Getting a degree from The Art Institute franchise....Do not get an art degree from an Ai school. Even if it is the only school in the area...DO NOT DO IT!!! The cost of their degrees are comically pathetic. Come to think of it, many art colleges are severely over priced. I Believe SCAD is something like 30k + A YEAR! Yes, I do have a BA from Ai, but I also have a $70,000.00 debt to pay back now. Don't be fooled by the "Low payments" you can get. The lower your payment, the more you'll end up paying back. You also have to think about the state of the economy right now and combine that with the fact that the business model for gaming and film is seriously flawed. A ton of work is being sent over seas right now so any artists who are racking up these 70-100k debts are going to graduate with no way of paying them back.
Now don't get me wrong, I had some good teachers at Ai....but just a handful. They did the best they could with what they have, but just remember that Ai is a for profit school. The more students they can enroll the more money they get. unfortunately Ai doesn't require portfolios in order to enroll....if you can fill out a FASFA then you're in. This means that people who shouldn't be at art school, come to art school and that means that they drain time, resources, and instructor attention away from true and serious artists.
With as much content as there is online these days, YouTube tutorials being just one example, there is no reason you couldn't learn everything you need by simple scouring the net for that knowledge. You also have public art forums to share and critique work, some of which old live podcast work shops. add to that sites like Gnomon and Digital Tutors and you have a wealth knowledge right at your finger tips for a tiny fraction of the price of a degree.
If you want some actual classes, then check out the programs over at CGMA www.cgmasteracademy.com/ They have programs based on fundamentals and design, character art, environment, 3D and more. Now each class costs about $700.00 US for an 8 week course. That may seem like a lot but think of it like this....at Ai, I was paying $200.00 every time I walked into a classroom and one class had 11 sessions. I was taking 3 classes a quarter so a full year of 12 classes was costing me over $35,000.00. Now look at the cost of 12 classes from CGMA...$8,400.00 That means I could have done CGMA's entire 2D course selection for around $24,000.00.....and saved $45,000.00 and I would be 4 times the painter and illustrator I am now.
You don't need a degree to work in this industry, just a kick ass portfolio, and you can't pay for that. Also check out Noah Bradly's site, he has a video/podcast where he lays out how to get a $10k art education.
Hope this info helps