Paying for AFI? (And film school in general)

katiebonnie

Well-Known Member
Supporter
The fees are so expensive I don't think I'd have a hope in hell of going even if I somehow got in 🙃 😂
 
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Abbey Normal

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
It said March 15th on the email so I reckon we've got time. The fees are so expensive I don't think I'd have a hope in hell of going even if I somehow got in 🙃 😂
Yeah, all these top film programs are crazy expensive!!! The idea of being saddled with crippling debt is scary. Honestly, I don't even want to think about it haha. The cost of living plus tuition is enough to put a down payment on a house or buy 5 Teslas lol.
 

katiebonnie

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Yeah, all these top film programs are crazy expensive!!! The idea of being saddled with crippling debt is scary. Honestly, I don't even want to think about it haha. The cost of living plus tuition is enough to put a down payment on a house or buy 5 Teslas lol.
Right!! It's really hard as an international too because I'm so limited on the loans I can get that I'd basically be screwed the second I graduate. Thankfully this is currently not something I have to worry about 😂, I think the competition has only increased this year so I'm not feeling that confident 🤷‍♀️
 

runningupthathill

Well-Known Member
Yeah, all these top film programs are crazy expensive!!! The idea of being saddled with crippling debt is scary. Honestly, I don't even want to think about it haha. The cost of living plus tuition is enough to put a down payment on a house or buy 5 Teslas lol.
Right? I'm really curious as to how people pay for their living expenses, especially because the school doesn't allow you to hold employment while you're in the program (which is kinda unethical, in my opinion). Like how do people not starve?
 

katiebonnie

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Right? I'm really curious as to how people pay for their living expenses, especially because the school doesn't allow you to have a job while you're in the program (which is kinda unethical, in my opinion). Like how do people not starve?
I really don't see how I could do it without a job, I've been a freelancer for years and (if I got in) I would want to continue working...😬
 

its_me_mari

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
I really don't see how I could do it without a job, I've been a freelancer for years and (if I got in) I would want to continue working...😬
Same here!
I work in a company in the marketing and art department and I was fortunate enough to have an amazing boss who already told me that he wants me to keep working remotely even in the US. The only problem is the currency, but I'm happy to still keep the job!
 

wuzpoppin

Member
there's this really great comment from a previous columbia thread about paying for tuition and expenses that i think is very helpful:


unfortunately a big part (grad PLUS loans) is geared toward US citizens, so i'm sorry about that, international friends!

if i understand correctly, US grad students are basically guaranteed federal loans in the form of grad PLUS loans, up to the max cost of attendance for our program. also federal loans are really good in terms of interest rate and forgiveness vs. private loans, which i would not recommend at all.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Columbia is one of the most expensive MFAs in the US. It costs a lot of $$$$. Including housing, meals, travel, etc you are looking at $200K-$450k depending on the length of your degree (2.5 to 5yrs).
That topline figure is crazy.
 

Abbey Normal

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Right? I'm really curious as to how people pay for their living expenses, especially because the school doesn't allow you to hold employment while you're in the program (which is kinda unethical, in my opinion). Like how do people not starve?
I know the friends that graduated from AFI came from wealthy backgrounds so money was never an issue. But everyone else I know took out massive loans and are still paying for it. This includes friends that received partial scholarships. And because AFI is so intense I think it's impossible to have a side job the first year, especially during cycle films. I hear you're either on campus, in the library, or writing/collaborating 24/7. So having a part-time job will be difficult to squeeze into your busy schedule.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
I know the friends that graduated from AFI came from wealthy backgrounds so money was never an issue. But everyone else I know took out massive loans and are still paying for it. This includes friends that received partial scholarships. And because AFI is so intense I think it's impossible to have a side job the first year, especially during cycle films. I hear you're either on campus, in the library, or writing/collaborating 24/7. So having a part-time job will be difficult to squeeze into your busy schedule.
What's the estimated total for AFI? $100k? I have it up to $50k a year on our listings but that could be old info. (and would love to update it if it was)

 

Abbey Normal

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
What's the estimated total for AFI? $100k? I have it up to $50k a year on our listings but that could be old info. (and would love to update it if it was)

Per AFI's site:

1614017970691.png
 

runningupthathill

Well-Known Member
I know the friends that graduated from AFI came from wealthy backgrounds so money was never an issue. But everyone else I know took out massive loans and are still paying for it. This includes friends that received partial scholarships. And because AFI is so intense I think it's impossible to have a side job the first year, especially during cycle films. I hear you're either on campus, in the library, or writing/collaborating 24/7. So having a part-time job will be difficult to squeeze into your busy schedule.
Welp, sounds nice. Haha. Yeah, I can imagine it's really difficult to manage with the workload. Almost impossible :(
 

katiebonnie

Well-Known Member
Supporter
there's this really great comment from a previous columbia thread about paying for tuition and expenses that i think is very helpful:


unfortunately a big part (grad PLUS loans) is geared toward US citizens, so i'm sorry about that, international friends!

if i understand correctly, US grad students are basically guaranteed federal loans in the form of grad PLUS loans, up to the max cost of attendance for our program. also federal loans are really good in terms of interest rate and forgiveness vs. private loans, which i would not recommend at all.
Well... that's a depressing read 😂 I did get the vibe that Columbia was out of my league and clearly it is as there's no way I would be able to just continuously borrow funds, bit of a shame to read that they are not a low income friendly school.

Buttt yes an incredibly helpful resource! Thank you for sharing! It's so weird to me because it seems so easy for my American friends to come to the UK to live or study and yet my parents would have to remortgage their house twice and I'd probs have to sell a kidney to study in the US 😂
 

Abbey Normal

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Bumping this!

I'm sure I'm not the only wondering how in the hell am I supposed to pay for grad school. So, I'm curious what plan of action people are taking. Yes, each program gives out a limited number of scholarships. Yes, some people have super wealthy parents. Yes, some people have savings, etc. Yes, a majority of folks are going to take out loans. But has anyone applied for like a shit ton of scholarships to pay for grad school? I know there's "FREE" money out there.

Please chime in. I'd love to hear your thoughts/advice. 😀
 

bean

Member
I didn't get any scholarship funding from AFI. I have a few years of savings from work, but still will need to take out a lot in loans. I'd have nothing left but debt at the end of year two which is scary as I want to be able to support myself staying in LA. I have no idea where to find film school friendly scholarships. A lot seem to be reserved for undergrads, different career paths, specific diversity groups, etc. Any tips would be appreciated!
 

tls

Well-Known Member
I know the ole take-out-loans-for-film-school vs don't is a common conundrum. I'd love to get in touch with a few recent grads who took out loans and a few who are a few years out, and interview them. @Chris W happy to help work on this if you can help find the contacts!
 
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