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The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division

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    Ranking: #88
    Non-Profit: Yes
    Country: USA
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    Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

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The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division Reviews:

Program is good, financial aid is unethical

Graphic Design - June 7, 2013
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The Art Instititue of Pittsburgh provides what is need in the Graphic Design Industry, having worked 25 + years in the field, more than regular colleges in my opinion, and the extra credit hours for a Bachelor of Science Degree is worth the effort. A Bachelor of Science degree holds more weight than a Bachelor of Arts degree, this college is technology oriented, and the Graphic Design business in four color process printing I’ve worked in, and agency work I have done is dead on for the field for what is needed knowledge wise, better than any ground college I’ve attended. That being said, the financial side of AIO is terrible for students, and it is a scam I believe, they bill more than scholarship funding programs both governmental and other than what the value of the education is. In my field, the starting pay rate is between 18 to 20 dollars an hour, but to pay 90 grand from start to finish for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Graphic Design is way beyond reason. If a student did the student loan options for this kind of money, it would take years to pay for the education, making 18 to 20 dollars an hour if you got married and had kids and responsibility other than the education in life, and all of us do. I was attending AIO, was a senior at my former college and transferred into AIO and lost half my college credits. I worked my way to junior level now at AIO, but have withdrawn due to the financial aid issues where my scholarships pay for my entire education due to my straight A average, most of my work I do in the design courses comes out Portfolio Quality, but that is due to real world work experience. Even signed contracts with the school to let them use my work for teaching, but even so, the finance side is pure “GREED” with a capitol G due to who owns the University and the Wall Street idiots are ruining a perfectly good college education system. The college harassed me with phone calls and e-mails about unpaid scholarship funding from my scholarships, and their financial team acted like they don’t comprehend how Government Scholarship funding works, nor signed documents to get paid by scholarship funding thus they didn’t get their money, which is the colleges fault for not doing their job, as well as the scholarship people that handle my tuition. All of them do not communicate on a professional level in the financial aid situation, and to avoid that headache if you are not rich, I would not recommend attending this school at all for the hassle financially. Even after full scholarship coverage, they tried to bill me more, and I’m not a person to mess with, having been around military types all my life. I let the college finance person that called me and harassed me, that did not know the status of my payments through scholarship that if I was his boss I’d fire him. By e-mail I let him know he better pray he never meets me on a street, and if he called me again I have very harsh “ballistic vocabulary” military style for his unprofessional management of this account. He did not even know the standing because another person had not communicated the situation to him, so he “assumed” and most know what assume means when broken down, and “me” decided to become the “ass” in this because these people will not harass me, I will tear into them like a bull dog. I filed a formal complaint with the United States Department of Justice and got a response by mail, and that complaint is now in the hands of the United States Department of Education dealing with these matters. I also contacted lawyers, and will take legal action because I have signed documents for my scholarships. So if you are not rich, nor want the financial hassles of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, I write this to warn those of you interested that this college has a problem, not on the educational side, the education is excellent, but on the financial side and the management dealing with having your education financed at this school. I think the school is so huge it doesn’t know what what finance aid person is doing with an account when it is taken up by another individual and like I said, some of the people I’ve dealt with I would fire if I was their boss, for many various reasons. Students are why the college exists, to harass them with financial issues, to not make everything clear, to not provide a break down of where every dollar you spend for this education is going and paying for, to not communicate with fellow financial team members from the student finance counselors to the management team counselors as they call them, I’d tear into them for not working together to solve problems and pay attention to details in each individual student accounts and know what is going on in detail before calling and harassing a student on Disability about a bill that is being paid, albeit it was delayed because AIO finance team did not sign government scholarship documents correctly, this is a sign they don’t deal with as many students in a broad range as they claim if they can not figure out how to do this kind of financial aid paperwork to get their paychecks. Then to add to that bill more than these programs for scholarships will pay a normal college, the money is not worth the education if what scholarships cover will not cover everything a normal college will. At a state college where I live I can finish my degree in two semesters full time, taking five classes per semester at around four grand a semester, so for eight grand I could have earned my BA degree because more credits transfer into my local state college than AIO. The education is excellent, but how many jobs are out there that you can pay back a ninety grand from start to finish for the degree in Graphic Design for four years in a normal manner when these jobs only pay 20 dollars an hour to start out? AIO in my opinion is only for those that are rich, it is not a college for middle class people trying to get ahead in life if you can attend a school locally for far less money, and end up with the same job AIO is going to teach you to do. AIO is great in its education, but its owners have priced the college out of reality, this college is over inflated price wise, and for that I would advise any seriously thinking this out to study everything they can and know how to stand up as a student like a junk yard dog if you attend. Going to AIO is like signing a contract with a Mafia loan shark, if you don’t know how to deal with these types of business people, do not attend AIO. If you are rich it is a great place for an out of state student, but if you are like most people, look for a better option if you don’t want to spend years messing around with the financial issues they create due to Wall Street Greed. These are the kinds of people I’ll deal with in ways they will not like because I am a United States Citizen, and I believe in my Constitutional Rights, and I WILL stand up like my father and forefathers who fought for our rights with people like these that run this college, and if necessary will do what is required to obtain real justice, in what ever method I have to take to get it. I am not a person who will be intimidated. I will fight when I know I’m in the right and AIO will take advantage of students who do not know how to stand up for themselves. So if you are not a strong person mentally for dealing with Mafia Style loan shark finance teams at a college, and are not willing to take the threats and turn them around don’t attend AIO. AIO finance treats the financial side Mafia Style almost like they will break your kneecaps for bills scholarships are supposed to pay. So you have to be a person mentally where they realize you will break their kneecap for payment issues they create by not signing documents on their end that is their responsibility at AIO. I’ll more than break their kneecaps legally in a court of law, this college finance department and management situation is appalling, and they are ruining the great educational system AIO does have. This is the one area that they have a major public relations problem, and for a college to teach this stuff in the design programs, the management does not follow professional design philosophy or ethics in how they act and behave, they do not deserve a good review on that side of the equation, they did not earn it from this student that is now withdrawn while analyzing the entire system they run. The education side in my opinion is excellent, the finance side run by the Wall Street so called “Guru’s” is appalling, they earned an F for that, and this college should never have gone into the direction it did for the education management style it now uses. The education itself is A quality in my opinion, the finance side and the business side for paying for this college is F material, highly unprofessional and typical “Wall Street Thinking” where a quick buck is more important than common sense in how real educational institutions actually work. If I was put in charge of management, I’d fire the entire finance management team at AIO and replace them all with people I’d personally have trained in ethics and common decency, this is what I highly dislike about AIO right now, and will seriously consider what I’ve witnessed if, and now this is a big if, I ever do decide to find another college to finish my degree goals. I don’t need the degree to survive for the hassle, already know how to work in this field, just don’t earn as much as the finished degree would validate me for, but know more than what my fellow students learn and add my knowledge to their experiences in these classes, for free, things not even AIO is aware of in the Graphic Design field because colleges don’t teach it because it is beyond any college budget in high end printing. These things only businesses can afford to teach on the job, very few colleges can teach millions of dollars worth of in depth press equipment operations from the inside out, even so AIO education is the best I’ve seen on the education side, but AIO is the worst I’ve seen on the financial side paying for the school and value for what you earn with the degree when you graduate compared to what is already available in most state college systems. If you are rich and can afford to spend a lot of money, AIO is one of the best college systems to attend for Graphic Design in my opinion. But if you deal with scholarships and financial, their management are idiots, as of June 6th, 2013 when this is written, the management of AIO financial issues is appalling, I’d fire them all as a boss if I was working for this company or owned it in that finance department, and find people that actually understand the job and work with a code of ethics. Weigh this school seriously in your balance scale if you are serious about a Graphic Design degree, I would not advise this school for young people just starting out at all, they will be financial victims. This school is for old salts with bigger sharks teeth who know how to defend themselves from financial bullies, literally. With the financial management they have at AIO now, the school should be banned for students under 30 years of age with out a serious parental review of what is offered and the cost involved. This is how bad I perceive from my experience how they manage the finance situation, they are acting like “Wall Street Thieves” where profit is more important than anything, and they will use every angle they can for every dollar they can get out of students, and may even break a kneecap of a student if they could get away with it. Not saying they would literally do it, but bet they would do it if they could get away with it, and any place that is “ trying to get away with something “ is not worth TRUST. So have to flunk AIO, not for the quality of education, but for the quality of the financial management and overly expensive education for what you get from the degree working in this field. This comes from a 4.0 GPA student of AIO, they are not worthy of TRUST on the financial side, they are “Wall Street Sharks” and you have to be a bigger “SHARK” to attend and deal with them, ready for WAR literally they can be so bad. So you can see my disgusted view point that is direct and my honest opinion. I love their education, but their finance management system is destroying the college system from the inside out, they are not worthy of trust financially due to how they are managed.

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful

Transfer of Credits to AIO

Graphic Design - February 23, 2013
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If you transfer credits form Southern States, you will loose half of what you earned in former college work, I’m forced to take courses with material I’ve already covered, and academics are standardized nationally in college systems across the United States, so be prepared to fight a war for your earned credit hours, AIO is a FOR PROFIT institution, itis an excellent college if you apply yourself, but they will rip you off any chance they get, and I find the ethics of the college below MLA standards as they require for citations because they are willing to deny earned credit hours so they can bill financial aid and scholarship funding and make more money. AIO has a greed problem and ethical problem in this area, the upper management. And I have told my admissions counselor I would chew out her bosses face to face and I call it for what it is, Greed and Theft when they deny make you retake material you already know, they should be treated like any criminal for theft in a manner like this, and if they truly believe in MLA and Professionalism, should follow what they preach in MLA standards and more about ethics. They do not, and they earned this review on this aspect from me, they anger me at the rip off.

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful

Online Instructors not flexible at all

Graphic Design - February 20, 2013
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I live in Houston and am taking an online course through the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Boy what a mistake that was! I have an instructor who is terrible! I am 35 and am maintaining straight A's on campus in Houston where I've been attending for 2 years. I do all my homework and sometimes have to complete it early b/c I work in the Oil and Gas industry and can not always be sitting at a computer 24 hours a day. If you turn in assignments even a day early to this instructor she deletes them. Its juvenile and ignorant and just plain asinine! I love my teachers on campus and have a great relationship with them and they treat you as an adult. I am talked to like I am a child by this instructor. Its people like this that ruin programs at schools. It's sad I go overseas through three deployments and come back to be treated like an irresponsible child. it makes me sick to fight in a war for this type of person!

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful

WARNING!!!! STAY AWAY!!!! DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!

Graphic Design - December 12, 2012
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Stay away from these money hungry, taking advantage of students who are eligible for grants and loans, racist fake people. The instructors are okay, but they need to run like hell and seek new jobs before they lose their license to teach. The instructors can only do what they are taught by administrators. The administration sucks!!!! The walk you through the paper process as though the students were dummies. That stupid laughing hyena counselor or whatever title she is referred too, has absolutely no skills to help the student academically. The rest of the crew that sits in that one room office is ridiculous. They discuss student personal information among themselves. They make other insinuations…, the list goes on and on with these people. If you decide to withdraw, look out. They will have every official in this school calling trying to lure you back in to this over $3000.00 ++ five week quarterly course. If they call or email me one more time, I will contact the local police department for harassment. Please be careful when enrolling into this cult!!!!! Warning!!!! they will also start calling from other bogus phone numbers.

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful

Poor prep and no support!

Graphic Design - October 9, 2012
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I'm finishing up my degree there now. I WILL NEVER go back and I urge all of you who I are serious about your degree turn and run the other way! I chose this school originally because I'm on the go all the time with the military. I'm lucky I have a little bit of raw talent! I'm pretty much paying for a piece of paper and going through the motions. I have not been taught one thing that is vital to the graphic arts industry! All the classes are misleading, the teachers are apathetic and EVERYONE passes so long as they TRY! Let me tell you folks, you need a lot more than just TRYING to get into this industry! AIoPO only wants your money (news there right?) They don't care who graduates! I have a portfolio class coming up and I wanted to get a head start on an internship and asked for help, know where they sent me? Indeed.com. How nice is that? I am a decent artist and make a small living doing so. I'm no spring chicken! For those of you new to this industry or perusing a hobby GO TO A PHYSICAL BRICK AND MORTAR SCHOOL!!!! You will be lost in this online college and no one will care! I am an independent person and have already completed half my classes at a community college before transferring to the AIoPO. Which brings me to another point. I've been enrolled into 4 classes that are essentially the SAME CLASS! This place is total crap! On top of that, I got no support what so ever! None. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN at this school! BUYER BEWARE!!!

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful

Pretty Satisfied...

Graphic Design - September 23, 2012
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I am in my last year at AIOP and about to graduate in a matter of a couple more classes. I have read all of the reviews on this site; some portions I agree with and some I do not. Previous to AIOP, I attended a community college and a reputable university (both of which were on campus colleges, not online). I hated on-campus colleges and sitting in lecture halls with hundreds of students. I felt like a number most of the time and the entire rat race/hustle and bustle of going to class and working around my work schedule was a nightmare. On-campus financial aid officers and academic counselors were never available-- this has never been the case for me at AIOP. My academic counselors call me every month-- they are courteous and diligent about addressing any questions or concerns I have. They have kept me right on course with obtaining my career goals. The same can be said for my financial aid advisers at AIOP. I always know how much I owe, when my funds are coming in and my financial aid adviser always keeps me informed on when I need to update or apply for FASFA or any other relevant concerns. I don't know how some of you can call this accredited college a scam when you are fully aware from the beginning what the tuition, expenses, and academic expectations are. It's not like they stick a gun to your head and force you to apply and attend. I believe there are a lot of misguided people with the underlying misconception that online college is going to be easy and that they will be able to reap all the rewards of a degree without doing the work. Quite the contrary. Anyone taking an online college needs to have self motivation and as with any endeavor, strong determination to see your goal to an end. There is NO SUCH THING as a college that is going to guarantee you a job when you finally obtain your degree-- if you feel AIOP has failed you in that department, then you are a person who likes to use every excuse and scapegoat necessary to avoid personal failure. I have had some instructors at AIOP that were not exactly diligent-- but that is the case no matter what educational institution you attend. I personally feel that I have learned an incredible amount of information during my time at AIOP-- I am successfully building websites and creating graphics for companies and businesses, which is what I set out to do and I haven't even graduated yet. When you are determined to accomplish your goals, there is nothing that will prevent you from doing that.

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful

Associate degree Graphic Design

Graphic Design - August 7, 2012
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The worst decision I EVER made I don't recomend the Art Institute to my worst enemy.

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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful

Don't do it!

Graphic Design - July 15, 2012
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I was fortunate enough to figure out that AIoP was a scam before I got too far into it, partially due to the reviews I read online, including this site, which is why I have returned to leave this review. Hopefully I can help the next person as I was helped. Initially, I was completely unaware that this was more like a corporation and not really so much a school, and that the recruiter I was talking to over the phone was nothing more than a glorified telemarketer who receives commission based on how many sales (enrollments) he or she can shmooze people in to. I'm rather embarrassed to admit that I should have caught on to this early on, because during the sign-up process (which consumed 5 to 6 hours of my day, not kidding) I got ahead of my "recruiter's" direction while filling out the millions of online forms they make you fill out and he actually had me back up several pages to a space I had missed that asked the sucker (me) to put the name of the person that helped sign me up. Having worked as a telemarketer myself when I was a teenager, I should have recognized this a commission-based sale right off the bat, but I simply wasn't thinking that way, although my inner voice did note it as something odd. I didn't know school recruiters could actually be telemarketers in disguise. I grew up hearing what we all hear: that continued education of any kind is always a good thing. At first I waltzed into this without a doubt in the world and completely believing that I was finally putting myself on the road to continuing my education. I answered all of my telemarketer's- oops, I mean "recruiter's"- questions honestly, which he later tried to turn against me and attempted to manipulate me with when I was starting to doubt the school's credibility ("Don't you want to continue your education for your kids you mentioned earlier?"). Although I read many negative reviews and horror stories about AIoP (including that even the other Art Institute schools refused to accept credits earned from AIoP), I decided I would still give the benefit of the doubt and confronted my "recruiter" with some questions that should have been easy for any credible university to answer, such as "is AIoP truly an accredited college?" (although their website claims they are, it's a gray area of 'regional accreditation', stating that they are only accredited in the middle states; MD, PA, NY, etc., you can see it on their site here: http://www.aionline.edu/accreditation/) But the big question for me was, "Can you give me examples of other universities that have been known to regularly accept credits from AIoP?" My "recruiter" didn't have any answers, so he directed me to his manager (I forget exactly what he called her, but I think it was some kind of "counselor") who was far less polite than my "recruiter", in fact she sounded rather condescending and annoyed to have to speak with me at all. But it gets better. She gave me her scripted spiel about how I was probably just getting cold feet, and how she could totally relate because she went through that too when she was first attending the University of Arizona, which I also found to be manipulative. When I started to ask my first question regarding AIoP's limited and questionable accreditation, she actually INTERRUPTED me mid-question to give me another (this time very obvious) scripted pitch about how I was wrong, that the university WAS accredited. Well, if she had let me finish my question, maybe I would have gotten a better answer, but I doubt it. I let that one go while she prattled on with her script about how great AIoP was. I didn't get too many questions in during our very controlled conversation (she did a LOT of scripted talking), but I was able to at least get the big one out there: could she give me examples of universities that have been known to accept credits from AIoP? Her answer was that she was "not legally allowed to disclose that information" and cited some law I have never heard of before nor since, regarding student privacy. What? First off, I wasn't asking for student's names and addresses and work schedules. Most schools I have ever spoken to not only "disclose" this information, they brag about it because it's good for their school. In the end, I got the answers I was seeking whether she realized it or not. I was transferred back to my "recruiter", whom I then told I wanted to cancel. Cue the previously mentioned emotional manipulation. She was the final nail in the coffin. Despite her snarky attitude, I should really be grateful to this snotty lady because if I had not talked to her, I would have probably gone through with enrollment and now be $60,000 in debt for a worthless degree. I did cancel though, and I requested a letter stating I was cancelled (because I had also read horror stories of students being billed for entire semesters after only attending partially, or not even attending ever at all). It took a couple of weeks of hounding my suddenly unavailable "recruiter" to send me this e-mail, but I finally got it. Even better, I never inquired about getting the $50 "application fee" they make you pay up front just to fill out their 600 online forms refunded since I just figured it was gone. A couple of weeks after receiving my cancellation e-mail, my money was refunded back to my bank. I wasn't that far into the enrollment process, so maybe that is why I got it back. Maybe it was a fluke. Whatever. My advice to anyone thinking of enrolling at AIoP, DON'T. I was never able to get a straight-forward answer about any of my concerns, instead I got deterrents, lies, and manipulation. Shady practices and worthless degrees aren't worth $60,000.

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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful

Mixed and confused

Graphic Design - June 21, 2012
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I have only just begun my work at AIO and I am pleased with the set up and ease of use in the online classroom.I read some other reviews and they were not good but I do agree with some of the info given. The financial aid department is hard to deal with but once you set the record straight they tend to give you the time you need to fully understand everything. Teachers are very knowledgeable and dedicated. I didnt like the fact that they automatically enroll you in other classes without telling you so that made some stress in my process. It is an online school, what can you expect? They deal with all kinds of people and I found that the better student you are the better they try to help you. If they feel as though you are just coasting through, they let you go try and get the easy way. This is the reasone for the bad reviews. Probably not good students and have a sour taste in their mouths because they were not allowed to just coast. I like it here and would recomend to anyone that needs online environment.

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful

Warning

Graphic Design - May 22, 2012
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Save your money and your time. They made me take not one, not two, not three, but four classes that didn't count towards my program. The only reason I found out is because after completing 180 credits successfully (which by the way is outrageous as my schools only require 120 - 130 credits for a bachelors), found out I still had more classes to take. They said they MIGHT be able to reimburse my money, but no guarantees. I wish I wouldn't have been such a sucker and started SIX Years ago. I've been attending part time for most of it, but there was a year I was able to attend full time and it still took me SIX YEARS! Run run run run run away. I'm proud I'll be getting my degree but I am not proud to say that I will be an alumni of this POS school.

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful

AIOP Online Is A Great School

Graphic Design - April 23, 2012
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I’ve been at AIOP Online since the fall of 2009. I’m almost finished with my BS in Graphic Design. The school is a great university to study at. You cannot go in expecting it to be like a normal, on campus university, or you will be disappointed. The courses teach you all the things you need to know, and like others have said, you learn more than you would in most Graphic Design programs out there. I have experienced some courses where I could probably teach myself some of the things they are going over, or I’ve learned through assignments in previous courses, but everything is designed to better your skills. The academic staff at the university is wonderful, I have never had an issue on getting in touch with them or having not getting the answers I needed in a timely manner. But I also don’t expect them to jump as soon as I pick up the phone or email them, they deal with quite a lot of students on different students, probably more than most academic teams would. So if you are a person who is impatient and wants answers right then and there, don’t even enroll in an online school. Same goes with the instructors; they have all been amazing on answering questions and giving constructive feedback. The only complaint I have is financial aid, I do not like how every so many terms you get a new advisor, its confusing, and it messed me up a little. I had different people telling me different things and I had papers getting lost. But when things were worked out, all was well. People are going to have bad experiences at the school, but I think when enrolling at AIOP online you need to go in knowing that the amount of students is higher than most universities so your staff is dealing with more than normal, online learning is not an easy alternative to on-campus schools – you need patience and you need to be self sufficient.

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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful

Sucks!

Graphic Design - April 10, 2012
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Ok, This has got to be the worse place to go! I started in July only because I was "convinced" it was the "best" choice. Which it wasn't, this school hardly takes any breaks for holidays not to mention as soon as I got out of high school I started there. That's school overload for you! Also I become very skeptically of them after away. They never wrote me back over emails they always tried to call me. I guess they didn't want a paper trail, I WARN YOU! get a paper trail, they won't screw you over if you do! I told them my phone was broke when it wasn't and then they were forced to email me. I was in the Media arts and animation program and it sucked, the credits won't transfer and they were a waste of a class, I passed all my classes with A's or B's but the teaching sucked, I was often getting back handed compliments, while other students that you can clearly tell work was worse than mine and turned their assignments in late got praised. It's not fair at all. All this place wants is your money, all the people in the office have to meet a quota for how many students they need to get a year. That's wrong! How can you manipulate people like that just to earn some money. Well I told them two months before my last class ended, that I was going to transfer to a college near me because it's too much debt that I can take which was 9,900, for one year! and The financial aid lady asks me very rudely "Well you didn't have to pay for anything out of pocket, so what your problem?" Excuse me, that pure rudeness right there. Well anyways when my last class ended I get an email that says thank you for enrolling in another class! What! I already told them I was transferring after this class not to mention there already took out 5,500 for that class! So of course I got mad like any normal person would, So I wrote the financial aid lady and she wouldn't write me back, come to find out she was ignoring me because she didn't like the tone of my email. So I finally called her and she was rude and saying how dare I use that tone in an email and how rude was I, so of course I got mad again and yelled at her " You know what I have emails that you and the academic counselor acknowledged that I was transferring, so I don't understand why you signed me up for another class and charged me" she told me that everything was automatic there so it's not their fault and well I rebutted with "Well you knew two months in advance so why didn't you just cancel it when I told you too." and all I got from here where some umms.... and frantic breathing, so then I implied " well if that money doesn't get put back, you'll get a law suit on your hands." Then she got nice and made sure she'll take care of everything. After I hung up five minutes later the money was put back and everything was were it should be. YOU NEED A PAPER TRAIL FROM THEM or they will try to screw you over. That school is not worth your time or effort and the teachings are not good at all, so save yourself and go somewhere else!

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful

As unbiased of a review as possible.

Graphic Design - January 26, 2012
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I am a military spouse and change locations frequently. Therefore, I pursued an online university that was accredited and established. I originally enrolled as an interior design student and choose AIO because of its online program and accreditation through CIDA. I later changed my career path to graphic design, shortly before I left AI to transfer to a different liberal arts school. My chief complaint is the cost of a 4 year degree with AIO. Generally, for an online bachelors degree at AIO, it is going to cost around 90k. Considering the salaries of most graduates in the liberal arts field with a 4 year degree, the ability to comfortably repay 90k in student loans is going to be incredibly difficult. Especially considering the max amount to borrow as an undergrad in federal loans is around 57k (as I understand). Difficulty repaying loans is a dilemma that many graduates are facing despite the college chosen. However, the education I received from AIO in exchange for 90k at AI is unacceptable, in my opinion. Pleasantly, I felt that just about all of the instructors that I remember were very well qualified to teach. Generally, my teachers taught well with the exception of a few. I feel that this is common in most schools, however, this problem is magnified when only having 5.5 weeks to complete a class. I was frustrated when I had a teacher that I felt did not teach effectively, and the crucial information I needed to know was missed because of how quickly the curriculum passes. It is also difficult to communicate and work through problems online, but that is especially so for an online student that doesn't have a teacher that communicates well to begin with. I ended up finishing that particular class with what I felt was a less than acceptable understanding of the subject. Considering this, I was also disappointed with how may people either passed a class, or received an A in the class. I felt that the quality of work that was deemed acceptable by other students was insulting. I am a very dedicated student, so I would often spend 7 - 12 hours on an assignment. I turned in the highest quality I could possibly produce. I understand that some other students do not have this dedication. However, seeing other students who obviously threw something together without a clear concept of what was being taught was incredibly insulting. I feel that the quality of work expected from students should be higher. The major expense of the education should mandate this, among with the perceived quality of the school. If minimal work is required from students, mediocre graduates are going to occur, and more than likely in high numbers. In light of staff, I also felt pressured by admissions to join the school. My ignorance to the application process had a lot to do with this, as well as my sheer eagerness to get into school. However, in hind sight I realize that I was pressured to attend more than I felt necessary. When I said I wanted to sleep on the idea of attending, I was then put on the line with another person who then tried to encourage me to join. I felt pressured for the answer "yes." I recall them asking repeatedly, "Are you going to attend?" but perhaps in different wording. I felt they were trying to anything to get me to commit before hanging up. Now that I have more experience, I should of realized I was being pressured, and that this is not a good sign. I have since applied to several other schools and I am realizing that the higher quality schools screen students to find the best, not pressure them to join. I generally had good experiences when I had technical difficulties. I also generally had timely responses by staff. I did have a bad experience leaving the school when I decided to transfer. I felt that since I was leaving, staff no longer cared to deal with me. The technology used for classes was passable. The online library was vast but often difficult to use. The classes had reliable forums but I felt could be updated for different types of input, whether it be video, text or voice recordings. Some teachers responses were in depth, others were minimal and offered little feedback. Students are required to respond to other class mates, but frequently the quality of the response was poor. Again, this is where I begin AIO needs to raise their quality of standards. Books are included with tuition for a cost of $50 per class. They are delivered in an online format. This saves the student hassle, but the student only has access to these books for 5 years. Additional materials are purchased by the student before classes. Overall, I am unsatisfied with the quality of learning from AIO. There were some classes I learned a great deal, others I felt I learned a minimal amount. The duration of classes (5.5 weeks) can be very difficult to manage and may leave the student feeling like they did not learn enough on the subject. The cost of AIO was not reasonable for me. The standards make me believe this is a lower quality institution. Staff can be extremely qualified or pushy and unprofessional. I felt the technology available to students was minimal but barely acceptable. I hope this review helps prospective students because I understand how difficult it can be to pick an institution.

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful

What are they teaching that you can't teach yourself?

Graphic Design - October 27, 2011
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They don't want to help me get an internship I don't understand it, and now I am told that they don't help get me interviews either. My teacher tried to soften the blow by saying no school does that, but that is a complete lie. The recruiter said the opposite, how can I benefit from a lie?

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful

works for me

Graphic Design - September 29, 2011
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My experience at the art institute online is mixed...it is difficult to hear back from financial aid and counselors once you have started your program. Thank goodness my teachers have been terrific! Art is my life and I am finally able to take classes that give me real skills for a job of my dreams. The classes are very useful in my field of graphic design. It can be hard to keep up with the work and you must have the right software. I find most teachers to be helpful and knowledgeable. As a single mom, the online schedule allows me to share in my kids activities and work PT. One time I had some minor surgery and my teacher accepted my late work. Overall I am glad I picked this school and think I will get a good job when my program is done.

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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful

AIP - Excellent School Who Cares About Their Students

Graphic Design - September 29, 2011
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I'm not certain "why" you two are dish'n the school. I have three degrees - all from different schools. THIS university taught me what I needed to learn and what I needed to learn to succeed. It seems to me that poster #1... a father-in-law - is NOT an immediate relative. Guess what... NO school would honor that. I'm sorry. But... bereavement time only applies to immediate family (i.e., mother, father, child, spouse). Poster #2... how often did YOU attempt to get help if it was needed? In order to succeed - you need to reach out and not wait for someone to come knocking on your door. It's not going to happen. You have to do your part. I loved this school and the instructors. One instructor provided her phone number in her classes so that we (students) could call if we had questions or didn't understand something. Each instructor that I had - had something unique that benefited my classes. Talking about something is fine - but at least - be honest. Taylor

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10 of 25 people found the following review helpful

Worst Educational Experience ever

Graphic Design - September 4, 2011
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The Art Institute did nothing to assist me in my education except hound me to start. The only person that showed an ounce of concern was my admissions counselor that stopped calling as soon as I was enrolled. 1 day into my 5th class at AIP i had a family emergency and I had to leave town. My father in law had emergency brain surgery, I immediately called my financial aid advisor and after numerous call she still refused to return my call, I then called the gentleman that admitted me into the school and he also could not get a hold of her either, I finally got my academic advisor who told me I needed to fill out a withdrawal letter on which I did and the school still is charging me a prorated amount for this class. I wrote an appeal and they only agreed to give me a waiver. I am currently enrolled in an on campus college and they are refusing to send my transcripts until I pay this disgusting amount for a class I never even took. My father in law died and they still refuse to understand that the situation was out of my hands. They also through the 8 months that I was there got my financial assistance completed. I faxed numerous amount of times all of my income tax return information, my military information personal information and I was still not receiving proper military reimbursement, my financial aid for the new year was not completed even after I faxed at least 5 different times my info, and they refused to get anything corrected. It was the worst educational experience I have ever encountered.

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful

Excellent Education

Graphic Design - June 28, 2011
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Since completing my degree, it has become starkly evident to me that the education I received at The Art Institute was head and shoulders above what most "graphic designers" are getting wherever else they are going to school. My courses formed a complete base of skill, theory, history and practical application. Things that I have learned are things I am now able to pass on to other professionals in my field as many of them have never covered some of these concepts. When I applied to a Master's program, I had no trouble at all having my degree reviewed and accepted.

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11 of 23 people found the following review helpful

BE WARNED OF FALSE CLAIMS MADE BY THIS SCHOOL

Graphic Design - August 13, 2010
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When deciding to go to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh I was told by the Assistant Director of Admissions that career services would work closely with you and help you land interviews. To quote him he said “we will line up the interview and all you have to do is go to them, we can’t do that for you, ha ha”. This was a bold face lie. All career services will do is read over your résumé and give you give you list of over a 100 websites where you can apply for jobs. Most of the websites recommended are completely useless. When I asked about what was promised my career service adviser said she did her part and acted like she was doing me a favor. Also I have been asking around and talking to recruiters in my area, when I told them that school did not even help set up internships for me they were very surprised by this and said any reputable school would have done this to help you break in to your field. Upon receiving my degree from the Art Institute I was excited to start looking for work. I received little or no help from career services and kept getting phone calls and emails trying to get me to take more classes. They spent far more time attempting to get more money out of me then making due on the promises I was told. I wish they put all that effort into helping me land some interviews. When I finally told them I am taking the degree I earned and will be looking for work all communication stopped. Career services and the Director of Admissions the will not return any emails. I feel with the state that the economy is in right now and so many people out of work that a school would take advantage of this is disgraceful. To be cut off just because I decided not to take more classes AFTER graduation and not to have promises made fulfilled is inexcusable. I should apply to career services so I can have a job where I can do nothing too. Get out while you can. Don't expect any help once they have your money. Sorry to be so negative, I am only being honest as a graduate. PS- Now I am also finding out I cannot transfer any of my credits to a real college.

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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful


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