member since 10/10/2010
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Activity for LtRipley1986

3205 days ago

I went in for an open house, and started the admissions process. I liked the atmosphere and the facilities, but I was a little stunned by the price. Not just the tuition, which is $22,400 per year and rising, but the $7500 you would have to spend EACH YEAR for supplies and equipment. You can't just have any dslr either, you have to have a pro to semi-pro camera, which cost over $1000 at least, I know-I did the research, and professional grade lenses costing $1000-$1500 each, no exceptions on the lenses. These are the things they don't tell you at the open house, but AFTER you send in the application and pay the $25. Then they tell you that on your first day of class you will get a list of the specifics regarding the equipment you have to buy in order to have a good chance at successfully completing the program. So its the classic "reel you in" then drop the bomb, so I imagine that if your already in the program, with the loans under your name and everything, you have no choice but to buy what you need, or your other option is to drop out if you can't afford to continue, and be stuck with a large loan. Realistically, who has LITERALLY thousands of dollars at their disposal when the instructor says "ok go buy this expensive lens by next week's class"!? I find that the way they work is very unrealistic. If they were honest, and disclosed all of this information upfront, and said " ok this is what you will need in order to attend our school, and this is the kind of camera, etc..." potential students could be more prepared and maybe save some money, or buy the correct equipment they need before applying for the program, or at the very least allowing them to make a true well-informed decision and saving them a heart-breaking reality check. But they choose to paint a picture that all you need is a dslr and a laptop to get started, so you get excited, you sign up, then they give you the real list of what you need, which is their equivalent of hitting you with the fine print. You practically have to buy everything, with the exception of the larger equipment, so the $44,800 is mostly going towards the rent of the building and the instructors salaries.
I'm not saying that the education is bad, because I never attended the full program, and it seems like they have a good philosophy and formula when it comes to producing professional photographers, but my only critique is with the way they operate in terms of recruiting students, its just a tad bit disingenuous<------(sarcasm).
My whole reason for writing everything you just read is to make the point that they should disclose all the numbers and facts before you spend $25 applying only to have your plans and goals come crashing down once you realize how things really are. But the bright spot in all of this is that their workshops, which I do plan to attend, seem like they're a real value. Thats the beauty of the photography industry, you don't have to go to a trade school or have a BFA to be successful, although those help and maybe make it a bit easier, but having an eye, a passion, and a willingness to learn what you need to are just as valuable, and besides, not every photographer learned their craft at a school.

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