Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

What do I need to do to be considered for admission to The Los Angeles Film School?
You must have a standard High School diploma or GED from a recognized and accredited school to begin a degree program at The Los Angeles Film School.

How do I start the application process?
Visit our Admissions Portal to fill out an application.

I withdrew from the school but would like to start again. Who should I contact?
Please email reentry@lafilm.edu.

Paying for School

Do you offer financial aid?
Yes, financial aid is available for those who qualify. For more information please visit here. International students are not eligible for Federal student aid.

Do you accept military benefits?
Yes. For more information on military benefits please visit here.

Degree / Program

Can I apply for individual courses?
The Los Angeles Film School does not offer individual online courses, as each course in the program builds upon the knowledge and skills learned in previous courses.

When does the next semester start?
The Los Angeles Film School has classes starting every month.

What sort of equipment do students work with?
For more information regarding TechKits and equipment please visit our program page and select the program you are interested in.

Transferring

Will my AP/IB credits transfer to The Los Angeles Film School?
If you participated in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs in high school and have taken the national exams, you may be eligible to have your score reviewed for The Los Angeles Film School transfer credit.

Can I transfer credits from The Los Angeles Film School to other colleges?
The transferability of credits you earn at The Los Angeles Film School is at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek transfer. Acceptance of the degree you earn in the program is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek transfer. If the credits or degree that you earn at this institution are not accepted at the institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your coursework at that institution. For this reason you should make certain that your attendance at this institution will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending The Los Angeles Film School to determine if your credits or degree will transfer.

Can I transfer credits from another school to The Los Angeles Film School?
Credits may transfer from another school. For more information please contact your Admissions Representative.

How do I request my transcripts from The Los Angeles Film School?
Please email registrar@lafilm.edu.

Housing

Does LAFS provide housing for students?
No, The Los Angeles Film School does not provide either on or off campus accommodation. We do however, have a really helpful team that can provide students with options and advice based on your budget and preferences. Visit our Housing Department page to find out more.

Military Benefits

Does The Los Angeles Film School accept Department of Defense (DoD) Military Education Benefits?

Yes. Our institution is compliant with instructions in and on the list of participating institutions with the DoD MOU. We accept military tuition assistance (TA) for all branches of service and qualified civilians. To determine your eligibility for military tuition assistance, please consult with your base education office.

Does The Los Angeles Film School accept Veteran Administration (VA) Education Benefits?

Yes. The Los Angeles Film School works with all veterans and eligible dependents to process their VA Education Benefits on a monthly basis. Enrolled students will work with our Military Benefits Specialists who operate a streamlined system. They also assist in securing all applicable transfer credits.

Some commonly used benefits at our institution are:

• Chapter 35/Survivors & Dependents Assistance
• Chapter 33/The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® * Unlimited Yellow Ribbon
• Chapter 33/TEB/The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® for Eligible Dependents* Unlimited Yellow Ribbon
• Chapter 31/Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
• Marine Gunnery Sergeant John D. Fry Scholarship
• Chapter 1606/Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve
• Chapter 1607/Reserve Education Assistance Program

G.I. Bill is a registered trademark or the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web Site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill


Will VA cover the entire cost of my program?
Every student’s eligibility is unique due to dates of service, dependent status, and prior use of education benefits. Our Military Benefits Specialists have proficiency with determining eligibility based on your conversation with them and any paperwork you might have but the Department of Veteran Affairs has the definitive answer. Call them at 1-888-GIBILL-1.

How do I apply for Military Education Benefits?
Our Military Benefits Specialists will guide you through an efficient application process in E-Benefits. Before you fill out your VONAPP, ensure that you have all required and accurate information regarding our school and your program.

Can I use VA benefits along with Financial Aid?
Yes. Please speak with your Admissions Representative to discuss options available to you.

Are you a Yellow Ribbon school?
Yes, The Los Angeles Film School offers an unlimited amount of Yellow Ribbons for an unlimited number of participants.

I’m a dependent of a veteran. Do I qualify for educational benefits?
Dependents’ benefits are unique to each individual and each circumstance. Please speak with your Admissions Representative for more information.

How do I transfer benefits to a dependent attending The Los Angeles Film School?
Each situation is different, but the recommended steps are:

• Log on the Department of Defense Transfer Education Benefits website (compatible only with Internet Explorer). Submit the Transferability Application to request transfer of benefits to dependent.
• Dependent must go to E-Benefits or VONAPP website and complete the VONAPP VA Form 22-1990e
• Applicant will receive a copy of the COE
• Send copies of the VONAPP and COE to The Los Angeles Film School via fax: 323-469-4140, mail: 6363 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 or email: military@lafilm.edu.

International

Paying For School

Am I eligible for Financial Aid?

International students do not qualify for Financial Aid from the U.S. government. Please check with your government to see if they offer aid for you to study abroad.

Am I eligible for a loan?

Private educational loans may be available to International Students who qualify.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes, The Los Angeles Film School offers two scholarships that international students may be eligible for.

What are some things I can do to reduce the cost?

You can provide your own laptop and software or submit previously-earned college credits to see if any of your credits are transferable.

When is my first payment due?

You first tuition payment and TechKit fee are due 30 days before your classes start.

Do I have to pay for the whole program up front?

No. Once you have been accepted our Financial Aid team will provide you with payment plan options. Only your TechKit fee, which covers your laptop and software, and the first installment of your tuition are required upfront. We bill by semester, which is equivalent to 4 months. Students have the option of paying the fee per academic year, which would require 1 large payment every 8 months, or per semester, which requires 1 smaller payment every 4 months. Extended payment plans may be available to those who qualify.

Do I have to buy my laptop and software from you?

No, you do not have to purchase a computer or software through us if your computer and software meets our requirements for a waiver. To obtain a laptop/software waiver you will need to bring your laptop/software to Registration to verify it meets all of our technology requirements.

Are there additional charges or fees for payment plans?

There are no upfront fees. However, payments not made within 5 business days will be automatically charged a $25 late fee on the 6th business day, with no exceptions. All student privileges (access to campus, equipment, etc.) will be suspended if payments are not made immediately following the due date. You also agree to pay the school any collection expenses it may incur as a result of nonpayment, including legal fees and court costs.

Getting an I-20

What is an I-20?

An I-20 is a Certificate of Eligibility for non-immigrant student status that lets the United States government know you have been accepted and are in good standing with the school.

Why do I need the I-20?

You will need an I-20 to pay your SEVIS fee, apply for and obtain an F-1 Student Visa, to enter the United States and to apply for certain certifications or authorizations (e.g. a driver’s license) while in the country.

Do I need an I-20 if I am taking an online program?

International students enrolled in one of our online programs do not need an I-20. If they are not studying in the United States, they do not need to apply for an F-1 Student Visa.

What types of documentation is needed to receive an I-20 from The Los Angeles Film School?

• A completed, program-specific I-20 Information Form
• Bank statement or certified bank letter proving minimum financial ability to meet tuition and living expenses
• A High School diploma, passing score on the GED or high school Certificate of Proficiency
• An academic evaluation (using a service like SpanTran) of your high school certificate if your high school was located outside of the U.S.
• Proof of English proficiency
• Copy of your valid and current passport
Read more about the I-20 requirements on our page here.

Where do I get these forms and will anyone help me with them?

Your congratulations email will include links and/or attachments to any forms you will need. One of our International Admissions Representatives will be available to assist you through the entire process.

When should I submit my I-20 documentation?

It is ideal to have all documents submitted 30 days prior to your start. Please email the documents as you receive them, rather than waiting and sending them all at once.

What if I have questions about whether my document fulfills a requirement or not?

Email it to us at dso@lafilm.edu and we’ll let you know.

How does my sponsor sign the I-20 Information form?

After you submit the form with your own signature, you will be emailed a PDF version of the document. Print the PDF, have it signed by your sponsor, scan and email it back us. Another option is to have your sponsor email their sponsor letter directly to dso@lafilm.edu.

F-1 Student Visa

How do I get an F-1 Student Visa?
After you have been accepted and have received your I-20, you can apply for an F-1 Student Visa from the United States government at your local U.S. Embassy.

The general process includes paying a SEVIS fee, completing an online visa application (DS-160 Form) and successfully completing a visa interview. Read a more detailed description of each of these steps on our F-1 Student Visa Requirements page here.


How much is the SEVIS fee and how do I pay it?

The fee is currently $350. You may pay your SEVIS fee here.

How long does it take to get my passport/visa back once it is approved?

It generally takes about a week to receive your passport/visa back after it has been approved.

What’s the earliest I can enter the United States once I receive my passport and visa?

You may enter the United States 30 days prior to the start date indicated on your I-20 Form.

What if I am attending school in the U.S. and already have a valid F-1 Student Visa?

Once you have satisfied our I-20 requirements, you will need to have your SEVIS file transferred to us from your current school.

What if I am in the U.S. on a different type of visa, can I still attend school?

Each visa has different regulations regarding whether you are authorized to attend school. Please contact one of our International Admissions Representatives for assistance.

What happens if my F-1 Student Visa expires?

Nothing. As long as you do not leave the United States, you are allowed to stay here and study as long as you have a valid I-20. If you leave the country with an expired visa, you will need to set an appointment and re-apply for a new visa before you will be allowed to re-enter the country as long as you have a valid I-20 and you are in status.

How do I know what I am allowed to do while in the U.S. on an F-1 Student Visa?

Regulations are listed below. During registration, our DSO will review these with you. Please refer to the U.S. government’s visa policies or an immigration lawyer for specific information on visa laws.

•Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) by attaining a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and completing at least 67% of credits attempted. •Satisfactory academic progress is checked at the end of each semester.
•Students may not work for pay nor participate in an unpaid internship without a valid US Work Authorization.
•Students must report any absences to their advisor, instructor and DSO
•Students must contact their DSO to update their contact information
•Students must attend at least 70% of their courses or receive a failing grade
•Students who have their I-20 terminated will have to leave the country within 15 days.


What happens if I violate any of the F-1 Student Visa regulations?

We are required by law to notify the U.S. government if a student violates any F-1 Student Visa regulations. Violations can lead to your I-20 being terminated and/or your visa being revoked. This most often results in you having to leave the country and, in some cases, can result in a ban from the United States for up to 10 years.

What happens if my visa gets terminated because I violated an F-1 Visa regulation?

You will have to leave the country within 15 calendar days.

Transcripts/Evaluation

Why do I have to get a high school evaluation?
It lets us know the curriculum and requirements needed to obtain a high school diploma from your high school are equal to the curriculum and requirements of an accredited high school in the United States.

• Students applying for admission in the Entertainment Business Completer program will additionally need to evidence an education level not less than the equivalent of a U.S. Associate Degree and order an additional document evaluation for proof of Associate or higher degree if their college or university was not located in the United States.

• Students looking to receive transfer credits for college-level courses taken outside of the United States must provide a course-by-course evaluation of their college transcripts.


If I graduated from an American school, do I still need to order an evaluation?

No, if your school was physically located in the United States.
Yes, if your school was physically located outside of the United States.

Can I submit my college/university diploma/transcript instead of my high school diploma/transcript for the evaluation?
No, you must submit your high school diploma or transcript for the evaluation.

Students applying for admission in the Entertainment Business Completer program will additionally need to evidence an education level not less than the equivalent of a US Associate Degree and order an additional document evaluation for proof of Associate or Bachelor’s degree if their college or university was not located in the United States.

Students looking to receive transfer credits for college-level courses taken outside of the United States must provide a course-by-course evaluation of their college transcripts.


Will you transfer classes I took while studying at another college?
In order for your previous coursework to be assessed for transfer credits, you will need to submit an official sealed transcript(s) from your previous college(s). If your college transcripts are from a country other than the United States, it is required you submit a course-by-course evaluation (using a service like SpanTran) of your college transcripts for review.

Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS?
All students are required to prove English proficiency. A score of 61 on the TOEFL (6.0 IELTS) is required to enroll in our Associate and Bachelor’s degree programs, whereas a score of 79 on the TOEFL (6.5 IELTS) is required to enroll in a Bachelor’s Completer program.

You DO NOT need to take the TOEFL/IELTS if one of the following applies to you:
• English is your country’s official language of instruction
• You have attended one or more years at a high school or college in the United States
• You have successfully met the minimum-level requirement from ELS (Level 110 for Associate and Bachelor’s degrees and Level 112 for a Bachelor’s Completer program.)
• You have successfully completed another college-level English as a second language program from an approved ESL school.


If I need to take English classes, can you help me find a school?
Yes, we recommend you learn English at ELS (English Learning Services). ELS is a private entity, which provides English language training. In most cases, you can study with them in your country or here in the United States. Please visit their website at www.els.edu for more information.

Working in the U.S.

Can I work in the United States while I study?

No, not while you are enrolled in school. It is in violation of your F-1 Student Visa and can result in your visa being revoked. After you graduate, you are eligible to apply for OPT. If approved for OPT, this allows you to stay and work in the U.S. for up to 1 year after graduation. Pre-completion OPT and on-campus work study are two exceptions, please see below for more information.

What is OPT?

OPT stands for Optional Practical Training which, if approved, allows applicants to stay in the country for up to 1 year, for each level of degree you earn, to work in the field you studied.

How do I learn more about OPT?

Our DSO will review the general process with you at Registration and will be available at the end of your program to assist when you’re eligible to apply.

When can I apply for OPT?

You may apply for post-completion OPT up to 90 days before your graduation date and no later than 60 days past your graduation date. The Los Angeles Film School highly suggests you apply for post-completion OPT as soon as you are eligible.

Will you help me get a job for OPT?

We have a Career Development Department which assists graduates in finding work in their fields of study. Professionalism and real-life application are emphasized throughout each of our degree programs. The best help we can give you is equipping you with the skills and know-how to land jobs yourself. Our staff assists with resume building, interview skills, job recommendations, job leads and more. Employment is not guaranteed.

Is there any way to be on OPT for longer than a year?

Students who graduate from STEM programs are eligible for up to two years of OPT. Our Bachelor in Animation program qualifies as a STEM program. Another option is to complete one of our Associate degree programs, take a year off of school for OPT then come back to take a Bachelor’s Completer program, which would make you eligible for one more year of OPT upon graduation.

What is pre-completion OPT?

F-1 Student Visa students may apply to participate in pre-completion OPT after they have been enrolled in school for one full academic year. Students authorized to participate in pre-completion OPT must work part-time while school is in session. They may work full-time when school is not in session.

Does pre-completion OPT take time away from post-completion OPT?

Yes. All periods of pre-completion OPT will be deducted from the available period of post-completion OPT.

When do I apply for pre-completion OPT?

You may apply up to 90 days before you complete a full academic year, as long as you do not start OPT employment until you complete one full academic year.

Do you offer on-campus work study?

Currently we do not, but we are in the process of making this available to our international students.

Other Questions

Can I travel back to my country for vacation or school breaks?
Yes, you are allowed to travel outside or within the United States while you maintain a full-time status during school breaks. Please consult your Academic Advisor and DSO for more information.

Do you offer assistance with any other types of visas?
Do you offer assistance with any other types of visas?
No.

Am I allowed to take online classes/courses while at The Los Angeles Film School campus?

Yes, international students on an F-1 Student Visa may take a mix of on-ground and online classes. We also now offer full online degree programs that do not require an F-1 Student Visa. Please speak with a DSO for more details.

Will someone pick me up from the airport when I arrive in Los Angeles?

No, we do not offer any type of transportation for students, but as a large city airport, LAX offers many public transportation options. There is a free shuttle bus service provided from the Metro Green Line Aviation Station, which you can read more about here. Or you may also take the Lot C Shuttle to get to the Metro Bus Center, where you can board city buses serving the Los Angeles area. Information on city bus services can be found in the baggage claim areas of each terminal or you can call (+1) 323.466.3876. There are also taxis or you can use any number of ride-sharing apps available on your smart phone, such as Lyft, to get where you need to go.