I am a graduate of the LA Film School in Hollywood, which is a similar kind of 1-year immersion program, and while I emerged from the school with a lot of practical experience, and two short films I'm proud of, I'm not sure it was the best use of my money.
The eternal question, if you want to become a filmmaker, is whether you should spend your money on film school, or spend your money on making a movie. You spend your money on film school to get experience to make a movie that you will no longer have the money to make when you leave film school.
But here's the dirty secret that film schools (like LA Film School or NY Film Academy) don't want you to know.
There are two components to filmmaking, the technical aspects of production, and the creative, storytelling aspects.
After having gone through this process, I'm convinced that film school is unnecessary, if you are completely self-motivated, driven, and can push yourself without any outside help.
For the first part, if you're smart, and can learn fast, and get along with people, you can learn everything that film schools of this kind can teach you simply by working on film sets.
I see that you live in New Jersey.
I would suggest that before spending tens of thousands of dollars on NYFA, that you first try volunteering to work on film shoots.
Go to Craigslist.com, or mandy.com, and see if there are any small film productions, student films, that you can work on.
There are always productions that need free labor. More so in the NYC area.
Film sets are very hierarchical organizations in which workers typically have very specialized skills and interact with each other in very particular ways. If you don't know what you're doing, it can be intimidating.
If that's the case, then accept the fact that you don't know anything, and go in with the attitude of "I'm willing to do anything, make coffee, do deliveries, anything." Be grateful for any crumb of knowledge that anyone wants to give you and definitely don't go in with any sense of entitlement or that anything is beneath you.
If you're smart and observant, you'll figure out how a film set works, what the difference between a grip and best boy is, why there are several assistant directors, and how to read a call sheet.
Work your ass off, and make yourself utterly indispensable, and you will be called back and asked to work on the next project with more responsibility, and maybe they'll even pay you.
The old saying goes "90% of success is just showing up."
I guarantee you that if you show any kind of reliability and/or competence, you -will- be called back. So many people are in this business for the wrong reasons, and because it doesn't satisfy whatever thing they thought they'd get out of it, they drop out and become unreliable.
Show up. Be competent. You'll have your own network in no time.
If you go to a school like NYFA, they'll show you how a set is organized, how to plan your shots, what the division of labor is, and you'll be working each of these jobs on your fellow students' shoots.
But do you really want to spend 25 to 30k or whatever it is now?
Especially when you can get the experience for free/paid.
What about the creative, storytelling part of filmmaking?
Read some books. Go to any Barnes and Noble and you'll find any number of good books on storytelling, or how to be a good director, or how to work with actors. I would recommend Robert McKee's Story to start, but really, just park yourself in the filmmaking section of Barnes and Noble and start reading.
And then, start writing.
Write some short scripts, anywhere from 3-8 pages in length.
Assuming that you are an aspiring director, you have this ambition because there is something you want to say. So, now's your chance. Don't stop until you have about a dozen of these short scripts.
Buy a camcorder. You can get one for 1/100th of the amount that you'd spend on film school.
Go to your local community theater and find some actors.
Make a movie.
It will be dreadful, but you will have made a movie, and you will know that you can make another one.
Repeat with steadily increasing ambition.
You will have produced more material than if you had gone to film school, and you will not be nearly in as much debt.
What I'm recommending here does not apply for those who appreciate having the lesson plan laid out like a road map, which is a perfectly appropriate process. However, you do pay a premium for that service. I'm of the opinion that quick immersion programs like NYFA and LAFS are just not good enough film schools to deserve that premium.
I have a different opinion about USC and AFI's film programs. They are much better and there's a lot of value to being plugged into their alumni network. But these other schools are just meat grinders, churning out students and taking their tuition money. And if you're a director, be prepared to pay extra for producing your film. You're expected to pay the production costs -on top- of the tuition.
In closing, I'll just say that you owe it to yourself to try working as a volunteer on a film shoot before spending money on film school. If you find that you would rather have a focused course of study and pay for it, then film school is the best way to do that. But you might also discover that there's a better, cheaper alternative, and it might get you to where you want to be even faster.