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CostHelper > Schools & Job Training  > Film School

Film School Cost


How Much Does Film School Cost?

 
 average costIn-State Public College Averages: $6,185 a Year 

Maybe you dream about making a film, but aren't sure where to start or which of the myriad film programs is for you. Think about your ultimate filmmaking goal. Knowing this will help you decide whether to pursue a formal education, and how much you're willing to spend on it.

Typical costs:

  • The most prestigious film schools, such as the American Film Institute (AFI) and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) cost about $35,000 per year, with programs ranging from one to three years for a bachelors degree.
  • Many four-year state colleges and universities offer film programs. In 2007-2008, the average in-state full-time tuition and fees per year for an undergraduate at a four-year public university was $6,185, according to a survey by the College Board. Out-of-state students can expect to pay an average of $16,640 per year.
  • According to the National Center for Education Statistics[1] , the average full-time graduate tuition and required fees was $18,145 in 2006-07. Generally, the cost per year for earning a two-year masters degree is comparable to the cost of earning a bachelors degree; for example, the New York Film Academy and University of Southern California charge the same amount per year for their bachelors and masters programs.
Related articles: MFA in Graphic Design, MFA in Studio Art, College

Additional costs:
  • Rooms cost about $3,747 for a four-year university and $4,607 for a private institution, according to the National Center for Education Statistics[2] . Board costs another $3,185 at a four-year university or $3,787 at a private institution.
  • The average student spends about $700 each year on course materials alone, mostly on textbooks.
  • Bargain film schools often don't include the price of equipment, while colleges and universities do. A basic camera will cost about $250, but there are infinite possibilities for more complicated cameras and other equipment (lighting, sound) to get the job done. There's a comprehensive article at The Film Sensei[3] that discusses which cameras to consider.
Discounts:
  • Take advantage of state and federal grants and scholarships. Begin to explore financial aid opportunities at FAFSA.ed.gov[4] .
Shopping for film school:
  • Consider what you want to get out of film school before you sign up. Consider the school's location, equipment and faculty.
  • Filmmaking.net[5] offers several articles that give advice on what to look for in a film school, and how to suit a film school to your needs. selfreliantfilm.com[6] , a blog devoted to low-budget filmmaking, also has a lengthy post on the subject.
  • The Independent[7] , a website for independent filmmakers, offers a film school article that attempts to debunk "myths" about film school.
  • Filmmaking.net[8] and imdb.com[9] each offer an extensive list of film programs across the nation and The Independent offers a list of the 10 best documentary filmmaking schools in the country[10] .
  • There's a healthy debate online over whether or not film school is "worth it." Amazon offers two books on the subject: "The Complete Guide to American Film Schools and Cinema and Television Courses"[11] or "Projections 12: Filmmakers on Film Schools."[12]
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External Resources:
  1.  nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_323.asp
  2.  nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_320.asp
  3.  www.filmsensei.com/2008/08/top-10-essential-equipment-for-indie-filmmaker-part-i-t...
  4.  www.fafsa.ed.gov/
  5.  www.filmmaking.net
  6.  www.selfreliantfilm.com/2007/10/so-you-wanna-go-to-film-schoolpart-1-searching-for...
  7.  www.independent-magazine.org/node/13
  8.  www.filmmaking.net/filmschools/film_schools_browse.asp?country=United%20States
  9.  www.imdb.com/filmschools
  10.  www.aivf.org/08/09/10-best-academic-programs-documentary-filmmakers
  11.  www.amazon.com/Complete-American-Schools-Cinema-Television/dp/0140172262/ref=sr_1_...
  12.  www.amazon.com/Projections-12-Filmmakers-Film-Schools/dp/0571206948/ref=sr_1_1?ie=...
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