Detailed & Honest FIDM Review & How to Lower Your Tuition

My detailed and honest FIDM review will help you decide if it’s the school you want to go to. My first quarter at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise) has been quite a roller coaster and I’ve found that there are definitely pros and cons.  Before I start, here are some details on my program. I chose to get a degree in Merchandise Product Development but since I already had a prior bachelors degree, I was accepted into the Professional Designation program. The PD (professional designation) program is for students who already have a prior bachelors degree. This program is only a year long and requires the completion of 51 units.

  1. Scholarship
    1. FIDM offers scholarships from $500-$2,000 for incoming students. I’ve been told that the key thing is to ask before you officially accept. I personally was awarded $2,000 based on academics. I’m not sure if this is a requirement (a prior good GPA) but I feel like it can’t hurt to ask.
  2. Transfers
    1. If you took any prior courses that is relating to your courses, I highly recommend meeting with your student advisor. She will then direct you to the head of education. I waived 2 classes (Apparel Process 1 and 2) since I had prior courses in patternmaking and draping. I wish I had met with the head of education before I started my first quarter but I’ll get to that next.
  3. Waived Courses
    1. When I first started, I had an intro class called Product Development Fundamentals. It gave an overview of what different jobs are available for you when you graduate with your degree. It also gave an overview of the entire process of product development from designing to getting your merchandise into stores. While the class was fun to go to, I didn’t feel like I was actually learning anything. For someone who has taken courses in design already, a lot of the things I had learned even though I had never taken an intro class. Unfortunately, I waited until the 7th week to say something to my Student Advisor, Linda Smith, but she sent me to the Head of Education, Elena Rodgriguez and then she sent me to the Director of the Merchandise Product Development major, Eva Gilbert. I also have a business degree with an emphasis in Finance and was frustrated because the Fashion Merchandising and Assortment Planning was an easy class for me as well. Eva let me know that she would waive the intro class for me and I could take an advanced course instead at the end of the program. When you think about your education, you are paying three to four thousand dollars for each course. The things you learn in each class should reflect that, and if you have any concerns, you need to bring it up to your student advisor. If a teacher is slacking and not taking his job seriously, tell someone. With me bringing up my concerns, I got 7 weeks of free education and I get to take an advanced course which will teach me skill sets that other students will not have.
  4. Books & Supplies
    1.  FIDM rolls Books and Supplies into your payment plan and supplies you with the list of books and materials each class requires. Since I waived a few courses, I knew that my books and supplies amount should be lower than the full amount and I wanted to check that. There isn’t much transparency when it comes to the books and supplies which makes me weary since I like to see exactly where my money is going. The first day of class, my instuctor for Fashion Merchandising and Assortment Planning told us that we did not need the books for that class nor did we
  5. Financial Aid
    1. Your financial aid award is calculated based on three quarters so you have the option to apply for aid for the 4th consecutive quarter which means more financial aid.

Check out my full review here!


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