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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

7 Animation Schools Under $10,000

Written by ACR StaffMarch 20, 2017
Did You Know.....Full Sail University offers online degree programs in computer animation, game art, and game design? Learn more about Full Sail University's online programs.
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Wouldn’t it be great if you could earn an animation degree for less than $10,000 a year? What if you were an out-of-state student and the cost was less than $15,000 a year? In the past, we’ve compiled lists that consist of some of America’s most affordable animation schools, the most expensive to least expensive animation schools, and more. Though the in-state tuition rates on our list were always low, some out-of-state rates were double, if not triple the amount of in-state costs. Good news. We found a number of schools that offer affordable tuition for residents and nonresidents. So, resident tuition for the schools on our list is less than $10,000 per year. Non-resident tuition is less than $15,000. Enjoy! 

1. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 

Brigham Young University (BYU) is home to the Center for Animation. Established in 2010, BYU Animation operates under the direction of three colleges—the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, the College of Fine Arts and Communications, and the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Offerings include a BS in Computer Science with an Animation Emphasis and a BFA in Animation. Tuition for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) members is $5,300 for the 2016-2017 school year. Tuition for Non-LDS students is $10,600. 

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2. California State University – Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 

California State University – Los Angeles (CSULA) is home to the Department of Art, which offers a BA in Art with an Animation major and MA and MFA degrees with a Design Option (Animation, Graphic Design/Visual Communication). Undergraduate resident tuition is $5,472 for the 2016-2017 school year. Nonresidents must add $248 per credit hour. So for a nonresident enrolled in 12 credits per semester, the cost would be $11,424 for the 2016-2017 school year. 

Graduate residents will pay $6,738 for the 2016-2017 school year. Nonresidents must add $248 per unit, so the cost for nine credits per semester is $11,202. 

3. University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 

The University of South Florida (USF) is home to the College of the Arts, which offers BA and BFA degrees in Studio Art with a Focus in Video, Animation, and Digital Arts. Tuition for Florida residents is $6,410 for the 2016-2017 school year. Nonresident tuition is $13,848 (for 12 credit hours per semester). 

4. Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, New York 

Brooklyn College is home to the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, which offers an MFA Digital Animation & VFX. New York State residents pay $10,130 ($5,056/semester) for the program for the 2016-2017 school year. Tuition for nonresidents is $14,040 for nine credits per semester (or $780 per credit hour). 

5. California State University – Fullerton, Fullerton, California 

California State University – Fullerton (CSUF) is home the College of the Arts, Department of Visual Arts, which offers a BFA in Art with an Entertainment/Animation Concentration. Resident tuition is $5,472 for the 2016-2017 school year. Nonresident tuition is $14,400 for 12 credit hours per semester. 

6. University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 

The University of Central Florida (UCF) is home to the College of Arts and Humanities Department: School of Visual Arts and Design. Animation offerings here include a BFA in Art with two tracks: Emerging Media/Character Animation Specialization and Emerging Media/Experimental Animation Specialization. An MFA in Emerging Media with a Digital Media, Entrepreneurial Digital Cinema, or “Studio Art and the Computer” Track is also available. 

Resident tuition is $2,520 or $105.07 per credit hour (12 credits per semester) for the 2016-2017 school year. Non-residents pay an additional $511.06 per credit hour, so the cost for 12 credit hours per semester is $14,785. 

7. University of Arkansas – Fort Smith (UAFS), Fort Smith, Arkansas 

University of Arkansas – Fort Smith (UAFS) is home the College of Applied Science and Technology, which houses the Department of Animation Technology. Degree offerings include a BS in Animation Technology (BSAT) and an AAS in Computer Graphic Technology with a Digital Design Option. Resident tuition for the program is $6,701 for the 2016-2017 school year. Nonresident tuition is approximately $15,000. 

Honorable Mentions 

Not all animation programs take two to four years to complete. Two of our favorites, Animation Mentor and The DAVE School offer programs that take less than two years to finish. Some are even offered online, which means students don’t have to pay for housing, transportation, or campus-related fees. Add this to shorter program formats, and students will graduate with 50 percent less debt than the national average. Let’s take a look. 

Animation Mentor, Emeryville, California 

The longest on-campus program offered at Animation Mentor is 72 weeks. Students take six 12-week classes to earn a Certificate of Completion. Each class costs $2,499 for a total of $14,994 for the entire program. The school also offers six to twelve-week workshops, including Maya Workshop: Animation Basics. Depending on the workshop, costs are $699, $899, or $2,499 for the entire program. 

The DAVE School, Orlando, Florida 

The Digital Animation & Visual Effects School (The DAVE School) is located at Universal Studios Florida, Sound Stage 25. The School offers a 48-week Visual Effects Production program that costs $33,500 total for 2015. “Total” means there are no additional costs or supplies required for the program. A Game Production program is also available and it takes 60 weeks to complete. Total cost is also $33,500. Graduates of both programs will receive an Accredited Diploma. 

Other offerings include a Bachelor’s degree in Motion Graphics or Production Programming with a track in Game Programming or Productivity. Total tuition for both Online programs is $50,040 (or $12,510 per year). 

Note: Rates are for tuition only. Tuition information was obtained directly from each schools official website. At the time of publication, all information was current.