Los Angeles Film School Costs



November 21, 2011

Some prospective filmmakers choose to go to a traditional film school such as that offered by the University of Southern California; The School of Cinematic Art. Traditional film schools like this can be costly however, so before you apply you should be made aware of the associated costs.


The tuition itself can be quite expensive, USC for example charges a tuition of $20,192.00 for 12 to 18 units per semester.


On top of the tuition, there are mandatory fees that are incurred as with any university. Some of these include: A $65.00 non-refundable application fee. USC also charges a $300.00 non-refundable commitment fee. This is to show how serious you are to attend the school. On the plus side however, is that this commitment fee will be applied to your tuition.


New students must pay a $150.00 orientation fee. Health Services fees are assessed at $236.00. In addition,  Student health insurance costs $426.00.


Programming fees are $56.50 per semester, and Student Services fees are $18.50. USC also charges each student $8.00 per semester for the Norman H. Topping Student Aid program.


Unless you walk to school, and never go anywhere, you will likely need to pay for parking. The highest charge for parking is $414.00 per semester, the lowest $301.50.


Laboratory fees run from $5.00 to $500.00. Next add in the student ID card at $18.00.


Let’s talk housing next. The average rent for the residence halls comes to $6,420.00 per semester. You can save a few bucks by renting an on campus apartment. That will still set you back $5670.00.


So far, the additional fees and charges come to $8612.00. This does not even begin to cover the cost of actually getting your hands dirt making a student film. You also need to keep in mind that come of these fees are assessed each semester you attend school.


Please note that we do not intend any disrespect for the University of Southern California. It is a fine school, and there have been several excellent graduates from the School of Cinematic Arts. This article is intended to give on a realistic view of the costs that may be incurred in attending a traditional film school USC just happens to be one of the most well known.


If you have the desire to join the ranks of George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, and others famous filmmakers who have graduated from a traditional film school, and the cost does not make you blanch, then by all means apply. Just be aware of the additional costs beyond tuition.