Financial Aid

Digital Film Academy participates in Title IV Federal Student Financial Assistance programs. Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may qualify for one or more of the following financial assistance programs.

To apply for financial aid, students must complete the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available through the Financial Aid Office or online at
To apply for financial aid, follow the instructions below:
(a) If you never applied for Financial Aid before, click here and create a new account. When it asks about the school, use the Digital Film Academy school code:

  •  New York City, NY campus 04206200
  • Atlanta, GA campus 04206201

(b) If you already have an existing Financial Aid (FAFSA) account, log into your account at and add in our school code: 042062.

Afterwards, you will probably receive an automatic email from the financial aid website, confirming that your Financial Aid application was processed successfully. Please forward that email to us. Our financial aid officer will check to ensure it has been received and is being processed.

​When you complete your application for financial aid, it normally takes about 4 business days before Digital Film Academy is notified. Our Financial Aid officer here at DFA will review all your information and create a financial aid worksheet. This shows how much financial aid you will be eligible for.

Eligibility Requirements

Student financial aid applicants must satisfy certain eligibility requirements in order to be able to receive and continue to use financial aid. These requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Fulfillment of all admission requirements.

  • Submission of all documentation requested by the school or lender(s) or both.

  • Satisfactory academic progress in accordance with school policy.

  • Completion of “aid specific” requirements, such as entrance and exit loan counseling, and Master Promissory Note

  • Remain a student in good academic standing.

Graduating students who received student loans must complete exit loan counseling and meet all other graduation requirements before they will be considered a graduate and awarded a credential. Withdrawing students who received any loans must complete exit counseling as well.

Federal Pell Grant Program

The Federal Pell Grant program is the foundation of the federal government’s financial aid programs. The Pell Grant, unlike the loan, does not have to be repaid. If qualified, the Pell Grant amount will be determined by formulas established by the U.S. Department of Education. Please check with the Financial Aid Office for award minimums and maximums.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program (Subsidized or Unsubsidized)

A student loan is a low-interest loan made to you by the U.S. Department of Education. Funds are paid to the student by the federal government through a direct credit to the student’s account. The eligibility and annual maximums for the Federal Direct Student Loan (FDSL) Programs and Federal Direct PLUS Loan Programs are established by federal regulation. Federal Direct Stafford Loans are low interest loans made to students attending school at least halftime. Federal Direct Stafford Loans, unlike grants, are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest and payments normally beginning six months after leaving school. The amount of each payment depends on the size of the debt and the ability to pay. Students can qualify for a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan based upon financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. The need-based loan (referred to as “subsidized”) offers in-school interest subsidies by the federal government. In addition, students may qualify for a non-need Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (referred to as “unsubsidized”). These loans do not offer interest subsidies.

It is possible for students to have both subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans.

Loan Limits

An independent undergraduate and dependent student whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan can borrow up to $3,500 from the subsidized loan and up to $6,000 from the unsubsidized loan for the first academic year. Student loan programs are also subject to total (aggregate) borrowing limits. These limits include all loans that the student has borrowed while attending any school. The maximum aggregate loan limits for dependent undergraduate students are $23,000 from the subsidized loan and $31,000 from the unsubsidized loan program. Independent undergraduate students and dependent students who are unable to borrow from the PLUS program have aggregate limits of $23,000 from the subsidized loan and $57,500 from the unsubsidized loan program. All students are required to complete an Entrance and Exit Counseling to ensure the student fully comprehends the rights and responsibilities of a borrower loans begins six months after ceasing enrollment. Repayment on unsubsidized loans including interest also begins six months after ceasing enrollment, but interest begins accruing at time of first disbursement. Students may choose to repay the accrued interest while in school which reduces the cost of borrowing. If the borrower chooses not to pay the interest on the unsubsidized loan while in school, the interest will be capitalized (added to the principal) and the new loan amount will begin to accrue interest costing the borrower more over the life of the loan.


When your awards are disbursed to your DFA student account, they will be applied to any unpaid tuition and fee charges. If you have a financial aid credit balance after the payment of your tuition and fees, you will receive a credit balance “refund” that will be electronically deposited to your personal bank account or sent to your home address in the form of a paper check. Your financial aid is disbursed to your DFA student account, not to you personally. Only after all charges on your account are satisfied will you see your refund. Refunds are processed after all charges on your account are satisfied will you see your refund. Refunds are processed within 14 days after a financial aid payment appears on your DFA student account. Keep this timeframe in mind when doing your financial planning.

In order to protect refunds made in the form of a check:

  • Be sure to keep your mailing address current in your account.
  • If you don’t receive an expected check within 21 days of the scheduled disbursement date, or if your check is lost or stolen, contact the Bursar’s Office immediately.
  • Deposit or cash your check as soon as possible after you receive it. Stale checks may not be able to be replaced and you risk losing those funds.
  • Do not endorse your check until you are ready to cash or deposit it. If an endorsed check is lost and then cashed, DFA will not cover the loss.
  • Report any lost or stolen check to the Bursar’ Office immediately.

Sample Loan Disclosures

Federal Direct Stafford Loans are also referred to as Direct Loans or Federal Direct Loans. The lender of these loans is the U.S. Department of Education and repayment is to the Department. Between 10 and 30 years to repay, depending on amount owed and type of repayment selected. For additional information please visit

Application Form

You must apply for financial aid using the FAFSA. You will not be automatically offered a Direct Loan. If you want to borrow from the Direct Loan program, you must request the loan from the financial aid office. If you request a Direct Loan and later decide you do not need the funds, you may decline the loan by contacting the financial aid office.

Subsidized Loans

If you are an undergraduate student and have financial, need you are eligible for a subsidized Direct Loan. With subsidized loans no interest will be charged as long as you maintain at least half-time enrollment (8.25 credits per term or 12 clock hours per week). Financial need is the difference between Cost of Attendance and your Expected Family Contribution.

Interest Rate and Repayment for Subsidized Loans

Subsidized loans taken between 7/1/2022-6/30/2023 are charged a fixed interest rate of 4.99%. The interest will not change throughout the life of the loan. There is no interest charged on your subsidized loan as long as you maintain half-time enrollment (6 credits per term or 12 clock hours per week) at the college. The interest rate varies each year on new loans and is adjusted each July 1st.

Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement

For ALL borrowers of a Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, or Federal Direct PLUS loans. Note: You must complete this requirement even if you have already completed a Multi-year Master Promissory Note. Please visit for more information.

Qualifying Credits and Programs

You must take at least 6 credits per term. You must be accepted for admission to a Title IV-eligible program (this includes eligible certificate programs).

Unsubsidized Loan

The unsubsidized loans are charged an interest rate of 4.99% and is available to students who do not qualify for the subsidized loan. The difference of the unsubsidized loan is that interest accrues while the student attends school. You are eligible to receive an unsubsidized Direct Loan to replace all or a portion of the family contribution if there is loan eligibility remaining.

Interest Rate and Repayment for Unsubsidized Loans

Unsubsidized loans taken between 7/1/2022 -6/30/2023 are charged a fixed interest of 4.99%. The interest will not change throughout the life of the loan. If you borrow an unsubsidized Direct Loan, you have the option of paying the interest as it accrues, or you can let it be added to the principal of the loan. The interest rate varies each year on new loans and is adjusted each July 1st.

150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit (SULA)

Direct Loan requirements limit borrower eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans to a period of 150 percent of the length of the borrower’s educational program. For example, 6 years of Subsidized Loan eligibility for a Bachelor’s degree and 3 years for an Associate’s degree. Under certain conditions, first-time borrowers who have exceeded the 150 percent limit may lose the interest subsidy on their Direct Subsidized Loans.

Maximum annual limits for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans For Dependent and Independent Students

Loans for Dependent Students (Federal Direct Loans)
The amount you are eligible to borrow each academic year
Maximum Subsidized Loan
Additional Unsubsidized Loan
Total Loan (combined subsidized and unsubsidized)
1st Year
2nd Year
3rd Year and Beyond
Loans for Independent Students (Federal Direct Loans)
The amount you are eligible to borrow each academic year
Maximum Subsidized Loan
Additional Unsubsidized Loan
Total Loan (combined subsidized and unsubsidized)
1st Year
2nd Year
3rd Year and Beyond
Graduate and Professional Students
Maximum Lifetime Loan Amounts (Federal Direct Loans)
Student Level & Dependency Status
Maximum subsidized and unsubsidized
Maximum subsidized Loan
Dependent Undergraduate
Independent Undergraduate
  • Dependent student: The career maximum of subsidized and unsubsidized combined undergraduate loans is $31,000 ($23,000 maximum in subsidized loans).
  • Independent student: The career maximum undergraduate amount is $57,500 ($23,000 maximum in subsidized loans).
  • Graduate and professional student: The career amount maximum is $138,500.


Maximum for Subsidized Direct Loans

Cost of Attendance

– Expected Family Contribution

– Estimated Financial Assistance

= Maximum Subsidized Loan Amount


Example of subsidized loan eligibility

Let’s say you are a dependent student and in your 3rd year of college. Your total cost of attending college is $10,000, which includes: tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, lunch, and personal expenses. Your expected family contribution determined from your FAFSA is $3000 and your total financial aid from grants and scholarships totals $2,000. You have expenses not met of $5000 ($10,000-$3,000-$2,000=$5,000). You could get a subsidized loan for the portion of expenses that were not met which is $5000. If you still need additional money to cover costs, you could receive a maximum of $500 in an unsubsidized loan. You could not exceed $2,500 in an unsubsidized loan since the maximum a 3rd year student could borrow in federal direct loans is $7,500.

$10,000 Cost of Attendance (COA)

– $3,000 Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

– $2,000 Financial Aid

= $5,000 Portion not met


Maximum for Unsubsidized Direct and PLUS loans

Cost of Attendance

– Estimated Financial Assistance

= Maximum Loan Amount



$5,000 Maximum Subsidized loan

+ $2,500 Maximum Unsubsidized loan (replaces part of your EFC)

= $7,500 Maximum Direct loan

A dependent student’s maximum eligibility, whether it subsidized or a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans, cannot exceed the amounts shown above. Independent students, however, are eligible to borrow additional funds from the Unsubsidized Direct Loan program. In cases where the parents of the dependent student are denied eligibility for the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) due to a negative credit history, the dependent student may borrow additional funds from the unsubsidized loan program. Student borrowers do not need a co-signer and there is no credit check done by the federal government. Things you need to know if you borrow a Federal Stafford Loan:

  • Federal Direct Loan borrowers taking their first loan on or after July 1, 2013, may qualify for a subsidized Direct Loan for a maximum of 150% of the length of their academic program. Students will be limited to receiving subsidized loans for 3 years in a 2-year program or 6 years in a 4 year program. Students reaching this limitation could receive unsubsidized loans if eligible. Additionally, borrowers who reach the 150% limitation will have their interest subsidy end for all outstanding subsidized loans.
  • The federal government charges all borrowers an origination fee at the time the loan is disbursed. This is in addition to interest charges.
  • While pursuing an undergraduate degree, you can borrow a maximum of $31,000 as a dependent student and a maximum of $57,500 as an independent student.
  • Before loan funds may be disbursed you must complete an entrance interview. This interview is usually done on-line and consists of providing loan borrowers with extensive information regarding the loan’s terms and conditions.
  • You are responsible for notifying your Direct Loan Servicer when you leave school or are no longer enrolled at least half-time and whenever your address changes.
  • You may prepay all or any part of the unpaid balance on your loans at any time without penalty. This will decrease the amount of interest that you will pay over the life of the loan.
  • If you receive a Federal Direct Loan and you drop below half-time status (6 credits per term or 12 clock hours per week), you must contact your college Financial Aid Office to arrange for an Exit Interview.
  • Most colleges disburse the funds once a term unless you are scheduled to register for only one term in the academic year. In that case the loan will be disbursed in two equal payments. Colleges have the option of disbursing a loan for up to 20 payments depending on the college’s policy and the student’s needs.
  • A federal Student Loan Ombudsman office is available for assistance with loan problems at 1-877-557-2575 or by writing to: Office of the Ombudsman, Student Financial Assistance, US Dept. of Education, Fourth Floor, 830 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20202-5144.

Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Federal PLUS Loans are for parents to borrow to help pay for their children’s education. These loans enable parents with good credit history to borrow for each dependent. Federal PLUS Loans must be repaid. Repayment generally begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. The maximum amount that a parent can borrow on behalf of their child is the difference between the cost of attendance and other aid received.

Trade Act or TRA

Digital Film Academy is approved as an eligible institution to provide training by the Department of Labor and Industry. For additional information on eligibility requirements contact your State’s local Employment Office.

Title IV Refunds (R2T4) Policy

The Financial Aid Office is informed of the student’s withdrawal (either official or unofficial), by the Registrar. When the Financial Aid Office has been informed that a student has withdrawn, the Financial Aid Officer will immediately complete the Return of Title IV Funds form downloaded from IFAP. Upon completion of this calculation, the Financial Aid Counselor contacts the student via phone call followed by an email to the student. The student is informed of the results of the R2T4 calculation including the amount of funds that will be returned to the program by the school, amounts that must be returned by the student, and any post-withdrawal funds for which the student may be eligible. The student receives instructions regarding the return required by them. In the event the student is eligible for a post- withdrawal disbursement, the student receives information regarding post-withdrawal disbursements as well as notification of the deadline for which a response may be required. Copies of the R2T4 calculation and email notification are retained in the student’s financial aid file.

The Financial Aid Officer, also, enters the last date of attendance into the Student Information System software along with scheduled disbursement information and other data required by Digital Film Academy that was gathered from completing the R2T4 worksheets. This information is transmitted to Digital Film Academy.

When the School is required to return unearned aid, the Financial Aid Office notifies the Finance Office of the amount of funds to be returned to the Programs. The Finance Office ensures the funds are available in the federal designated bank account as soon as possible, but, within 45 days of determining the student’s last day of attendance. Digital Film Academy receives the funds from the bank account via electronic transfer and returns the funds to the federal programs. When the School returns loan funds the student is notified of the amount of loan funds returned and the date the funds were returned via email. A copy of the email is placed in the student’s file.

The student is notified via email when he/she is required to return Federal funds. Loan funds are not required to be returned but are to be repaid according to the repayment schedule of the loan. When grant funds are to be returned by the student, the student is informed that they are only required to repay 50% of the grant, unless the amount owed is $50 or less.

Unearned Title IV is returned up to the net amount disbursed from each source in the following order:

  • Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  • Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SEOG

Academic Standards Related to Federal Financial Aid

In order to continue to qualify for federal financial aid programs, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress standards. These standards are outlined in the Academic Standards and Policies section of the school catalog. Students not meeting these standards will be placed on Academic Probation. A student on Academic Probation is eligible to receive aid during the probationary period. If at the end of the probationary period the student has not achieved satisfactory academic progress, he/she will be ineligible to participate in Federal Aid programs. NOTE: New York — The failure of a student to immediately notify the Executive Director in writing of the student’s intent to withdraw may delay a refund of tuition to the student pursuant to Section 5002 (3) of the New York Education law.

Contact Information for the Federal Student Aid Office of the Ombudsman​

Via on-line assistance:
Via telephone: 1-877-557-2575
Via mail:
U. S. Department of Education
Office of Federal Student Aid
P.O. Box 1854
Monticello, KY 42633

Digital Film Academy is approved as an eligible institution to provide training by the Department of Labor and Industry. For additional information on eligibility requirements contact your State’s local Employment Office.

Trade Act or TRA — Digital Film Academy is approved as an eligible institution to provide training by the Department of Labor and Industry. For additional information on eligibility requirements contact your State’s local Employment Office.


ENTRANCE INTERVIEW: It is mandatory that each first time borrower student completes entrance counseling prior to the program start date. This is achieved in one of two ways:
1. Student logs into the website on their own or with assistance from a DFA Financial Aid processor and completes entrance counseling. Proof of completed entrance counseling is printed and placed in the student file.
2. Student completes the entrance counseling manually using entrance Counseling Guide Booklet provided by US Department of Education.

DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION ADDRESSING STUDENT LOAN PROVISIONS: Each student receives and signs a worksheet and award letter during the financial aid process which clearly details the provisions and fees of the student loan. This information is provided and is discussed in detail with the student.

APPROPRIATE COUNSELING TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE IN DEBT MANAGEMENT: Guidance is provided for each personal situation to ensure payments remain affordable and minimize their impact on current finances and future plans. Specifically, we help the student understand:
1. The pros and cons of the programs available.
2. Strategies to reduce the total amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan. Steps to take to ensure timely repayment.
3. What you can do if you have trouble making your payments.
4. Options for keeping repayment affordable.
5. Loan rehabilitation programs.
6. Student loan debt consolidation choices.
7. How to identify potential options toward cancellation and forgiveness.
8. Always contact the loan lender when updated personal information.
9. Discussion of student’s rights emphasizing the many alternatives that are available to them (payments, deferment, forbearance, and IBR options).

APPROPRIATE NOTICE TO LENDERS AND GUARANTEE AGENCY REGARDIN CHANGES TO STUDENT STATUS: Updates regarding student status using the Enrollment Report Roster (ERR) on the National Student National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is performed every 60 days, which provides changes of student status to lender and guarantee agencies.

EXIT INTERVIEW: It is mandatory that each student borrower complete exit counseling. This is achieved in one of three ways:
1. Thirty Days prior to graduation date students are notified to log into and complete the exit counseling. Proof of completed exit counseling is printed and placed in the student file.
2. Student completes the exit counseling manually using exit Counseling Guide Booklet provided by US Department of Education.
3. If a student fails to complete either the online or manual exit counseling then exit counseling materials are emailed to the student within 30 days of graduation or withdrawal.

COMMUNICATING WITH BORROWER DURING GRACE PERIOD: The Digital Film Academy Financial Aid Office sends an email to graduates 30 days prior to the end of the DL grace period to remind the graduate that repayment starts in 30 days and that they will receive a letter from the student loan lender. The student is advised to contact our Financial Aid Office to request assistance with starting the repayment process or request either deferment or forbearance assistance.

The Default Management Plan is evaluated annually. The results of the evaluation are used to formulate changes that are needed to improve effectiveness.


DFA engages a third-party service to monitor student loan defaults related to DFA. The third-party service contacts DFA in the event a student misses student loan payments, and also contacts the students to discuss deferment and forbearance options.
Relationship with Lenders
DFA’s Office of Financial Aid works to ensure its employees adhere to the highest ethical behavior and professional practices. We have adopted the National Association of Student Financial Assistance Administrators’ (NASFAA) Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct, which help to guide financial aid professionals in ensuring transparency in the administration of student financial aid programs. In addition, the Office of Financial Aid prohibits a conflict of interest in the administration of Title IV student loans and enforces the ethical responsibilities of an agent of the institution, as follows:

  • Employees shall not solicit or accept any gift having a monetary value of more than a nominal amount from a lender, guarantor, or servicer. Certain items are not considered gifts, such as training materials, meals at training events, and philanthropic contributions not related to student loans. Employees may also be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on the advisory board, commission, or group.
  • Employees shall not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender where the lender provides or issues a Title IV loan to the student or student’s family in exchange for the school recommending the lender or the lender’s loan products in exchange for a fee or material benefit including profit or revenue sharing that benefits the school or a school’s employee or agent.
  • Employees shall not accept from any lender or affiliate of any lender, any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
  • The Institution shall not request or accept funds from any lender for private education loans including funds for an opportunity pool loan to it students in exchange for the school providing promises of a specified loan number or volume or a preferred lender arrangement for educational loans. 
  • Employees shall not assign, through award packaging or other methods, a first-time borrower’s loan to a particular lender or refuse or delay processing of a loan based on the borrower’s selection of a lender or guarantor.
  • Employees shall not accept or request any assistance with call center or financial aid office staffing from any lender except as allowed by law.

Cooperation with Available Lenders
DFA only directs its students to borrow from the Department of Education through the Title IV program. DFA cooperates with and remains in compliance with the requirements of the Department of Education.
Borrower’s Ethical Responsibilities for Loan Repayment
1.  Complete mandatory loan exit counseling for each type of loan you borrowed.  This must be completed online, no sooner than 30 days before the end of your last semester at Brown. 
2.  Know Where & When to repay your loans.  Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS) are repaid to your federal servicer.  Perkins and Institutional loans are repaid to our Brown University Loan Office. 
3.  Consider a federal Consolidation Loan to combine multiple loans into one monthly payment. 
4.  Review your options to postpone repayment through deferment or forbearance. 
5. Review your options for loan cancellation or forgiveness. 
6. Create your repayment strategy 
Want to consolidate? Apply before grace period ends
Want to choose a federal repayment plan? Notify your servicer before grace period ends
Want an income-driven repayment plan? Provide income documentation to servicer
Want to pay on-time? Set up automatic payments with EACH servicer
Want to reduce costs? Pay off accrued interest during grace, pay down principal balance during grace

® GI Bill® Is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at