The Art Institutes

The Art Institutes: $99,000 to Get a $30,000 a Year Job

While New York Film Academy has really capitalized on the International Market, the Art Institutes have spring up all over middle America like Starbucks. Don’t want to move to LA or NY? You can attend film school at one of the Art Institutes campuses in Portland, Kansas, or even Nashville. This seems like an exciting opportunity to people who want to go local to learn about filmmaking. But it can be even more disastrous than attending NYU or NYFA. First off, there are virtually no jobs in communities outside of LA or NY, and the school will not be able to teach you the right way to get those jobs.

The Art Institutes Shares Some Job Placement Stats

Art Institutes Tuition is about $99,000 for a Bachelor’s Degree.

To its credit the Art Institutes is the only film school I’ve seen that is transparent about the poor job prospects for its graduates. Apparently banking on the fact that either a.) applicants to The Art Institutes don’t care about job placement stats or b.) applicants to the Art Institutes don’t understand what job placement stats mean, they disclosed these abysmal numbers, that are pretty darn accurate:

The Art Institutes

$31,000 a year is $480 a week after taxes. $26,000 a year is less than $400 a week. This is completely accurate for the film business. An entry level worker is typically paid $100 a day if they are lucky and works more than 10 hours a day (sometimes up to 14 without overtime). What’s sad is that these students could have easily gotten any of these jobs without going to the Art Institutes or any other film school. And then they wouldn’t have to deal with the $90,000 in student loans.

Art Institutes: Approximately $30,000 a Year

Equipment Used: Panasonic HPX-170 – Purchase Price $3,699.00 on Amazon

I asked a friend attending the Art Institute in Hollywood what she was doing her first semester. She said she was shooting a short film using Final Cut Pro and a Panasonic HPX 170 HD Camera. I asked how much tuition was, and she said $15,000 a semester. I asked her if she was aware she could buy the camera she was using for $3,700, or rent it for about $170 a day?

She was not.

Respect yourself. Do your research and ask yourself why you should pay $30,000 a year to use equipment you could own outright for much less. Remember, when you are writing and shooting your movie on your own, the professor at the Art Institutes won’t be holding your hand, you’ll be doing it on your own anyway.


  1. Well said! as a former ‘victim” of AI, You should mention that the only reason that they are only transparent about the prospects RECENTLY.
    Last year its parent company got sued by the US Justice Dept due to it requiring AI and its other schools to inflate its numbers of jobs it got its students. For example, if you went for animation, and after graduation ,could only find a job working for say Starbucks , AI would STILL put you down as a success story due to their school.(after all You’re graduated and employed right?)
    Spread the word please about these schools!

  2. Greetings!

    I just now found this website. I was led here by googling ” top ranked film schools.” This makes perfect sense! How is it even legal to charge us so much $$$ for an education that so seldom leads to our goals. This industry is a cold dark place and its hard enough as it is. In a mad dash to chase after my goals in film, I contacted NYFA for information and I almost fell over when a man casually informed me tuition was $42,000 a year (3 year program) – because hell yes one could acquire top of the line equipment for less! As far as connections go I maintain optimistic that with enough drive and showcasing your passion and talent, one can find those connections and make themselves known. Thank you so much for this site seriously! For now ill be stayed where I am, working as a stylist and eventually find myself where I belong. I wish more of us could come together. I’ve been wanting to start a small local group of film makers, any advice?

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