INFORMATION ABOUT APPLYING FOR FIRST-TIME APPROVAL TO BE DESIGNATED AS AN ELIGIBLE INSTITUTION AND IF APPLICABLE, TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FEDERAL STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

Listed below are the minimum requirements that a postsecondary educational institution must meet in order to apply for eligibility. If the institution also wishes to participate in the Title IV programs, it must meet the financial responsibility standards and administrative capability requirements. We urge you to review the student financial assistance regulations regarding the requirements that must be satisfied before a school is approved to offer federal student aid. The applicable federal regulations are 34 CFR Parts 600 and 668.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  1. The school must be authorized by the State in which it is located to provide an educational program that is beyond secondary education.
  2. The school must admit as regular students only persons who have a high school diploma or equivalent, or are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the State where the school is located.
  3. The school must provide at least one eligible program that provides an Associate's degree or higher, or provides training to students for employment in a recognized occupation and is at least 300 clock hours and 10 weeks in program length.
  4. The school must be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Secretary of Education to accredit schools to participate in the Federal student aid programs.
  5. Three types of schools are recognized:
  6. Your school must have provided its eligible program for at least two years prior to applying if

Financial Responsibility

The school must be financially responsible. As part of the application process, the school must provide, for the two most recently completed full fiscal years, financial statements that are prepared according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and audited according to Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards.

Administrative Capability

The school must be administratively capable. This includes (but is not limited to) having:

If you believe you qualify and want to apply for approval, you must provide us with certain basic information. These questions are taken directly from the Application and are numbered the same way as they appear in the Application. Once you have completed answering these questions, you may fax them to your case management Division. Please note that the information you provide in response to these questions will be entered into our database and will come out on the Application. This will keep you from having to answer the questions more than once. We will then provide you with an OPEID number that will give you access to the electronic application so you can complete the rest of the Application via the Internet.

Click here to access the questions.

If you have any questions regarding initial eligibility, please contact the School Participation Division that serves your state. Click here to access the School Participation Divisions' phone and fax numbers.

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