Shaun Dunn is an expert 3-D designer whose images look so real you want to pluck them off the screen — the very sort Hollywood studios Disney and Pixar might pay an artist big money to create. Or so Dunn believed when he was a top student at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, whose ads say graduates “are some of the most successful and sought-after professionals in art and design today.” Dunn earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial design and stayed, at the school’s urging, he said, for his master’s in animation and visual effects. He graduated in May. Today he’s bankrupt. He owes $431,607 in student loans and hasn’t gotten a job. His mother co-signed one student loan for his undergraduate studies in 2004 and remains on the hook for four subsequent loans. They barely speak now. “It’s ruined my life,” Dunn, 38, said of the debt and the “guerrilla techniques” he says the for-profit Academy of Art used to persuade him to stay at the school he couldn’t afford and often felt too ill to attend, thanks to a painful inflammatory disease that slowed his progress. “I just feel they were dishonest, saying you’ve got… Read full this story
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