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TUITION & FINANCIAL AID: Tuition | FINANCIAL AID | Scholarships | Refunds of Tuition

Application Procedure | Award Process | Types of Federal Aid | Disbursements
Satisfactory Progress | Rights and Responsibilities | Early Withdrawal and Return of Aid | Deferment | Contact Financial Aid Office | Financial Aid and Tuition FAQ



Circle in the Square Theatre School Financial Aid

Circle in the Square Theatre School is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as an Institution of Higher Learning and therefore able to participate in the following Federally-funded aid programs: the Pell Grant Program, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program, the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS), the Federal Stafford Loan Program (both subsidized and unsubsidized) and the Federal PLUS Loan Program. Only United States citizens enrolled in the Professional or Musical Workshop Programs are eligible to apply for government funding. Summer Workshop students are not eligible.

Below is some general information about Financial Aid as it relates to Circle in the Square Theatre School. However, it is recommended that any potential student fully research and explore all available information to best understand the process. A copy of The Student Guide, created by the U.S. Department of Education, is available online at http://studentaid.ed.gov/guide.

A comprehensive site for researching your options is available on their main page at http://studentaid.ed.gov. Also included on the site, is a College Preparation Checklist http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/publications/checklist/main.html.

Initial Application Procedure

In order to be considered for Federally-funded aid programs, a student must:

  1. Be currently enrolled or accepted to the Professional or Musical Workshop; (Summer students are not eligible for Financial Aid)

  2. Be a United States citizen or permanent resident;

  3. Not be in default on any Federally-funded student loans or owe a refund on any federally-funded aid received at any institution;

  4. Maintain satisfactory progress in the program;

  5. FAFSAComplete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the applicable deadline date. The School uses the FAFSA form to determine eligibility for all Federally-funded financial aid programs. The deadlines can be found here.

    You can file the FAFSA online at the FAFSA website. To sign your FAFSA electronically and to correct it online, you must obtain a U.S. Department of Education Personal Identification Number (PIN) before beginning the FAFSA. To apply for a PIN, go to www.pin.ed.gov. If you are required to report your parents' information, one of your parents must also sign your application. To electronically sign, your parent must also apply for his/her own PIN.
  6. IMPORTANT NEWS! Starting with the 2012-13 award year, the Department of Education has simplified the application process and encourages students and parents to use the IRS Data Retrieval process to import data from your tax return. It is the fastest, easiest, and most secure method of completing your FAFSA and avoids the delays that can occur when your application is incorrectly completed.

* If you have any problems filling out your F.A.F.S.A., please call 1-800-4-FED-AID for help.

* You will need a copy of your previous year's Federal Income Tax return (as well as your parents' if you are 23 years of age or younger).

* NOTE: Make sure you answer "NO" for Question #48 on the FAFSA. For purposes of Financial Aid, the DOE recognizes Circle as "Undergraduate" level study, regardless of whether you have received a Bachelor's Degree.

* The Department of Education Institution Code for the Circle in the Square Theatre School is 014760. It is imperative that you give FAFSA our School Institutional Code so that we are also sent a copy.

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Award Process

Approximately four weeks after mailing the FAFSA, the applicant will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). If you gave FAFSA our Institutional Code (#014760), then our Financial Aid Administrator should be able to draw down a copy for the school as well. When you receive your copy of the SAR, make sure you review all information and make any corrections it asks for. Corrections can be made on this paper version and sent back for reprocessing, or corrections can also be done electronically at the FAFSA website. This Report serves as the basis for determining a student's financial need, therefore it is imperative the information be as accurate as possible.

Once the SAR has been received by our Financial Aid Administrator, a tentative assessment of the student's award is made, according to the requirements of the Federally-funded programs, the amounts of funds available, other sources of aid available to the applicant, and other relevant information. On some occasions, the information reported on the SAR is selected for a process called Verification, wherein some information on the SAR requires checking some additional information from the applicant. Final award decisions are made in consultation with the Theatre School Director. After final decisions are made, all applicants receive a final award letter which details the amounts and types of financial aid they are eligible receive. The student then needs to follow all instructions on the award letter and the accompanying paperwork to be able to follow through and receive your financial aid.

Again, no award can be fully determined until receipt of a valid, final SAR.

Students may appeal these awards in writing.

If it has been more than four weeks since you completed your F.A.F.S.A. and you still have not received an award letter from Circle, please contact F.A.F.S.A. (1-800-4FED-AID/1-800-433-3243) to be sure that your application is actually complete. Sometimes a missing signature or some other small piece of information can prevent your application from being finalized. Once you have confirmed with F.A.F.S.A. that everything is complete on your end, please feel free to email us at financialaid@circlesquare.org.

Please Note: The school draws down the SAR's of students who are accepted to the program only. If you complete your F.A.F.S.A. using the Circle school code before being accepted, you will need to contact us upon your acceptance to let us know that you had previously completed your F.A.F.S.A. so that we will know to process your SAR.

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Types of Federal Aid

NOTE: Eligibility for Federal Aid can only be determined by completing the FAFSA.

Federal Pell Grants – The Pell Grant is offered by the Federal Government to qualifying students attending any eligible school. To qualify for this grant, the student (enrolled in an eligible program) must be a U.S. citizen and not already have earned a bachelors degree. If the student is eligible for a grant, this will be indicated on the Student Aid Report (SAR). Grants of up to $5500.00 are made to eligible students as determined by the guidelines set by the Department of Education. Recipients are notified of the amount of their Federal Pell Grant on their Financial Aid Award letter. Students may be eligible to receive Federal Pell Grants for the duration of time required to complete their first undergraduate course of study.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) – The FSEOG is a school-administered government grant program. Dependent on available funds as allotted by the Department of Education, grants of a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $4,000.00 are made to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Similar to the Pell Grant, eligible recipients must be a U.S. citizen and not hold a bachelors degree. Priority for FSEOG is given to Pell Grant recipients. Students may be eligible to receive FSEOG for the duration of time required to complete their first undergraduate course of study.

Circle in the Square Theatre School Grant – The Circle in the Square Theatre School Grant is awarded to SEOG eligible students. Students are selected during the school year, based on the school's determination of the student's demonstrated need and the available funds.

Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) – The Federal Work-Study Program is a school-administered government work program. This program is available to students regardless of whether or not they already hold a bachelors degree. FWS provides students with jobs at an hourly wage commensurate with their skills and the job assignment. Recipients must be U.S. Citizens and demonstrate financial need. Awards are determined by the amount of FWS funds available as compared to need demonstrated. If you are enrolled student and the FWS Program is of particular interest to you, be certain to contact the school office to inform them of your interest.

Federal Stafford Loans (**See Note) – Federal Stafford Loans are low-interest loans. To be eligible for a Federal Stafford Loan, a student must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. There are two categories of Federal Stafford Loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. Eligibility for subsidized and unsubsidized loans depend on the students' dependent/independent status, and how many years of study they have completed.

  • Federal Stafford SUBSIDIZED Loans are low-interest loans for financially needy undergraduate and graduate students. Interest does not accrue on the loan while the student is in school. Repayment on a Subsidized Loan begins six months after the student completes the program or leaves school.

  • Federal Stafford UNSUBSIDIZED Loans are low-interest loans for undergraduate and graduate students. Students are responsible for the interest over the life of the loan, including the time when they are enrolled in school. Students may elect to pay the interest while in school or defer during the time of enrollment and allow the interest to accrue. Repayment on an Unsubsidized Loan begins six months after the student completes the program or leaves school.

MAXIMUM STAFFORD LOAN LIMITS
As of 2013-2014 School Year

Eligibility for Stafford Loans depends on dependent/independent status, how many years of study they have completed, and can only be determinded by completing the FAFSA.
Subsidized Unsubsidized
1st Year Dependent Student $3,500 $2,000
2nd Year Dependent Student $4,500 $2,000
1st Year Independent Student
(and dependent student whose parents are unable to obtain a PLUS loan)
$3,500 $6,000
2nd Year Independent Student
(and dependent student whose parents are unable to obtain a PLUS loan)
$4,500 $6,000
Dependent Cumulative Maximum Stafford Debt
(Aggregate Limit)
$23,000 $8,000
Independent Cumulative Maximum Stafford Debt
(Aggregate Limit)
$23,000 $34,500

Federal Parent PLUS Loans (**See Note) – Federal PLUS Loans are loans to parents for college expenses of their undergraduate, dependent children. Parents must be U.S. Citizens and not in default on any other type of loan. Eligible parents of dependent students can take out up to the full cost of attendance minus any other received financial aid (i.e. Pell Grant, FSEOG, etc.). Parents who apply have to pass a credit check. If they don’t pass, they might still be able to receive a loan if they can demonstrate that extenuating circumstances exist, or if someone they know — who can pass — agrees to endorse the loan and promises to repay it if your parents don’t. Generally, repayment begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed (paid out). There is no grace period for these loans. This means interest begins to accumulate at the time the first disbursement is made. Your parents must begin repaying both principal and interest while you're in school. If a parent finds they are ineligible for the PLUS Loan due to failing a credit check, the student becomes eligible to apply for additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan money.



**NOTE: Stafford Loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized) and Parent PLUS Loans are now made only through the U.S. Department of Education Direct Loan Program:

  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program - Eligible students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. Direct Loans include subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans (also known as Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans), Direct PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans. You repay these loans directly to the government. For more information about Direct Loans, please visit http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/index.html and check out this brochure on Direct Loans: Direct Loan Student Basics

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Disbursements

The School Office will disburse your loan in at least two installments; no installment will be greater than half the amount of your loan. If you're a first-year undergraduate student and a first-time borrower, your first disbursement can't be made until 30 days after the first day of your enrollment period.

Loan disbursements are first applied to your tuition account. The amount that exceeds your tuition balance will be refunded to you for living expences.

Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG Grants, and Circle in the Square Theatre School Grants are disbursed in the form of a credit to the student's tuition account in equal amounts for the Fall and Spring semesters. Amounts in excess of tuition due are disbursed directly to the student after tuition has been paid in full.

Federal Work Study funds are disbursed in the form of checks, which are disbursed after the 1st and 15th of each month, made payable to the student for the 75% Federal and the 25% School share of compensation.

If you have been enrolled in school for 30 days and you have not received a disbursement from the Circle in the Square Office, please let us know so that we can look into the issue.

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Satisfactory Progress

All recipients of Financial Aid must maintain satisfactory progress as defined below:

Students must successfully complete the entire curriculum at all levels. There is no allowance for an incomplete participation in any facet of the prescribed curriculum. This encompasses approximately 962 clock hours each year (840 class hours plus a minimum of 122 supervised lab hours of rehearsal and tutorial) over a 32-week period. A student is considered to be making satisfactory progress when regularity of attendance and the ability to concentrate and commit to his or her study are confirmed by faculty evaluations issued each term. A student who appears to be progressing poorly is given a mid-term warning to alert the student that he or she might be failing. The lack of completion of the 481 hour each term maybe cause for dismissal unless mitigating circumstances exist and making up coursework is possible. Under such circumstances, a student may enroll in the succeeding term if make-up work can be arranged only in cases where absence has been unavoidable (as in the case of personal or family illness) and only in classes where it is possible for the work to be made up.

Generally, there will be two disbursements of financial aid for the year and students will be expected to have completed the 481 clock hours for each term prior to the disbursement of any aid. Failure to complete any attempted course will result in the cancelaton of aid unless through the process of appeal the student is placed on probation. Should a student fail to make progress at the end of the probation financial aid will be rescinded. The standard time frame for the completion of the total 1924 clock hours of the programis two consecutive academic years, at which time a certificate will be awarded to confirm successful competion.

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Rights and Responsibilities of Students Receiving Financial Aid

Federal Student Loans come with repayment rights and responsibilities. To learn more before borrowing a loan, please read The Student Guide created by the U.S. Department of Education, available online at: http://studentaid.ed.gov/guide

Rights

  1. All Professional and Musical Workshop students have the right to be considered for aid.
  2. Those students who qualify for the Federal Pell Grant have the right to receive the full amount as determined by index and enrollment status.
  3. Students have the right to complete information regarding financial aid awarded, aid credited to tuition and any obligation such aid may entail.
  4. Students have the right to receive detailed truth-in-lending information.
  5. All students have the right to receive detailed information in regards to:
    • The School's accreditation;
    • the School's program, faculty and facilities;
    • cost of attendance and refund policy;
    • financial assistance and financial aid personnel;
    • financial aid procedures, deadlines and selection of recipients;
    • how financial need is determined and how much has been met;
    • procedure for review of aid if circumstances have been changed;
    • how satisfactory progress is determined.

Responsibilities

  1. To continue to receive aid the student must file the FAFSA or renewal FAFSA by the appropriate deadline each year.
  2. Aid recipients must notify the Financial Aid Administrator if they do not plan to continue study at the earliest possible date.
  3. Federal Stafford Loan recipients must have an entrance interview and an exit interview prior to leaving the School.
  4. Aid recipients must maintain satisfactory progress in the program.
  5. All students receiving aid from Federally-funded programs must:
    • If male, confirm that the student has registered with Selective Service, if required to do so;
    • submit a valid Student Aid Report (SAR) before May 1 of the year for which a Pell Grant is awarded;
    • confirm that he or she is not in default on any Federally-funded loan and does not owe a refund of any Federally -funded grant received for attendance at any institution;
    • complete the verification process within the deadline given in order to receive aid;
    • notify the School if any information has changed since financial aid application was made.
  6. All recipients are expected to research, read and understand all financial aid policies and procedures.

If the student owes a refund of Federally-funded aid received at the School, no additional funds may be disbursed until that amount is repaid. Students who have received cash disbursement of Federally-funded aid and who withdraw may be required to repay a portion thereof to the Federal program. These amounts are determined by Federal regulations. Please see below for these regulations.

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Early Withdrawal Regulations and the Return of Federal Aid

Should a student withdraw for any reason before completing 60% of the term, a portion of the Federal Aid awarded to the student must be returned in proportion to the number of days in the semester that the student has completed. However, should a student withdraw after completing 60%, no aid is required to be returned.

Percentage of Earned Aid = Number of School Days Completed in the Term
Total Number of Days in the Term including Weekends

To keep 100% of the aid awarded, this calculation must equal 61%.

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Deferment

If you are enrolled as a full-time student at Circle in the Square Theatre School in one of our Professional Workshops, you are eligible to defer any prior federal student loans you may be currently repaying. In order to defer your payments while in enrolled at Circle, you must obtain a deferment form from your lender and bring it in for the Circle administration to sign and verify. For more information on deferment, please click here.

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Contact the Financial Aid Office

Financial Aid Officer – Sally Lelong
Financial Aid Assistant – Whitney Kaufman

The best way to contact the financial aid office is by email since Sally Lelong, our Financial Aid Officer, works for several different schools and is not at Circle in the Square every day.

Emailfinancialaid@circlesquare.org

Address
Circle in the Square Theatre School
Attn: Financial Aid Office
1633 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

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FINANCIAL AID & TUITION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS



If I have attended college but did not graduate, am I still eligible for financial aid?

If I already have earned my undergraduate degree, am I still eligible for financial aid?

If I have already earned my undergraduate degree, would Circle be considered a graduate program on the FAFSA application?

Will my financial aid cover my tuition?

How can I receive extra funds to supplement my federal aid?

Can I pay my tuition with a credit card?

Does the tuition increase every year?

What do I need to do to apply for financial aid?

What is Circle in the Square Theatre School’s federal code?

What do I do after I have completed my online FAFSA?

How can I check on the status of my FAFSA?

Where can I find out more information about student loans?

I am financially independent from my parents, can I file my FAFSA as an independent student?

What is the tuition refund policy?

Is there a way to defer payments on student loans from the school(s) I attended prior to coming to Circle?

If I have attended college but did not graduate, am I still eligible for financial aid?
Usually. Of course it depends on your financial situation, but completing some college does not prohibit you from applying for aid.

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If I already have earned my undergraduate degree, am I still eligible for financial aid? Usually. Of course it depends on your financial situation, but earning your undergraduate does not prohibit you from applying for aid.

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If I have already earned my undergraduate degree, would Circle be considered a graduate program on the FAFSA application? No. The answer to question 49 on the FAFSA is always “NO”. Circle is an undergraduate certificate program even if you have already earned an undergraduate degree.

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Will my financial aid cover my tuition? Most of the time financial aid will cover a good portion of tuition, but not all of the tuition.

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How can I receive extra funds to supplement my federal aid? You can look into private student loans. Usually these do not have the same low interest rates federal loans do, but it is something to consider. For comprehensive information about how private student loans work, please visit http://www.finaid.org/loans/privateloan.phtml. For a list of the most popular private student loans, please visit The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid.

IMPORTANT:  Do not apply for any private student loans until you have applied for and received your federal aid award letter from Circle.  If you apply for private student loans before you have qualified for federal aid, it can reduce the amount of federal loans/grant money you are eligible for.  It is always recommended that you exhaust all federal aid options before resorting to private loans.

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Can I pay my tuition with a credit card? We accept Master Card and Visa. Payments can be for your entire tuition or for a portion of it. However, we discourage paying your tuition on a credit card unless you have the funds to pay it off right away. Credit card interest rates are very high and it could take you years to pay it off. In the long run, it would cost you substantially more than if you used a student loan.

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Does the tuition increase every year? No. Tuition increases are reviewed and decided upon on a yearly basis. An increase depends on the costs of running the school and inflation. When tuition does increase, we try to do it in reasonable increments so that your tuition is not substantially different during the second year than it was in the first.

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What do I need to do to apply for financial aid? Please fill out your FAFSA form online. The FAFSA website has instructions and will guide you through the financial aid process. Once all your paperwork is complete and you have been accepted into the program, we certify your financial aid amounts and verify that you will be an incoming student. Financial aid, by law cannot be distributed until you have been enrolled in a program for approximately 30 days. Usually the money comes to the school in mid-October. Your FAFSA can be completed at http://fafsa.ed.gov.

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What is Circle in the Square Theatre School’s federal code? 014760

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What do I do after I have completed my online FAFSA? Once you have completed your FAFSA, you need to begin researching banks or credit unions to go through for your loans. The institution will require you to fill out a promissory note. Once you receive your financial aid award letter from Circle in the Square Theatre School, please follow the instructions in the cover letter to follow through and receive your financial aid. Once you’ve completed all the steps in the cover letter, Circle will be able to certify your loans.

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How can I check on the status of my FAFSA? Call 1-800-4-FED-AID.

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Where can I find out more information about student loans? Check out Funding Education Beyond High School.

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I am financially independent from my parents, can I file my FAFSA as an independent student? Only students who can answer “YES” to any of the questions 48-55 on the FAFSA are considered independent even if they do not support you.

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What is the tuition refund policy? Students who must, for whatever reason, withdraw from any Theatre School program, will receive refunds of tuition in the following manner:

  • Withdrawl prior to the opening date: 100%
  • Withdrawal within the first calendar week from opening date: 85%
  • Withdrawal within the second calendar week from opening date: 70%
  • Withdrawal within the third calendar week from opening date: 55%
  • Withdrawal after the completion of the third calendar week: NONE


PLEASE NOTE: An Administrative fee of $100 will be deducted from all refunds. Requests for refunds must be made to the School Director in writing.

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Is there a way to defer payments on student loans from the school(s) I attended prior to coming to Circle? Yes. You must contact your lender to obtain a deferment form. Once you've been accepted to Circle in the Square and paid a deposit to hold your spot, you should bring the deferment form to the administration at Circle. We would then sign the form indicating that you are enrolled as a full-time student and are therefore eligible for deferment on your previous student loans.

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1633 Broadway at 50th Street
New York City, NY 10019
Tel: 212-307-0388
Fax: 212-307-0257
Email:
admissions@circlesquare.org