How Much Does Film School Cost?

Costs main cover image
$ In-State Public College Averages: $6,185 a Year

Are you dreaming about making a film, but don’t know where to start from or which of the film programs to choose?

Consider an ultimate filmmaking goal and decide whether to pursue formal education and how much you will need to spend on it.

Typical Costs

The programs at the prestigious film schools, such as the American Film Institute (AFI) and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), come at the annual price of $35,000, and duration from one to three years for a bachelors degree.

A lot of four-year state colleges and universities provide film programs.

In 2007-2008, for example, the annual average in-state full-time tuition and fees for an undergraduate at a four-year public university was $6,185, data provided by the College Board.

At the same time, the out-of-state students were expected to pay an average of $16,640 per year.

Information provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, reveals that the average full-time graduate tuition and required fees were $18,145 in 2006-07.

The annual cost for earning a two-year masters degree is comparable to the cost of earning a bachelors degree.

The New York Film Academy and the University of Southern California, for example, charge the same amount per year for their bachelors and masters programs.

Additional Costs

  • Accommodation costs about $3,747 for a four-year university and $4,607 for a private institution, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • The board costs $3,185 at a four-year university and $3,787 at a private institution.
  • The average student needs approx — $ 700 each year for materials and textbooks.
  • Bargain film schools usually do not include the equipment price, while colleges and universities do include them.
  • A basic camera, for example costs approx — $ 250, with infinite possibilities for more complicated cameras and other equipment to get the job done.


There are the state and federal grants and scholarships.

The financial aid opportunities are provided at

Shopping For Film School

  • Decide what you want to get out of film school before you register.
  • Think about the location, faculty and equipment at the school.
  • posts several articles with advice on what to look for in a film school, and how to suit a film school to your needs.
  • is a blog devoted to low-budget filmmaking.
  • The Independent is a website for independent filmmakers, posting a film school article.
  • and provide an extensive list of film programs across the nation, while The Independent offers a list of the ten best documentary filmmaking schools in the country.
  • Amazon provides two fascinating books: “The Complete Guide to American Film Schools and Cinema and Television Courses” or “Projections 12: Filmmakers on Film Schools.”

Leave a Comment