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Things to expect from the Art Institute-Read before Enrolling

 

Hi there and welcome to Style for Curves. I believe that you’re on this website either because you’re interested in attending the Art Institutes or you’ve been accepted to one of their campuses. Either way, I want to let you know that you have made a great decision to research before getting in. However, it’s totally okay if you’ve already been enrolled into their school.

The purpose of this review is not to encourage nor discourage anyone from attending this school. I am simply telling you my experience to help you decide whether this school is the right one for you or not.

Anyway, before I tell you about my experience with the Art Institutes, I would like to first tell you a bit about myself and how I came across the Art institute.

Well, I came from Africa and my (Parents) plan was to become a doctor when I grew up. However, I ended up changing my mind when I came to the USA and after taking an Apparel course in high school. I felt so in love with designing and sewing right away that all I wanted was to become a fashion designer. With only a semester worth of experience, I remember designing and sewing crazy stuff such as my prom dresses and even my pageant dress. I just loved doing it so much and couldn’t wait to become a fashion designer.

Since I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in Fashion, I began researching for different schools. This is how I came across the Art Institutes which immediately became my dream school. I believed that it was going to be a “Harvard” University of Art.

Sadly, after high School my life shifted for the worse that I had to take responsibility and had to delay my dreams of attending the Art Institutes and becoming a fashion Designer. However, I had the opportunity to attend the AI six years after graduating from high school. I applied to the Art Institute and was accepted very fast even though I had a pretty low GPA (Grade Point Average) at that time.

 

ADMISSION EXPERIENCE

I always thought that the AI was a big school that only admitted people with a higher GPA and lots of great talents. However, It wasn’t like that. I received their call only two days after I had subscribed to the school to get more information about their Fashion Program. To me, that was a tiny red flag. Here’s why: I always thought that being admitted to the Art Institute was going to be as hard as being admitted to Julliard School with only 6% acceptance. However, It felt like they were begging me to get in. Anyway, I didn’t mind that. I knew that it was my dream school and wasn’t going to let that bother me.

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THE COST

After being admitted, I remember talking to the nice lady in the admission center who handed me a paper containing the cost of all of their programs. I saw that their fashion design program had the second lowest cost of all other programs with over $50K to get an associate degree and double the amount to receive a bachelor degree. This, my friend, only applied to tuition.

I was told that they offered a scholarship that would take away between two to five thousand dollars Off tuition on students who would attend full-time. Scholarship competitions was also another way some of their students could lower their tuition cost.

 

CLASSES

The Art Institutes offered quarters courses rather than semesters courses. I didn’t mind that at all. All cared about at this point was my education to my favorite school.

My first day of class, however, was the day when I began to see that the Art Institute was NOT what I thought it would be because we didn’t have a room to study. We’re told on paper that our class was going to be in a certain classroom. However, when we got there, we saw that there was already a teacher with a class-full of students who told us that this was his room for another 3 hours. So, for about 45 minutes after class was supposed to start, we saw ourselves standing in the hallway with our teacher who was hired temporarily, looking very confused. After about an hour of standing in the hallway, our teacher was finally able to find a very small room in which we had to share computers. And over the course of less than 2 months, we changed classrooms at least 5 times.

What I liked about attending classes in the Art Institute was the fact that I only had to go to the same class once a week unless it was the summer. This, to me, meant lots of free time to do homework.

 

THE TEACHERS

I’ve only attended two semester at the AI but I can tell you the kind of teachers you can find there. The teachers there vary from kind-and-experienced to kind-and-no experience (can’t teach) to experienced-and-rude. Which can be like any other teachers from any other school. However, I remember my design teacher was so mean that she humiliated in front of the entire class and made me cry. All because I told her that she has checked the wrong name during the attendance making it look like I was absent while I was there. And guess what? I was pregnant.

Please, don’t get me wrong, that teacher was 1 out 4 teachers that I have had at the AI who was a jerk. However, I was warned about how mean the AI teachers were going to be by some of my tutors. And they were saying that to prepare me for what was ahead. However, I had no idea that those who were mean were going to be so mean.

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TUTORING

My AI campus provided us with so much great tutors who were mostly students in the upper class. What I liked about my tutors there was that they were great teachers, they were nice, and cheerful.

The school always made sure to pick the best and the most talented students to tutor others. However, I wished that the school have picked their teachers just as carefully as they picked their tutors. Like I said earlier, the AI had teachers who were just terrible at their jobs that the tutor would be the one who would do all the heavy lifting. There were days that I wished that one of my tutors were my teachers just because they knew how to teach and they had the best teaching techniques to help anyone understand even the hardest subjects.

Another unfortunate thing about their tutoring system was that they didn’t hire enough tutors. For example, they would assign the same tutor to tutor at least 2 courses on top of going to school full-time.

 

WAS IT ALL ABOUT MONEY LIKE EVERYONE CLAIMS?

Unfortunately, the AI was all about money that I felt like they really didn’t care about the well-being of their students. They would charge you for missing two classes. Though I didn’t miss class much, even though I was pregnant, I was consistently being called at the financial aid to talk about money and how much they would be taking away. So, if you decide to attend the AI, you need to be prepared about money talk.

DO COMPANIES WANT TO HIRE AI STUDENTS

I heard some students complain about how some former students were jobless and had to attend different colleges just to get hired. I heard this rumor a lot, however I don’t know if it’s entirely true because my brother-in-law graduated from there and from what I see, he seems to be successful. I would encourage you to ask around just to be on the safe side

 

FINALLY

To me, the AI was a disappointment. I had such high regard for them until shortly after being admitted. However, I don’t want to discourage you if this is your dream school. I still recommend that you ask around and do more research especially about different colleges and universities that offer your desired program because you may be surprise to find out what public universities can offer for half the price.

I hope that my story helped you realize what you could be experiencing once you get admitted. Please comment on box below if you have any question or you would like to add a comment about your own experience with the Art Institute.

Until next time,

Have a great day and good luck!

Rachel Francoise

2 Comments

  • Christine

    Hi Rachel, sounds like you have had a bad experience with private education. It probably depends who is runnning the organisation because they determine the standards but they ought to be concerned about their reviews and reputation as other potential students are unlikely to enrol if they read about low standards of teaching and provisions. Thanks for your honesty and I hope you are successful with fashion designing!

    Chrissie

    • Rachel Francoise

      I agree with you. Those who run the institute should have at least been concerned about the review that they get but it seems to me like they don’t. I had to leave the school because of how much I heard students and even current students complain.

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