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If you’re ready to work hard, create boldly, and experience life in an artistic community, then we’re ready to help you make the next step toward a career in film and digital media.

To begin simply download an application, fill it out, and send it in via email to admissions@compass.edu, or mail it to the address below. Then, you’ll want to begin sending in the required items. You can submit any forms, essays, or portfolio materials you have completed, via email to admissions@compass.edu or you can mail them to:

Compass College of Cinematic Arts
Attn: Admissions
41 Sheldon Blvd. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

A complete application includes:

  • An application form completed and signed by the student
  • Non-refundable $25 application fee
  • Official high school transcript (with graduation date) or proof of completion of GED
  • College transcript(s) from previously attended colleges or universities
  • ACT or SAT test scores (Compass College’s ACT code is 6098 and SAT code is 5933)
    • (Waived if the student is over the age of 21)
  • Two essays (250+ words each)
  • Academic Recommendation Form
  • Character Recommendation Form
  • Portfolio of creative work related to film and non-film work
  • Autobiographical Information (included in application form)
  • An in-person or phone interview with a CCCA Admissions Representative

Once all of the requirements have been satisfied, applicants will receive notice of their admissions acceptance status within four weeks.


The Purpose of the portfolio is to allow the staff and faculty at Compass College to get a sense of who you are and where you are on your journey as an artist. It is meant to show us your creative and artistic talents and to share your experiences with us.

A complete portfolio should include the following:
  1. Minimum of two film-related items: This can include any films, scripts, treatments, documentaries, music videos, production sketches and/or storyboards, etc.
  2. A minimum of two non-film related, creative items: This can include photography, painting, sculpture, poetry, creative writing, music, or other creative venture.

Please include comments regarding the position you held in each project (i.e. writer, editor, actor, photographer, director, etc.).

Note: Please do not include original pieces of artwork, photography, etc. that you desire to have returned to you as we cannot be responsible for original materials. Instead of original pieces, we invite the applicant to submit film-related work on a flash drive or via internet links. Non-film related work (sculpture, paintings, etc.) may be photographed and the photographs submitted in place of the original item. Submitting pieces in this way will not affect the outcome of the admissions’ team decision.

Portfolios may be submitted in a variety of ways:


You may e-mail portfolio materials to the Admissions Office or submit them through the online portal.

Please use .pdf or .jpeg formats and clearly title each document in the following format: lastname_firstname_nameofapplicationcomponent (i.e. Essays, Film Related, etc.).

You also may send us links to online video materials using Vimeo or YouTube. Be sure that the admissions team is able to access the link.


(United States Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, or another carrier)

All media, including scripts and creative writing, may be submitted on a flash drive.

Note: Please be sure to confirm that all media is on the submitted flash drive and that it is clearly labeled with the applicant’s name. Also, remember that the applicant is required to submit comments regarding the position held on each project. This may be included as a document on the flash drive or on a separate sheet of paper accompanying the flash drive.

Admission takes place on a rolling basis until all spots are filled.  You are welcome to call us at 616.988.1000 to check on availability at any time.