Photography AA degree $46000.00 ??? with a "Free $700.00 Nikon" -- THOUGHTS PLEASE ??

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by cgipson1, Mar 24, 2012.

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  1. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    TPF...

    one of our members has enrolled in a school to get an AA degree in photography. They told him that he has the "EYE" and will be very successful! They are also providing a $700 Nikon as part of the tuition. Now keep in mind this is a ASSOCIATES DEGREE... not a bachelors or a masters...

    The tuition is a mere $46,000.00 dollars.

    I checked online.. and most community colleges offer an AA for around 7k to 10k. Some of the online programs like Kaplan and Phoenix are around 30k for an AA.. which I still think is outrageous, but the convenience might outweigh the cost.

    The school is the Art Institute of Indianapolis and it has some very questionable reviews online... not much info on it online really, that I could find. Our member (future student) states the negative reviews aren't for the photography program... so they don't count... (I think he is an optimist!) lol!

    Art Institute of Indianapolis - Student Reviews

    The Art Institute of Indianapolis - Review & Ranking | American School Search

    Is anyone here familiar with the school, or the AA Photography program? Is it worth such a high tuition? Or is it a rip-off? Just trying to assist the member in question (with his permission!)

    Oh.. and they finance too.. not sure what the interest rate is, but I bet it is higher than most....


     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Speaking from experience with AI......

    Take the $46,000 and spend it on education from AI and bust your butt doing school work for 2 years.
    OR
    Take the $46,000 and spend it on studio space, rentals, computers, software, gear and bust your butt shooting pictures of people and things for 2 years.


    After 2 years, who do you think will be more established and knowledgeable about real photography in the real world? The one who spent $46,000 busting their butt shooting.

    If you're going to go to school for photography, go for an education in History, Theory, and Concept where you can have engaging discussions on everything but aperture and shutter speed.
     
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  3. Dahrol

    Dahrol TPF Noob!

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    VERY interesting point. :)

    But how was your experience at the AI, and what were you able to leave with after you completed the program? How much did you put into it, and how much did you get back?
     
  4. rexbobcat

    rexbobcat Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Unless that 46k is tied into scholarships and grants *dundundun* :(
     
  5. Dahrol

    Dahrol TPF Noob!

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    ...but...all of that is listed in my curriculum... o__O
     
  6. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    One thing to think about.. is that none of the credits from AI will transfer to any college or university... only to other "Art" schools in the same chain (AI and the rest are accredited like a trade school). They are also a FOR PROFIT school... which means that PROFIT is going to be their primary motivation....

    These are quotes from an article about one of the ART schools being sued:

    "Critics of for-profit colleges, including several congressional lawmakers, say many programs prey on students, leaving them with expensive degrees, low-wage jobs and high-interest loans they'll never be able to repay
    .

    A Government Accountability Office report published last summer notes that students who enroll in for-profit programs often pay exorbitant amounts for degrees they could earn for much less at nonprofit schools.
    In the Triangle, for instance, an associate degree in culinary arts at A.I., not including housing or other supplies, costs $52,976. An in-state resident can earn the same degree starting next year at Wake Technical Community College for $5,120—more than a 90 percent difference in cost (see chart).


    For-profit schools enroll about 12 percent of all U.S. students. But those students account for nearly half of all student loan defaults, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said at a hearing last week. Many analysts are comparing high-interest student loans to the subprime mortgages that crashed the U.S. economy three years ago."

    Students file complaints against Art Institute with N.C. attorney general | Durham County | Independent Weekly
     
  7. Tony S

    Tony S Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Go to a real school if you are going to go into debt for an education. Chances are during those four years you are going to change your mind over what you really want to do at least three times. If you are not going to a school that has the cirriculum to change or have credits that are transferable to another school you are wasting time and money.
     
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  8. EGutierrez91

    EGutierrez91 TPF Noob!

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    $46,000? For an associates? They are wiping their ass your money.

    It's just like all trade schools. Expensive, they like to sell themselves as being amazing (job search help, etc.) but when it comes down to it, it's all a big ripoff.

    Why don't you go to a local community college or even a university and pursue a Bachelor's of Fine Arts? Why go to an Art Institute instead of an actual college?
     
  9. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    Dahrol.... they are giving you a cheap camera, and charging outrageous fees.. and you will be in debt for a long long time! Even if you do manage to get a decent job out of it, you will still owe huge sums of money.....

    I work IT.. and have seen the same type of schools totally destroy people wanting to get into the IT field. They would teach people how to pass certifications test... even give hints on how to cheat, and the people would pass the tests, and get their MCSE, or CCNA certs. But they couldn't get jobs except as low end techs, because they didn't really know how to do what the Certs signified.. they just knew how to pass the tests. And they charged huge sum for this "Certification training" they did... and told every one of the student they were "naturals"..lol!
     
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  10. Tony S

    Tony S Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Kind of reminds me of the old match covers where you would draw a copy of the picture and send it in to see if you had talent... I did one as a stick person and they still wanted me to go to their school.
     
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  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would take my $46,000 and RUN THE OTHER WAY!!! Art Institute of Indianapolis....uh...no, sorry...an AA degree in photography for 46k? That just sounds like a ton of wasted money. I would refer you to post #2 above.
     
  12. molested_cow

    molested_cow TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Dahrol, I think you have the "eye". You will be absolutely successful, rich and famous photographer and land yourself a $100k/yr job BEFORE you even graduate! I really think you should enroll in my program for just $23k. You will get your degree in just one year, I promise!

    Now please provide me with your address and bank account information so we can get you started.

    Sincerely,
    Nigerian Prince



    As mentioned before, AI is for-profit trade school. It's really silly to think you are going there for REAL education. If you are just looking to learn a trade, like becoming an auto mechanic or pilot, sure, these trade schools are great for technical skills. However to go to a trade school for artistic skill development is really just paying for someone to say "yeah it looks good to me", which this forum already does a good job for free.

    So let's put things into perspective. An above average, accredited art and design school (private) charges about $13k a semester. If you go with the standard route you will graduate in 8 semesters, which is $104k. This comes with all the other liberal arts classes you have to ace on top of your studio work. This comes with instructors who work as professionals as well as competitive and talented classmates to challenge, encourage and critic you. This is full time, 18 credit per semester of ass busting college life where you live on ramen and redbull to pull through everyday, and probably part time jobs just to make some pocket money for beer. This comes with an environment where EVERYONE around is serious about what they are trying to achieve.

    Compared to AI's $46k for two years, a 4-yr college is quite cheap.

    If you enroll in a local state college that has photography major, being in-state I am sure you can get it for really cheap. Unless of course you are not sure of all the Sciences and liberal arts and math credits you also have to acquire. Don't worry, you can always go those in a community college and transfer the credits, goes the same if you enroll in an accredited art school.

    Type of degree aside, Photography isn't the type of trade where you need a certificate or license to get yourself into the door. It's your portfolio. So think about this, which route will most likely help you build the badass portfolio that you will need to impress your potential employers or clients with? From a two year trade school or a four-year college?

    Another perspective to consider. No one here is gonna profit from who you pay your tuition to, but AI is going to profit from your $46k to them. We are just telling you that your money can be spent more wisely. That's all.

    The best thing you can do is to attend the school's graduation exhibition and talk to the students. Go to different schools, in different states. Don't just consider studying local because good schools are rare. Take a over night trip to Detroit's College for Creative Studies, or Chicago's Institute of Art, or Cleveland Institute of Art, or University of Cincinnati. All of these schools have excellent programs, but they are competitive as well.

    Wait, did they send you a "art test package" yet?
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
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