spagett

Member
About 15 years ago, I knew a guy who worked as a regional sales rep for Verizon Wireless and was known for employing crazy, offbeat sales techniques. He once told me about a time when he tried a new approach on a potential customer. A man wandered over to the cell phone display and was casually looking at the phones. My buddy walks over to him and says, "Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to leave." "Excuse me?" the incredulous customer replied. "I'm sorry, sir, but I can't sell you any of our phones." "And why not?" said the main. "Well, sir, you're just not cool enough."

He didn't make the sale. Years later, I'm starting to wonder if my friend's problem wasn't in his pitch, but instead in his choice of product.

During this time of the year, when many of us are starting to receive, consider, and accept offers from graduate schools, I've noticed an interesting psychological phenomenon among MFA hopefuls. Most of the schools to which we have applied (UCLA, USC, AFI, NYU, Columbia, et al.) are almost as notoriously exclusive as they are notoriously expensive. However, the dialog on this site (and others) seems to focus entirely on the former and nearly disregard the latter. It seems that so many of us are so eager to feel validated as artists and filmmakers that it can obscure the fact that we are diving head-first into one of the most significant purchasing decisions of our lives. The resulting dynamic is a counter-intuitive reversal; we try desperately to sell ourselves to these schools, rather than the other way around, and pray that we will be allowed to become customers.

Maybe my situation is outside the majority, but I have no trust fund, and my parents will be contributing $0 toward my graduate school tuition. I will be exclusively reliant upon two sources to finance my degree: grants/scholarships offered internally at each institution, and the ol' student loan gambit. Therefore, I want to remain keenly aware of the value of each school to which I am accepted. This website is a fantastic resource for reading opinions about the equipment, facilities, and campuses of schools. However, it is surprisingly light on user info about the cost of tuition and how each applicant financially justifies it. With MFA tuition costs easily exceeding $100,000, this is a pretty big elephant in the room.

What I'd love to see are answers to the following questions from all of y'all:

1. How are you planning to pay for the tuition at the schools you are considering?
2. What specific grants/scholarships are you pursuing? If you don't get them, will you pay sticker price for tuition?
3. How specifically are you planning to repay your loans after graduation? What is the basis of your plan?
4. How much does the cost of tuition factor into your choice of schools, and why?

I've heard that when a loved one dies, a good idea is to bring a trusted friend to the funeral parlor to help with the purchasing decisions surrounding the memorial. In those tense times, it's beneficial to have a clear-headed partner that isn't wrapped up inside their own emotions to ask important questions like, "Do we reallllly need to get the EternaRest 9000 Coffin for $75,000? Isn't that a little expensive?" For many of us (myself included), the graduate admissions process is a roller coaster of self-doubt, exhilaration, and anticipation. Therefore, the same wisdom could easily help here, too. We should be there for each other to ask questions like, "But that experimental film degree from CalArts is going to cost you $150,000, and you're planning on paying for it with loans. How will you possibly be able to pay those back?"

Thanks, and please: share your thoughts!
 

Patrick Clement

Well-Known Member
Supporter
When I was looking at grad schools I took a holistic approach to applying and financial planning was a big part of it. My fiancee and I own a small business, but I'll have to borrow. I approached the application process as I would a film, actually. I knew the better prepared I was, the better experience it would be.

I don't necessarily agree with the "they should sell to me" idea. I look at it like it is a two-way sell. It's a collaboration.
I've had three interviews with "top" grad programs and I definitely felt like at least one of them didn't care what I thought of them or the program, more of a one-way conversation for sure. But I will take that into consideration when decisions come in.

I wanted to be a complete candidate, so I didn't apply until I felt it was the right time. I wanted to be ready in every way and that meant making sure I was financially able to be there. I think that has really allowed me to approach the application process in a really healthy way.
 

spagett

Member
Thanks for the response, @Patrick Clement!

I agree with you that the process shouldn't be entirely schools selling to prospective students, and I can see how my post might've seemed like that. In reality, I do agree that it is a collaborative deal that isn't directly analogous with the purchase of a physical product. However, the fact remains that if students are at all evaluating the financial decision to pursue an MFA, they aren't doing so on this forum. Which is really too bad, because everyone is usually otherwise good about sharing other info (where they're applying, what the school's equipment room looks like, what happened during their interviews, etc.).

With that being said, it's great that you feel comfortable with the financial planning you've done to prepare for grad school. Would you mind sharing some of your work (and figures) with everyone here? I'm sure there's lots of valuable insight that can be collectively gained by your experiences and research. For example, how much are you planning/willing to spend on your MFA? Will you be taking out public or private loans? What's your post-graduation repayment plan like? At what point are you hoping to become debt-free? Based on your research, which schools did you write off as being not worth the investment, and why? Which school did you feel like was a "one-way conversation" during your interview?

This is the kind of info-sharing I'd love to see in this post with hopefully participation from folks with a variety of different circumstances, backgrounds and opinions.
 
The funding on some of these programs is sad, given the context. The LA programs in particular should be better supported and differently supported by the local industry and professional community, as well as like-minded entities, such as media non-profits with overlapping goals.

MFAs in general and specifically film programs should be approached cautiously. With some disciplines it's possible to learn all of this on set while getting paid. With others, sometimes private programs or one off classes are a superior choice: it depends on the technician or artist. Unless one is rich, one should not get an MFA without significant support from the school. This is not intelligent debt, especially for directors.

Commentary about the quality of work coming out of creative writing MFAs is applicable to the quality of screenwriting and directing coming out of the film programs. Many graduates will work in the industry in some other regard, so they can decide whether the MFA was worth the investment. During the program itself, most are there as a team of peers that will end up helping and providing an environment for the truly talented few to hone their craft. Assuming of course that those exceptional filmmakers apply and are accepted in the first place.

The only thing a person can expect from these programs is to learn a craft or trade, but that is not what is typically sold by the programs. Stay sharp!
 

spagett

Member
Thanks for the insight, @LuckyDirector! A lot of interesting points here.

During the program itself, most are there as a team of peers that will end up helping and providing an environment for the truly talented few to hone their craft. Assuming of course that those exceptional filmmakers apply and are accepted in the first place.

Two questions about this:

1. Do you think this is by coincidence or by design? Are these programs intended to benefit a select few from the start while the other students provide the environment/funding?

2. I will imagine that just about everyone that reads this sentiment (particularly those that have been accepted to a "top" school) will believe/hope that they are one of the select few for whom the program provides the most benefit. After all, they were chosen for acceptance by the school (even if at full price), so the school must believe in them, right? How are students supposed to evaluate whether or not they will receive the most value for their dollar in an MFA program?

Also, have you applied to any schools for prospective admission in the fall? If so, will you only accept an offer if it involves a full tuition waiver?

Thanks again!
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
I'll add to this although I'm not going to be too much help as I went to Boston University's College of Communication for practically free as an Undergrad as my father worked for the medical school.

That being said... going to film school is a risky proposition. Yes it'll be an awesome time but if I wasn't working in the business now I'd have a pretty worthless degree. Although there's an argument to say that most degrees are worthless unless it is in business or physics or some other focuses career centered degree. A film degree is a career centered degree - but it also has a low percentage of success.

Of the many people I went to school with, not all of them are still working in the business. And they're still paying off their film school degrees to boot. It's something you have to be aware of.

Of my group of friends and acquaintances of Film School Undergrads at BU... now almost 15 years or more after graduation, some work at Dreamworks, one I know is an independent producer, one is a 1st assistant director, myself an editor, another works at Fox, and a whole bunch don't work in the business at all.

It's a really tough business out here. You really have to work hard but it can be done. Just be aware of the risks and weigh the costs appropriately.

EDIT - Would I do it again if I had to pay for it? Yes I think so. Film School was a great experience and I met some amazing people. But really - and this is the crux of the matter - I really couldn't imagine myself doing anything else for a job. :)
 

spagett

Member
Thanks for the response, @Chris Wright! And for sharing your experiences. Although your experience is with undergrad, I think a couple of clarifications could provide some additional benefit.

Of my group of friends and acquaintances of Film School Undergrads at BU... now almost 15 years or more after graduation, some work at Dreamworks, one I know is an independent producer, one is a 1st assistant director, myself an editor, another works at Fox, and a whole bunch don't work in the business at all.

Of those folks who are now working in the industry, how many of them are doing so explicitly as a result of their undergraduate degree? (Impossible to say for certain, I know, but your speculation could still be useful.) Did any of them pursue graduate school, and if so, where?

Would I do it again if I had to pay for it? Yes I think so.

Fair enough. Do you mean you would do it again at BU's full 2015 tuition price ($46,000/year, plus living expenses)? Given your career post-graduation, would you still be in serious debt now 15 years later had you financed with loans at that price? Did you pursue graduate school after undergrad? If so, where, and how did you finance it? If not, why not, and do you think it impacted your career significantly?

Just be aware of the risks and weigh the costs appropriately.

That's exactly what I'm aiming to do, but it's very tough to find people willing to talk openly about the dollars and cents of how much their degrees cost, how much they still owe, etc. Or, if they are prospective students, how much they are willing to finance and whether or not they have realistically considered how a repayment plan for a six-figure arts degree actually works. It might be partly a pride thing, partly a privacy thing, or partly an "ostrich-with-head-in-sand" thing. I'm hoping it's really because folks rarely straight-up ask about it, and that this thread will allow people to open up with their reservations, thoughts, advice, figures, etc.

Thanks again! Very much appreciate you sharing your experiences.
 
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spagett

Member
Thanks so much for sharing your tuition estimates, @A+foreffort! I'm no expert, but it seems like those numbers are pretty spot-on. And yes, I think you are wise to have concerns borrowing a quarter of a million dollars. Would you mind sharing the rest of your plan? What sort of field are you hoping to get into after you graduate, and how do you plan to handle that kind of debt? How would you compare your outlook on pursuing an MFA to that of @LuckyDirector as described above?

Thanks again!
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Of those folks who are now working in the industry, how many of them are doing so explicitly as a result of their undergraduate degree? (Impossible to say for certain, I know, but your speculation could still be useful.) Did any of them pursue graduate school, and if so, where?.

100% I only say that because without an interest in film they wouldn't pursue a career in film and go to film school. :) But what you mean is, did going to BU specifically help them get a job? Maybe. I do know that a couple of BU students in the grade above us we knew who got a job at Dreamworks and then proceeded to pull in a good group of the "BU Mafia" into Dreamworks as well. So contacts help... but that paradigm could be applied to any school. My path to my current editing career is outlined in my post here - but the headline is internships and hard work. One person I knew did at least apply to graduate school - I'm not sure if she go in as we got out of touch. But from the random Facebook updates I occasionally see it doesn't appear that she's currently working in the industry. Interests change and life intervenes.


Do you mean you would do it again at BU's full 2015 tuition price ($46,000/year, plus living expenses)? Given your career post-graduation, would you still be in serious debt now 15 years later had you financed with loans at that price? Did you pursue graduate school after undergrad? If so, where, and how did you finance it? If not, why not, and do you think it impacted your career significantly?.

BU is seriously expensive. I don't think I'd go if I had to pay myself or wasn't getting serious help through grants or family. That being said, as an Undergrad I wasn't too keen on the realities of money so unfortunately I don't think I'd be making a wise decision at 18 years of age. They should really be teaching personal finance in high school as I could have used it and had to learn the error of my ways through trial and experience... but that is another rant to be had. (I wish I read Joseph R. Dominguez's Your Money or Your Life, Elizabeth Warren's All Your Worth, and Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover in High School* - it would have saved me a lot of credit card and other bad debt in my twenties and early thirties and I'd have ton more saved for retirement now - but again that is another rant to be had.)

*Although looking at the publishing dates of those only Your Money or Your Life was available when I was in High School. Great book though. Get it from your library now if you haven't already. Heck get all of them.


That's exactly what I'm aiming to do, but it's very tough to find people willing to talk openly about the dollars and cents of how much their degrees cost, how much they still owe, etc. Or, if they are prospective students, how much they are willing to finance and whether or not they have realistically considered how a repayment plan for a six-figure arts degree actually works. It might be partly a pride thing, partly a privacy thing, or partly an "ostrich-with-head-in-sand" thing. I'm hoping it's really because folks rarely straight-up ask about it, and that this thread will allow people to open up with their reservations, thoughts, advice, figures, etc.

Yes I hope this thread provides insight to a lot of people.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
I can't tell what the future will hold, but I'm taking a calculated risk.

Well my view is this - as long as you put in hard work and effort and stick it out there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to work in the industry at some level. It's really just drive, perseverance, and ambition.

$123k is a big chunk of change for sure. Rent, transport, personal expenses at $17,200 per semester? That could come down a bit more if you want it to by having roommates and other money saving "hacks". That would save you a ton of cash although doing it in NYC is harder than most places. Read Mr. Money Mustache for some great money "life hacks" and money advice.

(EDIT - how much is rent in NYC these days? Pretty high I presume. It looks like you budgeted $1,600/month - I think through roommates you might be able to get that well under a thousand or even under $500 if you take more drastic measures if taking on the debt really worries you.)

Film School really is what you make of it. Going to film school certainly does not guarantee you a job in this industry. It helps for sure through contacts and learning the craft... but it really all comes down to each person and their talent and how hard they work for it.
 

Uchu

New Member
Funding part of the equation is very scary. I am an international so if I don't get work after graduation, it will be impossible for me to repay the debt (especially since our currency is like non-existent). So even though I have gotten into Columbia, I am seriously considering smaller programs that are offering more grants. Not yet sure about my decision though.
 

spagett

Member
Food for thought: I recently came across this article from Forbes magazine:

Is Grad School Worth It? 7 Steps To Calculating the ROI

From a cursory glance, it seems like hardly any of the MFA film programs would survive a test like this at full tuition price. Of all the recent MFA graduates I've spoken with, NOBODY is making anywhere near six figures their first year of out grad school.

Perhaps even more relevant is this other Forbes article about an MFA graduate from USC, where so many of us have also applied. From the article:

After getting her undergrad at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, she had less than $25,000 in student loan debt, which bothered her so much, she paid it off in two years doing freelance video production and editing everything from weddings and high school graduations to public events and historical documentaries.

She then moved to California and got a master of fine arts from the University of Southern California Film School. “I assumed the more education, the higher salary,” she says. “I was aware that with a master’s degree, in certain jobs you can get a higher pay grade, and that you’d be eligible for more jobs, even with just teaching.”

But when she graduated, she was frustrated that “the career services department was basically telling me to go join temp agencies and giving me work that wasn’t going to pay the bills, like production assistant or office assistant work — work that wasn’t going to pay my student loan payments, and that I didn’t need any education to have those jobs.”

Stuff like this really spooks the hell out of me. USC, by nearly anyone's measure, is the top graduate film school in the world, yet the career services department seemed totally unconcerned with the fact that the employment prospects for their graduates don't allow their graduates to keep up with their student loans.

When I interviewed with CalArts this year, I mentioned the astronomical tuition costs (nearly $150,000 in debt to complete the degree) and lack of any significant internal grants/scholarships (usually about $3,000/year, according to their figures). My interviewer gave a pretty standard P.R. answer that tuition costs were a "nationwide problem," and that their school in particular wasn't any worse than any other schools.

It seems like young folks burying themselves in an unconscionable amount of debt for arts degrees may also be a "nationwide problem."
 

Patrick Clement

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Thanks for the response, @Patrick Clement!

I agree with you that the process shouldn't be entirely schools selling to prospective students, and I can see how my post might've seemed like that. In reality, I do agree that it is a collaborative deal that isn't directly analogous with the purchase of a physical product. However, the fact remains that if students are at all evaluating the financial decision to pursue an MFA, they aren't doing so on this forum. Which is really too bad, because everyone is usually otherwise good about sharing other info (where they're applying, what the school's equipment room looks like, what happened during their interviews, etc.).

With that being said, it's great that you feel comfortable with the financial planning you've done to prepare for grad school. Would you mind sharing some of your work (and figures) with everyone here? I'm sure there's lots of valuable insight that can be collectively gained by your experiences and research. For example, how much are you planning/willing to spend on your MFA? Will you be taking out public or private loans? What's your post-graduation repayment plan like? At what point are you hoping to become debt-free? Based on your research, which schools did you write off as being not worth the investment, and why? Which school did you feel like was a "one-way conversation" during your interview?

This is the kind of info-sharing I'd love to see in this post with hopefully participation from folks with a variety of different circumstances, backgrounds and opinions.
Finances are an incredibly personal and private thing. I would feel uncomfortable sharing private financial information or planning on a message board. Perhaps this is why financial conversation on a messageboard are usually superficial.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
So the Dean of AFI is telling me after graduating and spending 150,000.00 I should PA to try and break in the industry? Something I could just do with no degree and a life time of student loan debt? This really made things concerning to me.

Well... yes. Hardly anyone is going to give you a job on a silver platter just because you graduated from film school. Maybe you'll make an award winning short and get it optioned or get signed onto another project as a director for that... but let's be honest.... that probably has the same odds as winning the lottery.

In fact, one of my friends, back when she was responsible for hiring interns or PAs for a company, was sometimes annoyed interviewing kids from film school (especially some technical schools) as some of the applicants had a privileged attitude and thought that since they went to film school they knew everything.

To get work as a studio film editor you absolutely have to start from the lowest of the low positions. Most studio film editors don't want their assistants to have any pre-existing notions of how things should be done. They want to mold them in their method of doing things so they want a blank slate. Heck - if I wanted to get into studio film work - I'd probably have to take a huge paycut and redo my career that way - and I'm a working editor who has been editing independent film and broadcast television for almost 13 years! The only other way I foresee myself working on a studio film would be for one of the directors for whom I did an independent film for bring me over that way.

All of this being said.... film school is still worth it depending on the price. It gives you time to hone your craft and learn your storytelling skills as well as give you the right contact that you can use who will give you the entry level positions that you need to get to start working up the ladder.

. I keep hearing when talking to current and former students. It is what you make it ect. What does that mean? That’s what I tell my self when I’m having a tough day. Life is what you make it just stay positive.

All that means is this: While at film school make the most of your opportunities there. Work on as many student projects as you can in all the fields. Volunteer. Help out. Study as many films as you can. Write your ass off. Shoot your ass off. Edit your ass off. Work internships. Forge relationships. If you just lay back and expect everything to be force fed to you then you're not going to make it far in film school or in the film business.

Th “e real truth is that we all are applying to filmschool because were scared and lack the confidence to belive in ourselves enough to try and find success outside of the bubble of a school.

I completely disagree with this. Film school is an amazing place to hone your craft and storytelling skills. It is "what you make of it." See above response. :)
 

Layne Inselman

Active Member
It's all about perspective. I used tuition costs as a significant factor in determining which schools to apply to, but I can justify going to get an MFA because before I DO try to get into the film world, I want a very solid foundation in my abilities. AND I want an MFA degree, AND from many schools it's a degree that will allow you to teach at the college level. I see it as a significant investment in my future. Loans will pay for most of school, for whatever scholarships don't cover. Those scholarships are basically whatever I can find and apply for! I have a very supportive family that can't afford to pay for school but will do what they can to help.
 

spagett

Member
It seems that this topic has shifted a little bit from what I had originally intended. There are a lot of open debates elsewhere about whether or not to go to grad school for film at all. I had assumed that the people that frequent this forum had already made the decision that there was indeed actual benefit to studying film at the graduate level. What I was primarily interested in was how those of us that will (hopefully) be attending in the fall are planning to pay for their degrees in concrete dollars and cents. However, I'm willing to go with the flow as long as folks are finding this new topic just as (or more) helpful.

Nevertheless, one of the main catalysts for posting this topic was my personal realization that not a single person I am aware of has graduated with an MFA film degree AND $100,000+ in student loans and has been able to make it work (by "make it work" I mean procure solid post-graduate employment and keep their debt under control with a reasonable and realistic payoff plan). Literally NO ONE. All I've heard has been either from folks that received 100% financial support from their wealthy families for the entirety of their tuition, or ex-students who are overwhelmed by their debt 3-5 years after graduating, and with no end in sight.

Now, I don't claim to know too many people, which is exactly why I posted this in the first place. I'd love to hear the specifics of actual plans that people have employed (or plan to employ) that make six figures of film school debt work. I think we would all benefit from hearing a financial plan that can demonstrably work. That's why I'm encouraging y'all to please share actual numbers. We'd all love to see how the risk of $100,000+ of debt can be mitigated by solid planning.

Finances are an incredibly personal and private thing. I would feel uncomfortable sharing private financial information or planning on a message board. Perhaps this is why financial conversation on a messageboard are usually superficial.

I definitely understand that finances can be very personal, and therefore I respect your decision. I happen to feel the exact opposite about how I want to approach this kind of major financial decision. Very few people in my life have a real understanding about the film industry, and I'd love to get the specific advice of people in the know, even if it's the folks on this message board. Plus, I think it would benefit the future readers of these posts to have an understanding of how to maturely approach such a major purchase. But, to each his own.

I want an MFA degree, AND from many schools it's a degree that will allow you to teach at the college level.

You and I very much have this in common. The ability to teach is one of the major benefits of an MFA to me. Personally, I'd love to make teaching a career goal regardless of my successes/not-so-successes in other film arenas.

During the last year of my undergrad (which was two years ago at a small film program at a state college), I mentioned my teaching ambitions to one of my professors. He told me that a full-time associate professorship had just opened up in the film department, and that he and the other production faculty had been fielding resumes for months. For a single open position, they received approximately 150 applications. He said that nearly half of them were immediately discarded, as they had only earned their MFAs within the last 10 years. The school felt that those candidates lacked the experience to teach film production. They eventually whittled down the remaining candidates until they decided on one who graduated from AFI in the early 90s and had since been working as a professional editor for almost 20 years.

Long story short, this limited experience makes it sound like teaching might be a great long-term career goal, but not necessarily a reliable moneymaker right when the student loan payments come due. Have you heard from others about how to best navigate the path to a teaching career?
 
Thanks for the insight, @LuckyDirector! A lot of interesting points here.



Two questions about this:

1. Do you think this is by coincidence or by design? Are these programs intended to benefit a select few from the start while the other students provide the environment/funding?

2. I will imagine that just about everyone that reads this sentiment (particularly those that have been accepted to a "top" school) will believe/hope that they are one of the select few for whom the program provides the most benefit. After all, they were chosen for acceptance by the school (even if at full price), so the school must believe in them, right? How are students supposed to evaluate whether or not they will receive the most value for their dollar in an MFA program?

Also, have you applied to any schools for prospective admission in the fall? If so, will you only accept an offer if it involves a full tuition waiver?

Thanks again!


1. It is simply how it happens due to multiple causes, despite good intentions. This is true for creative workshops in general, whether it's writing or acting, or otherwise. I have no value judgement for that: the concern would be in how programs are sold to applicants.

2.1 I guarantee that, as a rule, none of them are. Film school is what you make of it even at the better schools, and most of what's coming out of the directing programs is work that only friends and family would watch. European countries dominate us at film fests because they actually have public funding for shorts and a middle class of artists.

2.2 Unless one has been through the line budget process on a film, such as an ambitious short, then one is not going to be able to figure out the value of an MFA investment. Given that many applicants are going to film school to learn what a line producer does in the first place, and how to budget when they don't have one, and probably still won't learn it all that well while there, it's really not possible for applicants to fully grasp the investment required. I'm mostly thinking of directors here as we have the highest risk and investment. I would suggest that cinematography has the best artistic-trade ROI. Camera department is challenging and very technical, and schools accept less DP students. I actually see the good boutique agencies side pocketing and submitting DP clients right out of grad school, which will not happen with screenwriters, directors, and producers. Plus, DPs graduate with a ton of footage for a reel that they didn't have to pay hard costs on, as directors do. Meanwhile screenwriters will spend years coming to the realization that the US market does not produce spec scripts.

As an addendum, you wrote upthread that you consider USC the top graduate school in the world. From being on campus and working with their grad students in passing, I'll just put it like this: read the film school FAQ. The answer to the question that goes something like, "Why go to film school?" is hilarious.
 
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how hard they work for it.

The trouble is that this is not at all true in this industry. You can be amazingly talented, well put together and interesting, and do everything right, and have amazing things to say and the ability to say them well via craft, and end up in the cold. Most people with the skills do work in some regard. Applicants might ask themselves if they will be happy being a PA on a reality show, reading other people's scripts all day and writing coverage on them, working as an assistant, or doing graphics and promo spots at a trailer house or something similar for a decade or two. Most open production work out of LA that provides a living is on the marketing side, if they can get it. Plenty of people have a great time doing this kind of work or are focused on craft for the sake of craft and self improvement, so my comment is more to the fact that this is not what film schools sell.

And additionally I think the "if you work hard" myth about the film industry is dangerous unless put into context. "If you work hard..." you might be head PA for ten years! Not quite the same as splashing the names of a few blockbuster studio shortlist directors around, which is usually what the photos on the school websites do.
 
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Finances are an incredibly personal and private thing. I would feel uncomfortable sharing private financial information or planning on a message board. Perhaps this is why financial conversation on a messageboard are usually superficial.

Well, anyone who is posting on these boards with their actual name is not thinking about how even seemingly mundane posts might impact their admission. I was going to say something before in warning, but I'm trying to refrain from adding too much, even if anonymously.
 
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