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Art Institute of Pittsburgh

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
Motto The College for Creative Minds
Established 1921
Type Private , For-Profit NASDAQ: EDMC)
President George Sebolt
Students 6,200
Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Campus Urban
Colors Black Red,and White
Nickname AIP
Affiliations Education Management Corporation

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh (AIP) is a private, for-profit, higher education institute located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, that emphasizes design education and career preparation for the creative job market. It was founded in 1921.


  • History 1
  • Location 2
  • Art Institute Online 3
  • Licensing, accreditation and memberships 4
  • References 5


The former Art Institute of Pittsburgh building at 420 Boulevard of the Allies, sold to a Chicago developer in April 2014
Art Institute of Pittsburgh poster - circa 1936

Founded in 1921, the school began as an independent school of art and illustration, producing a number of accomplished artists (including watercolorist Frank Webb, animation producer and director Rick Schneider-Calabash and the late science fiction illustrator Frank Kelly Freas), but now specializes primarily in design disciplines and Culinary arts. In 1968, Education Management Corporation (EDMC) acquired The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and it became the model for creating additional schools in the Art Institute System.

Since the 2009 public offering of EDMC, and the subsequent majority position by Goldman Sachs, emphasis throughout the EDMC system shifted increasingly toward shareholder profits with cost-cutting measures[1] resulting in larger classes, fewer student services, and a standardized curriculum throughout the system, obviating the need for resident experts and curriculum developers at the individual colleges.[2] In 2013, found that the Institute provided the worst return on tuition and the student's time of all institutes of higher learning surveyed.[3] According to disclosures the college is required to provide, overall graduation rates as of 2012 fell to 39%, while graduation rates among Pell grant recipients were still lower at 27%.[4] New owners are expected to take control of EDMC in 2015, as EDMC has agreed to a debt-for-equity swap with its current owners giving up the majority of their stock to creditors with whom they broke loan covenants.[5]


The main campus of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh is located in downtown Pittsburgh. During its growth phase, it relocated six times, expanding each time into larger facilities with a broader curriculum, and in 2008 became one of the largest arts colleges in the United States. However enrollment began to quickly drop beginning in 2010, in part because of federal lawsuits.[6] The historic landmark building at 420 Boulevard of the Allies the school had purchased in 2000 was sold in 2014 to a Chicago developer. Because of this sale, the college will be relocating or consolidated with another location.[7]

Art Institute Online

The Art Institute Online (commonly abbreviated AiO) is the online branch of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. As of October, 2007 it has been rebranded as The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division. A part of the system of over 40 Art Institutes located in Pittsburgh, PA and throughout North America, this online school offers degree programs as well as non-degree diploma courses in a variety of creative fields. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division provides art training and education, and serves as an online class environment for on-ground Art Institute students.

Practices at the online division have been called into question in recent years as whistleblower suits were brought forth by employees within the company, and joined by the United States Department of Justice.[8] Enrollment in the online division and EDMC's other online programs ballooned from 7900 in 2007 to 42,300 in 2012, due in large part to practices that devoted more per-student expenditures to marketing ($4158) than on education ($3460).[9] Dramatic drops in enrollment since that time however led to massive layoffs in the online division.[10]

Licensing, accreditation and memberships

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh is accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (since 2008) and The Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and maintains programmatic accreditation with the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).[11][12]


  1. ^ Deitch, Charlie. "EDMC layoffs hit Art Institutes nationwide". Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Halperin, David. "EDMC Professors and Students Speak: How Lobbyists & Goldman Sachs Ruined For-Profit Education". Republic Report. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "The 25 Colleges With The Worst Return On Investment."
  4. ^ "Graduation/completion rates - The Art Institute of Pittsburgh". The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Allen, Lisa. "Education Management Cuts Deal to Trim Over $1B in Debt". The Street. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Van Osdul, Paul. "Whistle-blower accuses EDMC of falsifying records to get taxpayer money". Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Belko, Mark. "Developer considers options for Art Institute of Pittsburgh building". Post Gazette. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Hechinger, John. "U.S. Joins Whistleblower Suit Against Education Management". Bloomberg. 
  9. ^ Deitch, Charlie. "EDMC reports revenues, enrollment down on heels of more layoffs". Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  10. ^ Deitch, Charlie. "EDMC insiders report layoffs underway". Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  11. ^ The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - News & Calendar
  12. ^ Middle States Commission on Higher Education
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