Important Financial Aid Information

FERPAAll records and conversations between a student aid applicant, his or her family, and the Financial Aid Office are confidential. Compass College of Cinematic Arts assures confidentiality in accordance with institutional rules, state and federal laws including FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, The Buckley Amendment - for which the primary intent is to provide students access to their educational records an to limit dissemination of personally identifiable information without the student's written consent) as amended.

After enrollment, each student is presented with a FERPA agreement, which they may use to waive their privacy rights for certain individuals, such as parents or legal guardians. Compass College of Cinematic Arts will not disclose student information without a signed waiver.

All currently enrolled and former students have the right to review their own records to determine their content and accuracy. A student who wishes to obtain access to his or her financial aid record is able to do so in the presence of a Financial Aid staff member.

Public Information: The following information is considered "directory information" and may be disclosed to staff, faculty, and current students:
- Name
- Local Address
- Local telephone number
- Birth date and place of birth
- Program name
- Year in school
- Enrollment status
- Degrees and awards received
- Anticipated graduation date

Non-Public Information: A student's consent is required for the disclosure or publication of any non-directory information with the following* exceptions:
- Another Compass College of Cinematic Arts employee
- Representatives of federal and state agencies
- Accrediting organizations

*To see a complete list please see the 2016-2017 catalog pg. 23

A student must submit a written release of information for any additional information to be released to any other person or agency. The student's release must contain:
- Date of request
- Student's social security number
- Student's signature
- Specific contact name or agency
- Summary of information that may be released

Compass College of Cinematic Arts secure and permanent education records for current students based on their enrollment, or as required by federal regulations. The financial records of inactive students, and those who withdraw, are kept for a minimum of five years from the last date of enrollment. After the required time period, paper records are securely disposed. Transcripts are maintain for all previously enrolled students. 

VerificationVerification is the process that confirms that accuracy of student reported data on financial aid applications. Only a portion of the student population is selected for verification. Students are notified that they are selected for verification on the Student Aid Report.

Each year that U.S. Department of Education selects a percentage of financial aid applications for review. This process is called "verification." A student who is chosen for verification must provide Compass College of Cinematic Arts' Financial Aid Office with certain financial records for review prior to the awarding and/or disbursement of the student's financial aid. The Financial Aid Office will provide the Verification Worksheet to the student if verification is required.

The Financial Aid Office verifies those applicants identified by the Department of Education. In addition, the Financial Aid Administrator may select a student for verification is there is a discrepancy of a condition, which is unusual and warrants investigation. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to verify any student.

Below is a list of certain circumstances where a student does not have to complete verification. The exclusion must be identified by an aid administrator and documented in the student's file:
1. The applicant died during the award year.
2. The student is a resident of Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Palau).
3. A student is incarcerated.
4. Applicants whose parents do not live in the United States and cannot be contacted.
5. A student immigrant (however, the student must meet the citizenship requirement).
6. A dependent student whose parents cannot comply because of specified reasons (i.e. parents are deceased, are physically or mentally incapacitated, or the student does not know where the parents reside).
7. A student who does not receive need-based Title IV funds.

Conflicting Information
Financial Aid Administrators are required to resolve any discrepancies discovered in a student's file. The Financial Aid Office systematically verifies those data elements required by the federal government. However, the Financial Aid Office is free to ask for additional information if further investigation is needed to resolve a discrepancy. The following items are typically reviewed: adjusted gross income, U.S. income tax paid, household size, and number of family in college.

Documentation and Collection Procedures
Documentation submitted to the Financial Aid Office must be legible, appropriate, and have the student's social security number for identification purposes. If the student submits illegible, inappropriate or unidentifiable documents, the documents will be returned to the student for resolution. A Verification Worksheet will be provided by the Financial Aid Office and must also be completed and submitted. A student must submit all documentation to the Financial Aid Office by mail or in person during business hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm), preferably inside of an envelope or file folder.

Processing Time Period
A student chosen for verification will be notified within 14 days by the Financial Aid Office. The notification will explain that additional processing of their financial aid file cannot take place until the required documentation is received and verification can take place. Students who submit documentation after the deadline will be awarded aid on an availability basis. Students who fail to comply and submit documentation will not be complete, therefore, financial aid will not be awarded.

Professional JudgmentThe FAFSA does not provide families with the opportunity to explain special circumstances affecting their ability to pay for the student's education. A student may request a consideration for professional judgment from the financial aid administrator by completing a Financial Aid Request for Review form, available from the Financial Aid Office.

Professional judgment refers to the authority of the college's Financial Aid Office to make adjustments to the data elements on the FAFSA and to override a student's dependency status. The college does not have the authority to change the need analysis formula itself or to make direct adjustments to the Expected Family Contribution. Instead, the college may make adjustments to the inputs to the formula. The changes to the inputs are dictated by the impact of the special circumstances on the family's income and assets. The standard formula is then applied to the new data elements, yielding a new Expected Family Contribution figure.

The need-analysis methodology mandated by the Federal Regulations is a rigid formula. To remedy this, Congress delegated to the  college's Financial Aid Administrator the authority to compensate for special circumstances on a case-by-case basis with adequate documentation. As the person in the field, the college's Financial Aid Administrator is best able to evaluate the family's situation and to make the appropriate adjustment. The decision of the Financial Aid Administrator is final. There is no appeal. By law, neither the college's president, nor the U.S. Department of Education can override the Financial Aid Administrator's decision.

Compass College of Cinematic Arts provides students with the appropriate cost of attendance data. The data is review yearly and adjustments are made as needed.

Title IVThe term "Title IV Funds" refers to Federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended).

Federal financial aid funds are awarded with the expectation that students will complete the entire period of enrollment. With each day of class attendance, students "earn" a percentage of their aid. When a student who has received Title IV Funds leaves college before the end of the term or period of enrollment, Federal law requires the college to calculate the percentage of "unearned" federal funds, which must be returned to the Federal government. The student's withdrawal date is the date the student informs the school of their withdrawal by beginning Compass College of Cinematic Arts' withdrawal process.

The percentage of the term completed is calculated by dividing the number of calendar days the student attended in the term by the total number of calendar days in the term. This percentage corresponds with the amount of aid the student has "earned." The remaining portion of aid is considered "unearned." However, after a student has completed more than 60% of the term, the student is considered to have earned 100% of the funding.

The responsibility to repay "unearned" Title IV Funds is shared by the institution and the student in proportion to the aid each "possesses." (Title IV Funds are considered the first resource applied to the institutional charges and Title IV Funds are disbursed directly to a student only after institutional charges have been covered.)

The school must return the amount of "unearned" Title IV Funds aid for which it is responsible by repaying the following sources in order, up to the total net amount disbursed from each source:

1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
2. Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
3. Federal Pell Grant
5. Other Title IV programs

The student must return the amount of "unearned" Title IV Funds aid for which the student is responsible. Funds should be repaid in the order specified above. However, loan amounts are to be repaid by the borrower in accordance with the terms defined by the promissory note(s). Amounts to be returned to grants by the student are protected by 50% of the original Federal grant amount.

Accordingly, Compass College of Cinematic Arts will prorate institutional charges for Title IV Fund recipients based on the percentage of the term completed, calculated by dividing the number of calendar days the student attended in the term by the total number of calendar days in the term. Title IV Fund recipients will be charge for a percentage of the term equal to the percentage of the aid they "earned." After completing over 60% of the term as calculated above, the student will have "earned" 100% of their institutional charges, as well as their Title IV financial aid.

Compass' Financial Aid Office calculates percentages and amounts pertaining to the Return of Title IV Funds. Non-Federal aid received by Title IV recipients will be "earned" in the same manner described above for Title IV Funds. The amounts and order in which each source of non-Federal aid is refunded is determined on a case-by-case basis. Required returns of funds of all financial aid programs must be made prior to the refund to the student.

Default PreventionThe law requires that schools participating in the FFEL or Direct Loan Programs to use a default prevention and management plan to participate in Title IV programs. Compass College of Cinematic Arts has adopted the Default Prevention and Management Plan provided by the U.S. Department of Education. The plan includes commitment to the following activities and implementation by the Financial Aid Office:

- Entrance Counseling
- Financial Literacy for Borrowers
- Communication Across Campus
- Exit Counseling
- Timely and Accurate Enrollment Reporting
- NSLDS Date Entered Repayment (DER) Report
- Late Stage Delinquency Assistance (LSDA)
- Loan Record Detail Report (LRDR) Data Review
- Analysis of Defaulted Loan Data to Identify Defaulter Characteristics

Full details of the Default Prevention and Management Plan are available in the Financial Aid Office.