Paying for AFI? (And film school in general)

Abbey Normal

Active Member
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

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 🤷‍♀️
 
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

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...😬
 

marianass45

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
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.
 

wuzpoppin

Member
Supporter
That topline figure is crazy.
for real!! i used to live in new york on a decent salary and i can't imagine doing that all on borrowed money, plus having to do grad school full time
 

Abbey Normal

Active Member
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

Active Member
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:

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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

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 😂
 

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