How Much Does a Film School Cost?

If you want a career in the film industry, the best educational preparation you can undertake is going to film school.

Whether you want to become an actor, director, screenwriter, or scriptwriter, you have to strive for one of the degrees.

Film school is often the deciding factor in realizing dreams.

You may have always had a desire to enter the professional world of film but you lack that practical knowledge to launch your ambitions?

Dedicating time to film school can prove to be an invaluable investment in the future.

Just, in the beginning, you will get guidance and the opportunity to create your first portfolio under the supervision of experienced tutors.

Average Costs

The graduate program tuition at the prestigious American Film Institute Conservatory is $63,575, in 2021/22.

Tuition and fees are much higher than the average amount at similar schools ($38,608 – Private (not-for-profit) school of art, music, and design).

The price is on the rise for next year as well, in 2022/23 tuition will be $65,800, and in 2023/24 enormous $68,103.

Additional costs come at the price of $15,500 for room and board, $4,500 for supplies, $2,700 for transportation, and $6,222 for personal expenses and loan fees.

Actual expenses may vary, depending on living arrangements and other factors.

Annual tuition at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is $52,850 for full-time undergraduate (BFA and Certificate), graduate (MFA and advanced certificate), and doctoral (DMA) programs.

All CalArts tuition rates increase annually, and the increase is typical 4%-5%.

The student activity fee is $116 per year, and the technology fee is $500 per year.

The institute offers several meal plans and prices range from $1,862 to $4,066 per year.

Undergraduates will spend $10,260 for single occupancy, $7,040 for double occupancy (full year).

And, graduates will spend $9,000 for a private bedroom in a shared apartment suite (full year).

Let’s look at some more schools!


Colorado Film School offers a 2-year certificate, and associate’s degrees that focus on Acting, Cinematography, Writing/Directing, Writing/Producing, Post Production, and Screenwriting.

The certificate program lasts two years and has 48 credits.

It costs on average $4,742 for residents, $6,422 for WUE students, and $15,724 for non-residents (for one year).

WUE (Western Undergraduate Exchange) – for residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Meanwhile, Colorado Film School’s associate of applied science degrees is a three-year program that has 75 credits.

Residents need to pay $4,900 per year, WUE students $6,700, and non-residents $16,300.

Los Angeles Film School has both campus and online degree programs.

The price varies for domestic and international students.

Associate of Science in Film Degree program, for on-campus domestic students, has tuition of $48,539 for five semesters.

International tuition for the same program is $52,791.50.

Tuition of Digital Filmmaking, a B.S. online program for domestic students, for 9 semesters is $71,190.50.

Tuition for non-residents for the same program is $71,155.

The tuition cost already includes textbooks, technology fees, Techkit, and other related costs.

The New York Film Academy is a school for aspiring actors and filmmakers.

Academy has different types of programs, such as 1-Year Acting for Film Program, and Associate/Bachelor/Master of Fine Arts in Acting For Film.

Tuition for the 1-Year acting for film program (2 semesters) is $18,613 per semester in fall 2022.

The same price has a two-year program and an associate’s degree program.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting for Film program has a tuition of $14,626 for eight semesters.

Tuition for Master of Fine Arts in Acting for Film is  $17,791 for five semesters in fall 2022.

Additional Costs

Some schools in the tuition include the cost of books and supplies, technology fees, health insurance, and the like.

Some of them charge extra but the costs are mostly listed on the school website.

For example, Colorado Film School charges a $400 lab fee each semester.

Books vary per class and range from $50-$100 per course.

Housing is not included, however, students may anticipate between $900-$2,000 per month depending on location and shared or single-occupancy.


Many states and schools grant a scholarship and financial aids to help students.

For example, Vancouver Film School is offering up to $10,000 in scholarship funding to be awarded in early 2022, in partnership with the Association of BC Drama Educators (ABCDE).

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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