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How Much Does it Cost to Go to Film School?

Film school is sometimes the deciding factor between achieving your dreams in the film industry and staying behind on the set. If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, you’ve probably considered film school at least once before. You may even be wondering, “How much does it cost to go to film school?” A college degree is a big decision, as is attending the film school of your choice. You can expect to pay between $20,000 and $100,000 or more to attend film school based on where you attend, how long the school is, and the prestige of the school.

Tuition Costs for Film School

First, attending film school will have some associated tuition expenses. If you attend a film school that is accredited such as at a four-year state college or university system, you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of about $7,000 for in-state, full-time tuition per year or up to about $17,000 for out-of-state tuition. Attending film school on a graduate level, the post-Bachelor program will cost you closer to $20,000 per year for full-time tuition. 

Some of the most prestigious film schools in the country, including the American Film Institute (AFI) or the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), will cost you about $35,000 per year for tuition. Current tuition rates for the Los Angeles Film School will run $32,000 per year for full-time, in-state expenses.

Additional Costs for Film School

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In addition to paying tuition to attend film school, there are also fees associated with room and board, additional course components or materials such as textbooks, and the cost of equipment, or equipment rental. Textbooks can easily cost upwards of $300 or more per semester. The average student will spend at least $700 per year in additional textbook related expenses associated with attending film school each year.

Local room and board rates will vary based on where you attend film school. If you’re wondering, “how much does it cost to go to film school?” You should also be considering the total cost of room and board in the area. A four-year university will often have dorm rates that are in the range of about $4,000 per year. The good thing about a dorm is that expenses associated with utilities, WiFi, and those types of needs are included. Off-campus housing rates can easily be more expensive based on the cost of living in the area where you attend film school.

Additional Considerations

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Going to film school is a big decision. While the cost to attend film school is a huge undertaking there are often ways to cut some of the expenses back. Tuition to a state college or university can often be partially paid by grants and tuition assistance programs. Filling out the FAFSA allows the government to pull financial details pertaining to potential grants or other opportunities that can help you cover the cost of film school. Financial aid is based on individual qualifying factors and will be largely based on your income.

We hope this helps you in the decision-making process to streamline in the best direction for you to learn all about film schools that are available to teach and train you for a career in film. Tell us what you think below!