Schools like the LA Film School are really not respected in the industry, which makes it tough to get a decent job afterward. (Don't believe for-profit tech school advertising, and anyone can get top speakers for cash.) USC and UCLA are extremely competitive. First you have to be admitted to the college, so that means to be competitive one needs close to a 4.0 unweighted GPA, and a 2100 SAT, they admit about 23?f applicants. Then after being admitted, one has to be admitted to the film program, which have about a 5?dmit rate. Any good college film program in the LA area will have a less than 10?dmit rate. Other colleges with good film programs include Chapman, Loyola Marymount, and Cal State LA. There are decent programs at CSUN, Pasadena City College, LACC, and other LA area colleges.
NY Times Article:
To become a director, basically you have to be able to make and finance your own films, and then even if you get a development deal with a studio after winning film festivals, etc, you still have to be able to finance them yourself in almost every situation. It's not like one gets hired for decent paying jobs right after school, even those that attend USC film school, the most prestigious in the country, spend 2 to 6 years as an assistant. Not an assistant director, just an assistant.
If you're an international student, you will need the full cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room & board, personal expenses) for the first year in a savings account with written bank proof to get a visa. For LA Film School the cost of attendance amount is about $62,000 for 9 months, about $60,000 for private colleges like USC, and about $55,000 for UCLA. these amounts are starving student budgets, and consider the lowest rent (hard to find) and generally won't cover car expenses. Most students need at least $2000 more to survive, as COA estimates are very low. Add $4000+ for summer, and/or travel home costs. You cannot work in the US, except after a semester or a year you may be eligible to get a very part-time job on campus only if you are approved by homeland security, and if a job is available.