or receiving new tutors now that i think about it)

but yeah other than that, it's like what the midoryu's comment says. most of it, for me and him/her so far, is depending on the admissions and financial aid and stuff that isn't directly involved with teaching. the professors are cool beans, especially those that know how to get around the system.
midoryu Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Hobbyist Artist

I went to AI Denver for four quarters. I maintained a 3.9 gpa, I had perfect attendance, I worked for EDMC in the mailroom and at the admissions desk. I also lived at the dorms, by myself due to health reasons.

The instructors there are of the highest caliber.

The financial aid, accounting, and admissions office are where the scam lies. The admissions people get paid by how many people they can get to enroll. They all have degrees in psychology and they use that knowledge to draw people in. There is a quota that they have to reach every 6 weeks or their paycheck is docked or even cuts are made. This would violate several laws if they were not a privately run corporate institute.

The financial services office is the true evil. In fact, what they did to me was so confusing that I don't understand fully what they did. I do know that I owe the school 3.5k,  I owe the government 37k, and was charged another 3k for breaking the lease on my dorm room after they told me that I had to get of the dorms. They did not pay my complete tuition every quarter in order to get money out of me early. They expected $100 each month from somebody that they knew full well could not afford it. They offered a merit scholarship for$650 a quarter, but then raised the tuition. This was the only scholarship that they offered.

Meanwhile, the accounting office expected $150 a month from me, even though financial services showed only $100. They could not account for payments that I had made and could prove with receipts, and were really good at applying payments to the wrong month.  

I came to the conclusion that they are a money laundering front for Goldman Sachs, exploiting students for entitlements as a student. They found a loophole where all students receive money, and they decided they wanted a piece of it.  

Ant76 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Student General Artist
A lot of dumb anime ppl usually end up going to these school cause they don't have a portfolio for a real art school and let not forget real art school like mica said rise cooper union r any other won't accept anime -.-
LoOmBoy Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014

I'm currently at the New England institute of Art in Brookline Boston. When I come on to this site I do see lots of Japanese anime drawings and people having awesome dreams of one day becoming an animator, but now that I've been going to Ai I see a trend that has been going on where lots of kids, who use and love this site, that go to the schools and are undoubtedly denied their dreams by attending the school. The bottom line is this:


Ai excepts everybody and anybody, even when they have no artistic ability.


I've been attending classes where a person who actually is in need of extra mental help has been attending classes to graduate and wants to, and was convinced by The New England institute of Art that he could get a job as being a 2D animator. He can barely draw, and when he passed in his work for 2D animation, the teacher would give his best criticism, when really the project is in the shape where it looks like it has been done by somebody with... well, mental issues... So the teacher will grade you on effort naturally, but now once reality sets in beyond the school walls, and beyond his effort, his ability will sadly not be considered in a professional field! Now he's in 3D modeling and rigging classes for game design and is dropping out. The school, in my eyes, plainly excepts anybody for money and take what it can get, even if it means taking advantage of people will mental disabilities.


I switched my major from Animation to Graphic Design because the school's animation program is undoubtedly geared toward Game Design. The classes for game design are there, but they will not tell you that you have to meet with specific terms where you learn game design more instead of what you came to learn from the school in the first place. The reason why they sneak up on you with Game design classes is because THAT is what's giving people the most jobs in the area where the school is. If your going to Ai because you want to create your own 2D animation show one day, then you aren't going to get what you are looking for. 3D animation is what is the more dominant art form, and also because Video game companies will most-likely be looking for more 3D animators.


ALL PEOPLE WHO WANT TO DRAW ANIME FOR A LIVEING: Ai will except you, and tell you you have false dreams and gear you toward 3D modeling after accepting you and making you pay heartless amounts of money. 


If you want to get into Game Design then that's perfect for NEIA! go for it! but everybody else in animation who isn't into 3D modeling/3D animating/3D rigging/3D lighting/Advanced 3D modeling and learning Spline modeling, then HEEED MY WARNING. I went through half of it and switch to graphic design because I learned that I just want to help people! I want to help people re-design things and help people become more successful by using artistic methods in graphic and general Design.

Suzeeveronica Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013
I have a friend who is in so much debt because of AI she is now homeless living on the streets of Philadelphia. All she wanted was to become a videographer and now she is homeless because she is from a low income home and was completely taken advantage of by The Art Institutes. Luckily, I got out, and now I'm getting my Masters in Behavioral Neuroscience, but I will do whatever it takes to help out those suffering because of those terrible institutions. 
silivrenwolf Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Professional Photographer
I am so done with the school but I am so close to finishing. Going to Art Institute of Seattle. Has anyone been in the same issue as me? What did you do? I want to quit so badly but at the same time I am about a year from graduating and well horribly in debut to the school. 

I'm getting sick of how they keep telling me one thing and doing another. Like with my F.A. - told me I was all caught up in payments and everything was good and then I call about another issue only to find out I'm now two months behind! Not to mention the fact now to drop a class I've got to go to F.A. and the Dean to get that done! NEVER EVER had to and supposedly it's always been like this. 

Not only that I've had several classes where I was taught nothing because the teacher wasn't all there. Things I thought I would learn I haven't which are extremely important in my field. Or was forced to learn on my own because that's what I had to do to past the school. If that was the case I could have done it on my own!

I would highly avoid any Art Institute!! In fact STAY AWAY FROM ANY AI!!! It's not worth the pain and suffering you will get from this school!!!! It is a complete joke to someone who's actually serious about learning and succeeding. 
ohiocal Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013
I just quit there I agree with this comments,a professor accused me of plagiarism twice and I even sent my work too their writing center and they wouldn`t even look at it to tell me what I did wrong and the staff wouldn`t even try too help thank god I left when I did butt still owe about 17,000 now.
staylo3224 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist

This is joke of an establishment and as someone who worked as an instructor on the inside I must warn all prospective students considering this school. STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS ESTABLISHMENTS. I recently resigned due to the fact (at least this campus) that the program director pulled me into a room and had asked me to compromise my course syllabus and fatten grades for certain students that where 'failing'. When that happened it only solidified that this place has no integrity. On top of that very few at this establishment have NO higher education teaching experience and do not give you the facts as to how hard and competitive the work force for the arts really is, their methods of recruitment only offer what I'll describe as 'false realities'. 

This place is extremely toxic and will only put you into massive debt. 
DCammarota Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I've been working as a Graphic Designer for the past five years. I went to a two year technology institute and got a diploma. Recently I decided I wanted to get a real college degree and just get better at what I do, so I enrolled in Ai Fort Lauderdale. 

I'm currently in my first and last class/quarter. From being misled to how and when I'd have to start making monthly payments (surprise, I owe $2k, though they said I wouldn't owe until next quarter), to not learning a damn thing in 18 hours of classes. Or how about the $50 digital text book I was forced to buy that I could have purchased in paperback for $10 online. To add insult to injury the digital textbook expires, so I don't even get to keep it (though I did figure out a way to save it to pdf, and I do plan on distributing it to my classmates). They also took it upon themselves to add a $400 art kit to my bill even though I did not get one, and told them over and over that I did not need it. I have tons of art supplies, I do not need to buy their overpriced crap. Their reply was, "we figured you'd need it for next quarter." Really, is that what you figured? I mean, it's like they're actively working against me. I plan on dropping this class ASAP if it means I'll owe less money. 

I decided all this on my own, before I even started looking around online for what other people thought of this school. Needless to say horror stories are all over the web. My dinky little tech school is absolutely amazing compared to this. AVOID!
SassyJaeger Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just dropped out of AI. Mostly b/c people were telling me it was a scam and them being sued for billions of dollars didn't look good on their part. I have read through these comments and someone did mention Ringling in Florida. I might have a look at that, because I would love to improve my art. I'm trying my best on my own now.
Also as a side note, AI is trying to make me pay for full semester. In reality, if you look at their refund statement, if I attend school under the 5 week mark, I should be refunded 75%. And they deny those claims, even though it's evident in their handbook. I'm not paying anything to them, considering I didn't even go past midterm. I will pay my loans off. I don't get this school at all, if you can call it a school. One of my classes, Digital Imaging, the prof used Youtube as a teaching method. So I spend my hard earned money watching Youtube videos for 4 hours, when I could be doing that at home for free. So no, this school isn't what they make it out to be. I will be looking into Ringling and hoping to get the degree I want.
jcal9 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
I went to AiP, I started in fall of 2006. 
1)First off I was lied to by my financial advisor as I was told that all of my tuition was going to be covered by federal loans as I had no co-signer and was paying for my own education. Turns out about 70% of my loans we in fact private loans. 13k to be exact and my federally backed loan was less than 5k. 

2)I was never shown interest rates, disbursement amounts, etc... and never really thought about any of that stuff being just turned 18. 

3) So I was living in the student housing at allegheny center.. So I finish my first quarter, just starting my second and a few weeks in my roomate (whom I hated from the day I movied in) got caught with his friends from back home smoking weed in the dorm while I was at a pirates game with a friend. So he gets in trouble and the RA's searched our room and in my stuff they found an airsoft pellet gun. I get called in to the housing advisor the following monday to find out he, myself and our other roomate that did nothing wrong whatsoever, we no longer eligible for student sponsored housing. GREAT! I'm from Ohio living 200 miles away from home and they tell me I need to have all my stuff out by next week....(I come from a poor family, and I was a full time video student with no job and no money.) So with no where to live in pittsburgh and no money for my own place I had to leave Ai and go back to Ohio. I come back 6 days later to my dorm with a uhaul to find all my stuff is gone. WTF? SoI make some calls and find an RA who tells me "they didn't think i was coming back" and donated all my possessions to goodwill. So I call the cops and make a police report for theft... I never did get anything back and I literally had all my clothes and my whole life there with me. So now I have no where to live, I cant go to school and have nothing to my name. 
and I thought it couldn't get any worse.

4)so I actually only attended AIP for 1 quarter and a few weeks of a 2nd. Years later after deferment and whatnot It's time to start repaying my loans I figure they can't be much I probably am out about 7,500. WRONG. turns out AIP accepted disbursements for a 3rd quarter which I never attended one day of. I never could get it resolved. Apparently when I called admissions a few days after getting kicked out of housing and said I wasn't able to come back they thought I meant just for that quarter. BULLSHIT. I didn't take legal action but wish everyday I would have. 

So for going to Art Inst. of Pittsburgh for a little over a quarter and having nothing to show for it. I still get to throw 300 bucks a month down the drain paying back a total debt of $16,969.07


trexlex Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013
The art instititue of Pittsburgh online is a scam, i have proof of one of their advisors telling me that Fafsa would cover my tuition if I switch to part time but then hit me with a 20,000 bill on my senior year. Then when I provided student affairs with the proof... THEY PULL ME OUT OF CLASSES. Mind you, I had over 10 grand left in fafsa funds. They lied to me saying that I had nothing left. I have been getting stomache pains over this, i'm 6 months pregnant and their driving me to a nervous breakdown. They also told me they will hold my diploma and transcripts if I don't pay them 20 grand. SICK SADIST AND EVIL.
clostcase5 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Student General Artist
in 2011 i went to the art institute of Vancouver but i had a nervous break down on student residence so they put me on interim suspension because i had multiple panic attacks before the nervous break down. i didn't vandalize anything, or hurt anyone or made any threat to anyone or myself. i just lost it due to having social anxiety living in a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 other girls and being on generic conceta didn't help it just made me felt anxiousness which caused some heart papulation as well;i find generic concerta comes on way to fast and strong for me. i was also over whelmed due to the financial issues i was going trough partial because Canada post was on strike so it took 2 months into school for me to receive them and when i did received my grants every since dollar and penny went to the school. even if i did get my loans which i am glad i didn't i would have had any for my living expense due to the over charged intuition and the student residence is a complete rip off as well it cost 2,344 a quarter which is only for 2 and half months. anyways since i was put on an interim suspension i agree to go back to Calgary for a psychological assessment from a psychiatrist and i was required to seek help and develop a safety plan and get a doctors note from my psychiatrist stating i was well to go to school. i went out of my way to get a psychiatrist and when i did i did everything i was suppose to do. i got the assessment. i seek help from a therapist and we both worked my my safety plan and i got on the right medications and i got a doctors not from my psychiatrist . i provided everything i needed to get back into school but the director or student affair kept screwing me around making me jump through the same dam hoops. when i showed her the safety plan she state she wanted a personal letter from my therapist which would have cost to much money and my therapist didn't understand why the director of student affair was making un hasty request. when i told her it cost too much money for me to get my therapist to write a letter or send any reports but she could talk to her personally, the director responded that i needed to get a full psychological assessment and a note stating i was good to go to school so she wanted me to do it all over again. i already send her my assessment and doctors note and the safely plan. i think she was just trying to keep me out of school or making it harder for me because they don't have the guts to tell me they don't want me back because i am too mental fucked up and they don't give a shit. know i own the school 5145.53 according to the collectors agency but i asked for an outline balance and it states i owe 5132 but originally i owed them 4350 or 4380 but know they charged me with a housing penalty fee. another crappy experience that came out of the art institute of Vancouver they told me not to worry about my fees and not to worry about alberta student loans because they said they would contact them personally to let them know i was withdrawn form the program and they where going make sure they canceled my loans. they lied about that too because at when i first when on medical welfare i end up getting cut off from Alberta works(welfare) because i was still receiving student grants and loan at my old student residence and i got blamed for it. i had no idea ai told them shit so i had to jump through so many hoop just to cancel all loans that where never send to me and i and to write a long letter stating what happened. i understand that sending me home to seek help was completely understandable and i was reasonable and cooperative about the situation but each time i mad an accomplishment to there deal they made excuses and i think they sugar coded a lot when they put me on an interim suspension. regard all the crap i went through i am glad i decided not to bother or waste my time with ai because if i hadn't had my break down i couldn't imaging how much i would own student loans. lucky i didn't sign over any loans just grants do i only owe that crappy school a shit load of money and not the student loans. for one quarter student residence included it cost about 7,117 per quarter which is only 2 and a half months. the student quarter fee is only 170 which doesn't seem bad however they also charge students with a tuition charge which cost about 3,753 for 2 and a half month. i can't personalty say they are a complete scam because there may be some student that got something out of it but i since i was in for fashion design i could have went to better school that where so much more cheaper than that rip off school. however i am not really into the fashion design anymore. know i am into art and wearable art. i am know on the waiting list for acad which is a real college for art and design and unlike ai you need a good portfolio to get in so my experience was a bitter sweet. sorry for my life story i just want to get my experience out for for anyone who is thinking about going into any ai school and just look and the pros and cons and if you get withdrawn always i mean always call the student aid your self don't trust the school no matter what. i honestly couldn't believe how naivete i was. this is my final message to all you young students that are new to college or any post secondary, remember this shop around for your school and don't just look at what wonderful things they have to offer look at the whole picture especially the intuition because it's not worth trowing you money away to an over priced school when there are other school that can offer the same thing or even better with a more reasonable price. private school are a rip off keep that in mind or at least most of them are but just look at intuition and fee before applying or signing any agreements
Arthikachand Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Student Artist
I go to an Art Institute in Silicon Valley. I am majoring in Culinary and so far I am up there. I don't have anything in loans, just $1,050 and I have been going to school year for half a year already. I don't have to pay anything because every quarter I get $3,500 from Cal-Grant and $1,500 from Pell-Grant which pays off my tuition. The only reason why I get so much free money is because I was a straight up 4.0 student in Middle and High School. And that paid off because I have rarely anything out in loans for my Associates in Culinary. By the time I graduate I will be able to ay it off easily because I already have the money saved and I can come back for my Bachelors. My 4.0's paid off and maybe if the writer of this journal would have been better in school the he/she would have nothing in loans because $1,050 Is nothing to me for my education I am getting here. So maybe if you were not being dumb and retarded in school you could have been doing good! SO DON'T BLAME THE SCHOOL FOR YOUR RETARDEDNESS AND BECAUSE YOU CANT BE SUCCESSFUL!! Own to your F**** mistakes idiot!!!!!
KrisCynical Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Your financial bragging has absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand, dear. There are very few scholarships and grants out there for visual art, so your babbling about your GPA is pointless for anything other than Pell grants which are need and grade-based. If you have been blessed enough to be able to go to school with minimal debt, be thankful for it instead of being a clueless asshole about it and stupidly believing that doing such a thing is easy even for the best students.

Since we're sharing, though, I can brag, too: :dummy:

I attended a college-preparatory private school for grades 1-12, I made straight A's all the way through, and graduated with honors with a 4.0+ GPA, 5th in my class. While attending Ringling for my BFA in illustration I maintained a 3.6+ and graduated with honors with a 3.8 GPA. I was blessed enough to be able to leave Ringling without any debt, either, because my parents made a smart play on the stock market in the late '90s which I am still very grateful for. I fail to see how any of that is relevant, though.

"So maybe if you were not being dumb and retarded in school you could have been doing good! SO DON'T BLAME THE SCHOOL FOR YOUR RETARDEDNESS AND BECAUSE YOU CANT BE SUCCESSFUL!! Own to your F**** mistakes idiot!!!!!"

Thank you for showing us your over-exaggerated ePeen. We are very impressed. Here, have a cookie: :cookie: Hell, have a gold star, too: :star:

For someone who claims to have done so well all the way through middle and high school, I'm surprised you managed to earn those good grades while apparently not learning how to comprehend what you read or construct sentences and paragraphs in a manner which makes you look/sound educated. They apparently didn't teach you common sense, either, because your view of what makes for a quality education is very idealistic, naive, and clueless.

You can be the best student in the world with gobs of cash coming out of your ass but if you go to a shit school with shit standards, shit instructors, and a shit reputation, you are going to get a shit education. Frankly you sound as though you don't know enough about your field of study to know if you're getting a quality education or not, particularly since you seem to equate "school = good" with "good = no debt", which is stupid. Being debt-free will do you no good if you didn't receive an education that is good enough to get you a good job and a solid career.

Once you are old enough to live in the Real World maybe life will hit you with a clue-by-four hard enough that you can figure out how to pull your over-inflated head out of your pompous ass and get a breath of fresh air.
hksmrchan Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013
The last time I checked, we were talking about shit universities and their degree strength, not bragging about how much money we get and how big our dicks are
Feminatrix Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
I think it's bullshit that DeviantArt is blocking the URL to SueAI.. probably because they pay to advertise here. Nice job DA! *the finger*
KrisCynical Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
That... doesn't surprise me at all, sadly. Par for the course, dA. Par for the course. Then again, what can you expect out of a site that accepts and encourages tracing and posting art you don't own as a valid learning tool? :facepalm:
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