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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 19, 2019

Title 34Subtitle BChapter VIPart 600 → Subpart A


Title 34: Education
PART 600—INSTITUTIONAL ELIGIBILITY UNDER THE HIGHER EDUCATION ACT OF 1965, AS AMENDED


Subpart A—General


Contents
§600.1   Scope.
§600.2   Definitions.
§600.3   [Reserved]
§600.4   Institution of higher education.
§600.5   Proprietary institution of higher education.
§600.6   Postsecondary vocational institution.
§600.7   Conditions of institutional ineligibility.
§600.8   Treatment of a branch campus.
§600.9   State authorization.
§600.10   Date, extent, duration, and consequence of eligibility.
§600.11   Special rules regarding institutional accreditation or preaccreditation.
§600.12   xxx

Source: 59 FR 22336, Apr. 29, 1994, unless otherwise noted.

§600.1   Scope.

This part establishes the rules and procedures that the Secretary uses to determine whether an educational institution qualifies in whole or in part as an eligible institution of higher education under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). An eligible institution of higher education may apply to participate in programs authorized by the HEA (HEA programs).

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1088, 1094, 1099b, 1099c, and 1141)

§600.2   Definitions.

Link to an amendment published at 84 FR 58914, Nov. 1, 2019.

The following definitions apply to terms used in this part:

Accredited: The status of public recognition that a nationally recognized accrediting agency grants to an institution or educational program that meets the agency's established requirements.

Award year: The period of time from July 1 of one year through June 30 of the following year.

Branch Campus: A location of an institution that is geographically apart and independent of the main campus of the institution. The Secretary considers a location of an institution to be independent of the main campus if the location—

(1) Is permanent in nature;

(2) Offers courses in educational programs leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential;

(3) Has its own faculty and administrative or supervisory organization; and

(4) Has its own budgetary and hiring authority.

Clock hour: A period of time consisting of—

(1) A 50- to 60-minute class, lecture, or recitation in a 60-minute period;

(2) A 50- to 60-minute faculty-supervised laboratory, shop training, or internship in a 60-minute period; or

(3) Sixty minutes of preparation in a correspondence course.

Correspondence course: (1) A course provided by an institution under which the institution provides instructional materials, by mail or electronic transmission, including examinations on the materials, to students who are separated from the instructor. Interaction between the instructor and student is limited, is not regular and substantive, and is primarily initiated by the student. Correspondence courses are typically self-paced.

(2) If a course is part correspondence and part residential training, the Secretary considers the course to be a correspondence course.

(3) A correspondence course is not distance education.

Credit hour: Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than—

(1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or

(2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Direct assessment program: A program as described in 34 CFR 668.10.

Distance education means education that uses one or more of the technologies listed in paragraphs (1) through (4) of this definition to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously. The technologies may include—

(1) The internet;

(2) One-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices;

(3) Audio conferencing; or

(4) Video cassettes, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, if the cassettes, DVDs, or CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this definition.

Educational program: (1) A legally authorized postsecondary program of organized instruction or study that:

(i) Leads to an academic, professional, or vocational degree, or certificate, or other recognized educational credential, or is a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program, as described in 34 CFR part 668, subpart O; and

(ii) May, in lieu of credit hours or clock hours as a measure of student learning, utilize direct assessment of student learning, or recognize the direct assessment of student learning by others, if such assessment is consistent with the accreditation of the institution or program utilizing the results of the assessment and with the provisions of §668.10.

(2) The Secretary does not consider that an institution provides an educational program if the institution does not provide instruction itself (including a course of independent study) but merely gives credit for one or more of the following: Instruction provided by other institutions or schools; examinations or direct assessments provided by agencies or organizations; or other accomplishments such as “life experience.”

Eligible institution: An institution that—

(1) Qualifies as—

(i) An institution of higher education, as defined in §600.4;

(ii) A proprietary institution of higher education, as defined in §600.5; or

(iii) A postsecondary vocational institution, as defined in §600.6; and

(2) Meets all the other applicable provisions of this part.

Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Programs: The loan programs (formerly called the Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL) programs) authorized by title IV-B of the HEA, including the Federal Stafford Loan, Federal PLUS, Federal Supplemental Loans for Students (Federal SLS), and Federal Consolidation Loan programs, in which lenders use their own funds to make loans to enable students or their parents to pay the costs of the students' attendance at eligible institutions. The Federal Stafford Loan, Federal PLUS, Federal SLS, and Federal Consolidation Loan programs are defined in 34 CFR part 668.

Incarcerated student: A student who is serving a criminal sentence in a Federal, State, or local penitentiary, prison, jail, reformatory, work farm, or other similar correctional institution. A student is not considered incarcerated if that student is in a half-way house or home detention or is sentenced to serve only weekends.

Legally authorized: The legal status granted to an institution through a charter, license, or other written document issued by the appropriate agency or official of the State in which the institution is physically located.

Nationally recognized accrediting agency: An agency or association that the Secretary recognizes as a reliable authority to determine the quality of education or training offered by an institution or a program offered by an institution. The Secretary recognizes these agencies and associations under the provisions of 34 CFR part 602 and publishes a list of the recognized agencies in the Federal Register.

Nonprofit institution: An institution that—

(1)(i) Is owned and operated by one or more nonprofit corporations or associations, no part of the net earnings of which benefits any private shareholder or individual;

(ii) Is legally authorized to operate as a nonprofit organization by each State in which it is physically located; and

(iii) Is determined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to be an organization to which contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)); or

(2) For a foreign institution—

(i) An institution that is owned and operated only by one or more nonprofit corporations or associations; and

(ii)(A) If a recognized tax authority of the institution's home country is recognized by the Secretary for purposes of making determinations of an institution's nonprofit status for title IV purposes, is determined by that tax authority to be a nonprofit educational institution; or

(B) If no recognized tax authority of the institution's home country is recognized by the Secretary for purposes of making determinations of an institution's nonprofit status for title IV purposes, the foreign institution demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that it is a nonprofit educational institution.

(3) Is determined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to be an organization to which contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)).

One-academic-year training program: An educational program that is at least one academic year as defined under 34 CFR 668.2.

Preaccredited: A status that a nationally recognized accrediting agency, recognized by the Secretary to grant that status, has accorded an unaccredited public or private nonprofit institution that is progressing toward accreditation within a reasonable period of time.

Recognized equivalent of a high school diploma: The following are the equivalent of a high school diploma—

(1) A General Education Development Certificate (GED);

(2) A State certificate received by a student after the student has passed a State-authorized examination that the State recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma;

(3) An academic transcript of a student who has successfully completed at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree; or

(4) For a person who is seeking enrollment in an educational program that leads to at least an associate degree or its equivalent and who has not completed high school but who excelled academically in high school, documentation that the student excelled academically in high school and has met the formalized, written policies of the institution for admitting such students.

Recognized occupation: An occupation that is—

(1) Identified by a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) or an Occupational Information Network O*Net-SOC code established by the Department of Labor, which is available at www.onetonline.org or its successor site; or

(2) Determined by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Labor to be a recognized occupation.

Regular student: A person who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential offered by that institution.

Secretary: The Secretary of the Department of Education or an official or employee of the Department of Education acting for the Secretary under a delegation of authority.

State: A State of the Union, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. The latter three are also known as the Freely Associated States.

State authorization reciprocity agreement: An agreement between two or more States that authorizes an institution located and legally authorized in a State covered by the agreement to provide postsecondary education through distance education or correspondence courses to students residing in other States covered by the agreement and does not prohibit any State in the agreement from enforcing its own statutes and regulations, whether general or specifically directed at all or a subgroup of educational institutions.

Teach-out plan: A written plan developed by an institution that provides for the equitable treatment of students if an institution, or an institutional location that provides 100 percent of at least one program, ceases to operate before all students have completed their program of study, and may include, if required by the institution's accrediting agency, a teach-out agreement between institutions.

Title IV, HEA program: Any of the student financial assistance programs listed in 34 CFR 668.1(c).

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001, 1002, 1071, et seq., 1078-2, 1088, 1091, 1094, 1099b, 1099c, 1141; 26 U.S.C. 501(c))

[59 FR 22336, Apr. 29, 1994, as amended at 63 FR 40622, July 29, 1998; 64 FR 58615, Oct. 29, 1999; 71 FR 45692, Aug. 9, 2006; 74 FR 55425, Oct. 27, 2009; 74 FR 55932, Oct. 29, 2009; 75 FR 66946, Oct. 29, 2010, 75 FR 67192, Nov. 1, 2010; 79 FR 65006, Oct. 31, 2014; 81 FR 92262, Dec. 19, 2016]

§600.3   [Reserved]

§600.4   Institution of higher education.

Link to an amendment published at 84 FR 58915, Nov. 1, 2019.

(a) An institution of higher education is a public or private nonprofit educational institution that—

(1) Is in a State, or for purposes of the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, and Federal TRIO programs may also be located in the Federated States of Micronesia or the Marshall Islands;

(2) Admits as regular students only persons who—

(i) Have a high school diploma;

(ii) Have the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma; or

(iii) Are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the State in which the institution is physically located;

(3) Is legally authorized to provide an educational program beyond secondary education in the State in which the institution is physically located in accordance with §600.9;

(4)(i) Provides an educational program—

(A) For which it awards an associate, baccalaureate, graduate, or professional degree;

(B) That is at least a two-academic-year program acceptable for full credit toward a baccalaureate degree; or

(C) That is at least a one academic year training program that leads to a certificate, or other nondegree recognized credential, and prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation; and

(ii) May provide a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program, as described in 34 CFR part 668, subpart O; and

(5) Is—

(i) Accredited or preaccredited; or

(ii) Approved by a State agency listed in the Federal Register in accordance with 34 CFR part 603, if the institution is a public postsecondary vocational educational institution that seeks to participate only in Federal student assistance programs.

(b) An institution is physically located in a State if it has a campus or other instructional site in that State.

(c) The Secretary does not recognize the accreditation or preaccreditation of an institution unless the institution agrees to submit any dispute involving the final denial, withdrawal, or termination of accreditation to initial arbitration before initiating any other legal action.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1091, 1094, 1099b, 1141(a))

[59 FR 22336, Apr. 29, 1994, as amended at 64 FR 58615, Oct. 29, 1999; 74 FR 55932, Oct. 29, 2009; 75 FR 66946, Oct. 29, 2010]

§600.5   Proprietary institution of higher education.

Link to an amendment published at 84 FR 58915, Nov. 1, 2019.

(a) A proprietary institution of higher education is an educational institution that—

(1) Is not a public or private nonprofit educational institution;

(2) Is in a State;

(3) Admits as regular students only persons who—

(i) Have a high school diploma;

(ii) Have the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma; or

(iii) Are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the State in which the institution is physically located;

(4) Is legally authorized to provide an educational program beyond secondary education in the State in which the institution is physically located in accordance with §600.9;

(5)(i)(A) Provides an eligible program of training, as defined in 34 CFR 668.8, to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation; or

(B)(1) Has provided a program leading to a baccalaureate degree in liberal arts, as defined in paragraph (e) of this section, continuously since January 1, 2009; and

(2) Is accredited by a recognized regional accrediting agency or association, and has continuously held such accreditation since October 1, 2007, or earlier; and

(ii) May provide a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program for students with intellectual disabilities, as provided in 34 CFR part 668, subpart O;

(6) Is accredited; and

(7) Has been in existence for at least two years.

(b)(1) The Secretary considers an institution to have been in existence for two years only if—

(i) The institution has been legally authorized to provide, and has provided, a continuous educational program to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation during the 24 months preceding the date of its eligibility application; and

(ii) The educational program that the institution provides on the date of its eligibility application is substantially the same in length and subject matter as the program that the institution provided during the 24 months preceding the date of its eligibility application.

(2)(i) The Secretary considers an institution to have provided a continuous educational program during the 24 months preceding the date of its eligibility application even if the institution did not provide that program during normal vacation periods, or periods when the institution temporarily closed due to a natural disaster that directly affected the institution or the institution's students.

(ii) The Secretary considers an institution to have satisfied the provisions of paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section if the institution substantially changed the subject matter of the educational program it provided during that 24-month period because of new technology or the requirements of other Federal agencies.

(3) In determining whether an applicant institution satisfies the requirement contained in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Secretary—

(i) Counts any period during which the applicant institution has been certified as a branch campus; and

(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section, does not count any period during which the applicant institution was a part of another eligible proprietary institution of higher education, postsecondary vocational institution, or vocational school.

(c) An institution is physically located in a State if it has a campus or other instructional site in that State.

(d) The Secretary does not recognize the accreditation of an institution unless the institution agrees to submit any dispute involving the final denial, withdrawal, or termination of accreditation to initial arbitration before initiating any other legal action.

(e) For purposes of this section, a “program leading to a baccalaureate degree in liberal arts” is a program that the institution's recognized regional accreditation agency or organization determines, is a general instructional program in the liberal arts subjects, the humanities disciplines, or the general curriculum, falling within one or more of the following generally-accepted instructional categories comprising such programs, but including only instruction in regular programs, and excluding independently-designed programs, individualized programs, and unstructured studies:

(1) A program that is a structured combination of the arts, biological and physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities, emphasizing breadth of study.

(2) An undifferentiated program that includes instruction in the general arts or general science.

(3) A program that focuses on combined studies and research in the humanities subjects as distinguished from the social and physical sciences, emphasizing languages, literatures, art, music, philosophy, and religion.

(4) Any single instructional program in liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities not listed in paragraph (e)(1) through (e)(3) of this section.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1845-0012)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1088, 1091)

[59 FR 22336, Apr. 29, 1994; 59 FR 32082, June 22, 1994, as amended at 59 FR 47801, Sept. 19, 1994; 59 FR 61177, Nov. 29, 1994; 61 FR 29901, June 12, 1996; 61 FR 60569, Nov. 29, 1996; 64 FR 58615, Oct. 29, 1999; 74 FR 55932, Oct. 29, 2009; 76 FR 66946, Oct. 29, 2010]

§600.6   Postsecondary vocational institution.

Link to an amendment published at 84 FR 58915, Nov. 1, 2019.

(a) A postsecondary vocational institution is a public or private nonprofit educational institution that—

(1) Is in a State;

(2) Admits as regular students only persons who—

(i) Have a high school diploma;

(ii) Have the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma; or

(iii) Are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the State in which the institution is physically located;

(3) Is legally authorized to provide an educational program beyond secondary education in the State in which the institution is physically located in accordance with §600.9;

(4)(i) Provides an eligible program of training, as defined in 34 CFR 668.8, to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation; and

(ii) May provide a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program for students with intellectual disabilities, as provided in 34 CFR part 668, subpart O;

(5) Is—

(i) Accredited or preaccredited; or

(ii) Approved by a State agency listed in the Federal Register in accordance with 34 CFR part 603, if the institution is a public postsecondary vocational educational institution that seeks to participate only in Federal assistance programs; and

(6) Has been in existence for at least two years.

(b)(1) The Secretary considers an institution to have been in existence for two years only if—

(i) The institution has been legally authorized to provide, and has provided, a continuous education or training program to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation during the 24 months preceding the date of its eligibility application; and

(ii) The education or training program it provides on the date of its eligibility application is substantially the same in length and subject matter as the program it provided during the 24 months preceding the date of its eligibility application.

(2)(i) The Secretary considers an institution to have provided a continuous education or training program during the 24 months preceding the date of its eligibility application even if the institution did not provide that program during normal vacation periods, or periods when the institution temporarily closed due to a natural disaster that affected the institution or the institution's students.

(ii) The Secretary considers an institution to have satisfied the provisions of paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section if the institution substantially changed the subject matter of the educational program it provided during that 24-month period because of new technology or the requirements of other Federal agencies.

(3) In determining whether an applicant institution satisfies the requirement contained in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Secretary—

(i) Counts any period during which the applicant institution qualified as an eligible institution of higher education;

(ii) Counts any period during which the applicant institution was part of another eligible institution of higher education, provided that the applicant institution continues to be part of an eligible institution of higher education;

(iii) Counts any period during which the applicant institution has been certified as a branch campus; and

(iv) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section, does not count any period during which the applicant institution was a part of another eligible proprietary institution of higher education or postsecondary vocational institution.

(c) An institution is physically located in a State or other instructional site if it has a campus or instructional site in that State.

(d) The Secretary does not recognize the accreditation or preaccreditation of an institution unless the institution agrees to submit any dispute involving the final denial, withdrawal, or termination of accreditation to initial arbitration before initiating any other legal action.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1088, 1091, 1094(c)(3))

[59 FR 22336, Apr. 29, 1994, as amended at 64 FR 58616, Oct. 29, 1999; 74 FR 55933, Oct. 29, 2009; 75 FR 66946, Oct. 29, 2010]

§600.7   Conditions of institutional ineligibility.

(a) General rule. For purposes of title IV of the HEA, an educational institution that otherwise satisfies the requirements contained in §§600.4, 600.5, or 600.6 nevertheless does not qualify as an eligible institution under this part if—

(1) For its latest complete award year—

(i) More than 50 percent of the institution's courses were correspondence courses as calculated under paragraph (b) of this section;

(ii) Fifty percent or more of the institution's regular enrolled students were enrolled in correspondence courses;

(iii) More than twenty-five percent of the institution's regular enrolled students were incarcerated;

(iv) More than fifty percent of its regular enrolled students had neither a high school diploma nor the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma, and the institution does not provide a four-year or two-year educational program for which it awards a bachelor's degree or an associate degree, respectively;

(2) The institution, or an affiliate of the institution that has the power, by contract or ownership interest, to direct or cause the direction of the management of policies of the institution—

(A) Files for relief in bankruptcy, or

(B) Has entered against it an order for relief in bankruptcy; or

(3) The institution, its owner, or its chief executive officer—

(i) Has pled guilty to, has pled nolo contendere to, or is found guilty of, a crime involving the acquisition, use, or expenditure of title IV, HEA program funds; or

(ii) Has been judicially determined to have committed fraud involving title IV, HEA program funds.

(b) Special provisions regarding correspondence courses and students—(1) Calculating the number of correspondence courses. For purposes of paragraphs (a)(1) (i) and (ii) of this section—

(i) A correspondence course may be a complete educational program offered by correspondence, or one course provided by correspondence in an on-campus (residential) educational program;

(ii) A course must be considered as being offered once during an award year regardless of the number of times it is offered during that year; and

(iii) A course that is offered both on campus and by correspondence must be considered two courses for the purpose of determining the total number of courses the institution provided during an award year.

(2) Exceptions. (i) The provisions contained in paragraphs (a)(1) (i) and (ii) of this section do not apply to an institution that qualifies as a “technical institute or vocational school used exclusively or principally for the provision of vocational education to individuals who have completed or left high school and who are available for study in preparation for entering the labor market” under section 3(3)(C) of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act of 1995.

(ii) The Secretary waives the limitation contained in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section for an institution that offers a 2-year associate-degree or a 4-year bachelor's-degree program if the students enrolled in the institution's correspondence courses receive no more than 5 percent of the title IV, HEA program funds received by students at that institution.

(c) Special provisions regarding incarcerated students—(1) Exception. The Secretary may waive the prohibition contained in paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section, upon the application of an institution, if the institution is a nonprofit institution that provides four-year or two-year educational programs for which it awards a bachelor's degree, an associate degree, or a postsecondary diploma.

(2) Waiver for entire institution. If the nonprofit institution that applies for a waiver consists solely of four-year or two-year educational programs for which it awards a bachelor's degree, an associate degree, or a postsecondary diploma, the Secretary waives the prohibition contained in paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section for the entire institution.

(3) Other waivers. If the nonprofit institution that applies for a waiver does not consist solely of four-year or two-year educational programs for which it awards a bachelor's degree, an associate degree, or a postsecondary diploma, the Secretary waives the prohibition contained in paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section—

(i) For the four-year and two-year programs for which it awards a bachelor's degree, an associate degree or a postsecondary diploma; and

(ii) For the other programs the institution provides, if the incarcerated regular students enrolled in those other programs have a completion rate of 50 percent or greater.

(d) Special provision for a nonprofit institution if more than 50 percent of its enrollment consists of students who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. (1) Subject to the provisions contained in paragraphs (d)(2) and (d)(3) of this section, the Secretary waives the limitation contained in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section for a nonprofit institution if that institution demonstrates to the Secretary's satisfaction that it exceeds that limitation because it serves, through contracts with Federal, State, or local government agencies, significant numbers of students who do not have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent.

(2) Number of critical students. The Secretary grants a waiver under paragraph (d)(1) of this section only if no more than 40 percent of the institution's enrollment of regular students consists of students who—

(i) Do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent; and

(ii) Are not served through contracts described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(3) Contracts with Federal, State, or local government agencies. For purposes of granting a waiver under paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the contracts referred to must be with Federal, State, or local government agencies for the purpose of providing job training to low-income individuals who are in need of that training. An example of such a contract is a job training contract under the Job Training Partnership Act (JPTA).

(e) Special provisions. (1) For purposes of paragraph (a)(1)of this section, when counting regular students, the institution shall—

(i) Count each regular student without regard to the full-time or part-time nature of the student's attendance (i.e., “head count” rather than “full-time equivalent”);

(ii) Count a regular student once regardless of the number of times the student enrolls during an award year; and

(iii) Determine the number of regular students who enrolled in the institution during the relevant award year by—

(A) Calculating the number of regular students who enrolled during that award year; and

(B) Excluding from the number of students in paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(A) of this section, the number of regular students who enrolled but subsequently withdrew or were expelled from the institution and were entitled to receive a 100 percent refund of their tuition and fees less any administrative fee that the institution is permitted to keep under its fair and equitable refund policy.

(2) For the purpose of calculating a completion rate under paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section, the institution shall—

(i) Determine the number of regular incarcerated students who enrolled in the other programs during the last completed award year;

(ii) Exclude from the number of regular incarcerated students determined in paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section, the number of those students who enrolled but subsequently withdrew or were expelled from the institution and were entitled to receive a 100 percent refund of their tuition and fees, less any administrative fee the institution is permitted to keep under the institution's fair and equitable refund policy;

(iii) Exclude from the total obtained in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section, the number of those regular incarcerated students who remained enrolled in the programs at the end of the applicable award year;

(iv) From the total obtained in paragraph (e)(2)(iii) of this section, determine the number of regular incarcerated students who received a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential awarded for successfully completing the program during the applicable award year; and

(v) Divide the total obtained in paragraph (e)(2)(iv) of this section by the total obtained in paragraph (e)(2)(iii) of this section and multiply by 100.

(f)(1) If the Secretary grants a waiver to an institution under this section, the waiver extends indefinitely provided that the institution satisfies the waiver requirements in each award year.

(2) If an institution fails to satisfy the waiver requirements for an award year, the institution becomes ineligible on June 30 of that award year.

(g)(1) For purposes of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, and any applicable waiver or exception under this section, the institution shall substantiate the required calculations by having the certified public accountant who prepares its audited financial statement under 34 CFR 668.15 or its title IV, HEA program compliance audit under 34 CFR 668.23 report on the accuracy of those determinations.

(2) The certified public accountant's report must be based on performing an “attestation engagement” in accordance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA's) Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements. The certified public accountant shall include that attestation report with or as part of the audit report referenced in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.

(3) The certified public accountant's attestation report must indicate whether the institution's determinations regarding paragraph (a)(1) of this section and any relevant waiver or exception under paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section are accurate; i.e., fairly presented in all material respects.

(h) Notice to the Secretary. An institution shall notify the Secretary—

(1) By July 31 following the end of an award year if it falls within one of the prohibitions contained in paragraph (a)(1)of this section, or fails to continue to satisfy a waiver or exception granted under this section; or

(2) Within 10 days if it falls within one of the prohibitions contained in paragraphs (a)(2) or (a)(3) of this section.

(i) Regaining eligibility. (1) If an institution loses its eligibility because of one of the prohibitions contained in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, to regain its eligibility, it must demonstrate—

(i) Compliance with all eligibility requirements;

(ii) That it did not fall within any of the prohibitions contained in paragraph (a)(1) of this section for at least one award year; and

(iii) That it changed its administrative policies and practices to ensure that it will not fall within any of the prohibitions contained in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(2) If an institution loses its eligibility because of one of the prohibitions contained in paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section, this loss is permanent. The institution's eligibility cannot be reinstated.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1840-0098)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1088)

[59 FR 22336, Apr. 29, 1994; 59 FR 32082, June 22, 1994, as amended at 59 FR 47801, Sept. 19, 1994; 60 FR 34430, June 30, 1995; 64 FR 58616, Oct. 29, 1999; 71 FR 45692, Aug. 9, 2006]

§600.8   Treatment of a branch campus.

A branch campus of an eligible proprietary institution of higher education or a postsecondary vocational institution must be in existence for at least two years as a branch campus after the branch is certified as a branch campus before seeking to be designated as a main campus or a free-standing institution.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1099c)

[64 FR 58616, Oct. 29, 1999, as amended at 67 FR 67070, Nov. 1, 2002]

§600.9   State authorization.

Link to an amendment published at 84 FR 58915, Nov. 1, 2019.

(a)(1) An institution described under §§600.4, 600.5, and 600.6 is legally authorized by a State if the State has a process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning the institution including enforcing applicable State laws, and the institution meets the provisions of paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (a)(1)(ii), or (b) of this section.

(i)(A) The institution is established by name as an educational institution by a State through a charter, statute, constitutional provision, or other action issued by an appropriate State agency or State entity and is authorized to operate educational programs beyond secondary education, including programs leading to a degree or certificate.

(B) The institution complies with any applicable State approval or licensure requirements, except that the State may exempt the institution from any State approval or licensure requirements based on the institution's accreditation by one or more accrediting agencies recognized by the Secretary or based upon the institution being in operation for at least 20 years.

(ii) If an institution is established by a State on the basis of an authorization to conduct business in the State or to operate as a nonprofit charitable organization, but not established by name as an educational institution under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, the institution—

(A) By name, must be approved or licensed by the State to offer programs beyond secondary education, including programs leading to a degree or certificate; and

(B) May not be exempt from the State's approval or licensure requirements based on accreditation, years in operation, or other comparable exemption.

(2) The Secretary considers an institution to meet the provisions of paragraph (a)(1) of this section if the institution is authorized by name to offer educational programs beyond secondary education by—

(i) The Federal Government; or

(ii) As defined in 25 U.S.C. 1802(2), an Indian tribe, provided that the institution is located on tribal lands and the tribal government has a process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning an institution and enforces applicable tribal requirements or laws.

(b)(1) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, an institution is considered to be legally authorized to operate educational programs beyond secondary education if it is exempt from State authorization as a religious institution under the State constitution or by State law.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a religious institution is an institution that—

(i) Is owned, controlled, operated, and maintained by a religious organization lawfully operating as a nonprofit religious corporation; and

(ii) Awards only religious degrees or certificates including, but not limited to, a certificate of Talmudic studies, an associate of Biblical studies, a bachelor of religious studies, a master of divinity, or a doctor of divinity.

(c)(1)(i) If an institution that meets the requirements under paragraph (a)(1) of this section offers postsecondary education through distance education or correspondence courses to students residing in a State in which the institution is not physically located or in which the institution is otherwise subject to that State's jurisdiction as determined by that State, except as provided in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, the institution must meet any of that State's requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance education or correspondence courses in that State. The institution must, upon request, document the State's approval to the Secretary; or

(ii) If an institution that meets the requirements under paragraph (a)(1) of this section offers postsecondary education through distance education or correspondence courses in a State that participates in a State authorization reciprocity agreement, and the institution is covered by such agreement, the institution is considered to meet State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance education or correspondence courses in that State, subject to any limitations in that agreement and to any additional requirements of that State. The institution must, upon request, document its coverage under such an agreement to the Secretary.

(2) If an institution that meets the requirements under paragraph (a)(1) of this section offers postsecondary education through distance education or correspondence courses to students residing in a State in which the institution is not physically located, for the institution to be considered legally authorized in that State, the institution must document that there is a State process for review and appropriate action on complaints from any of those enrolled students concerning the institution—

(i) In each State in which the institution's enrolled students reside; or

(ii) Through a State authorization reciprocity agreement which designates for this purpose either the State in which the institution's enrolled students reside or the State in which the institution's main campus is located.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001 and 1002)

[75 FR 66946, Oct. 29, 2010, as amended at 81 FR 92262, Dec. 19, 2016]

§600.10   Date, extent, duration, and consequence of eligibility.

Link to an amendment published at 84 FR 31452, July 1, 2019.

(a) Date of eligibility. (1) If the Secretary determines that an applicant institution satisfies all the statutory and regulatory eligibility requirements, the Secretary considers the institution to be an eligible institution as of the date—

(i) The Secretary signs the institution's program participation agreement described in 34 CFR part 668, subpart B, for purposes of participating in any title IV, HEA program; and

(ii) The Secretary receives all the information necessary to make that determination for purposes other than participating in any title IV, HEA program.

(2) [Reserved]

(b) Extent of eligibility. (1) If the Secretary determines that the entire applicant institution, including all its locations and all its educational programs, satisfies the applicable requirements of this part, the Secretary extends eligibility to all educational programs and locations identified on the institution's application for eligibility.

(2) If the Secretary determines that only certain educational programs or certain locations of an applicant institution satisfy the applicable requirements of this part, the Secretary extends eligibility only to those educational programs and locations that meet those requirements and identifies the eligible educational programs and locations in the eligibility notice sent to the institution under §600.21.

(3) Eligibility does not extend to any location that an institution establishes after it receives its eligibility designation if the institution provides at least 50 percent of an educational program at that location, unless—

(i) The Secretary approves that location under §600.20(e)(4); or

(ii) The location is licensed and accredited, the institution does not have to apply to the Secretary for approval of that location under §600.20(c), and the institution has reported to the Secretary that location under §600.21.

(c) Educational programs. (1) An eligible institution that seeks to establish the eligibility of an educational program must—

(i) For a gainful employment program under 34 CFR part 668, subpart Q of this chapter, update its application under §600.21, and meet any time restrictions that prohibit the institution from establishing or reestablishing the eligibility of the program as may be required under 34 CFR 668.414;

(ii) Pursuant to a requirement regarding additional programs included in the institution's program participation agreement under 34 CFR 668.14, obtain the Secretary's approval; and

(iii) For a direct assessment program under 34 CFR 668.10, and for a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program under 34 CFR 668.232, obtain the Secretary's approval.

(2) Except as provided under §600.20(c), an eligible institution does not have to obtain the Secretary's approval to establish the eligibility of any program that is not described in paragraph (c)(1)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this section.

(3) An institution must repay to the Secretary all HEA program funds received by the institution for an educational program, and all the title IV, HEA program funds received by or on behalf of students who enrolled in that program if the institution—

(i) Fails to comply with the requirements in paragraph (c)(1) of this section; or

(ii) Incorrectly determines that an educational program that is not subject to approval under paragraph (c)(1) of this section is an eligible program for title IV, HEA program purposes.

(d) Duration of eligibility. (1) If an institution participates in the title IV, HEA programs, the Secretary's designation of the institution as an eligible institution under the title IV, HEA programs expires when the institution's program participation agreement, as described in 34 CFR part 668, subpart B, expires.

(2) If an institution participates in an HEA program other than a title IV, HEA program, the Secretary's designation of the institution as an eligible institution, for purposes of that non-title IV, HEA program, does not expire as long as the institution continues to satisfy the statutory and regulatory requirements governing its eligibility.

(e) Consequence of eligibility. (1) If, as a part of its institutional eligibility application, an institution indicates that it wishes to participate in a title IV, HEA program and the Secretary determines that the institution satisfies the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements governing institutional eligibility, the Secretary will determine whether the institution satisfies the standards of administrative capability and financial responsibility contained in 34 CFR part 668, subpart B.

(2) If, as part of its institutional eligibility application, an institution indicates that it does not wish to participate in any title IV, HEA program and the Secretary determines that the institution satisfies the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements governing institutional eligibility, the institution is eligible to apply to participate in any HEA program listed by the Secretary in the eligibility notice it receives under §600.21. However, the institution is not eligible to participate in those programs, or receive funds under those programs, merely by virtue of its designation as an eligible institution under this part.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1845-0098)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001, 1002, 1088, 1094, and 1141)

[59 FR 22336, Apr. 29, 1994, as amended at 59 FR 47801, Sept. 19, 1994; 65 FR 65671, Nov. 1, 2000; 71 FR 45692, Aug. 9, 2006; 75 FR 66676, Oct. 29, 2010; 79 FR 65006, Oct. 31, 2014]

§600.11   Special rules regarding institutional accreditation or preaccreditation.

Link to an amendment published at 84 FR 58916, Nov. 1, 2019.

(a) Change of accrediting agencies. For purposes of §§600.4(a)(5)(i), 600.5(a)(6), and 600.6(a)(5)(i), the Secretary does not recognize the accreditation or preaccreditation of an otherwise eligible institution if that institution is in the process of changing its accrediting agency, unless the institution provides to the Secretary—

(1) All materials related to its prior accreditation or preaccreditation; and

(2) Materials demonstrating reasonable cause for changing its accrediting agency.

(b) Multiple accreditation. The Secretary does not recognize the accreditation or preaccreditation of an otherwise eligible institution if that institution is accredited or preaccredited as an institution by more than one accrediting agency, unless the institution—

(1) Provides to each such accrediting agency and the Secretary the reasons for that multiple accreditation or preaccreditation;

(2) Demonstrates to the Secretary reasonable cause for that multiple accreditation or preaccreditation; and

(3) Designates to the Secretary which agency's accreditation or preaccreditation the institution uses to establish its eligibility under this part.

(c) Loss of accreditation or preaccreditation. (1) An institution may not be considered eligible for 24 months after it has had its accreditation or preaccreditation withdrawn, revoked, or otherwise terminated for cause, unless the accrediting agency that took that action rescinds that action.

(2) An institution may not be considered eligible for 24 months after it has withdrawn voluntarily from its accreditation or preaccreditation status under a show-cause or suspension order issued by an accrediting agency, unless that agency rescinds its order.

(d) Religious exception. (1) If an otherwise eligible institution loses its accreditation or preaccreditation, the Secretary considers the institution to be accredited or preaccredited for purposes of complying with the provisions of §§600.4, 600.5, and 600.6 if the Secretary determines that its loss of accreditation or preaccreditation—

(i) Is related to the religious mission or affiliation of the institution; and

(ii) Is not related to its failure to satisfy the accrediting agency's standards.

(2) If the Secretary considers an unaccredited institution to be accredited or preaccredited under the provisions of paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the Secretary will consider that unaccredited institution to be accredited or preaccredited for a period sufficient to allow the institution to obtain alternative accreditation or preaccreditation, except that period may not exceed 18 months.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1099b)

§600.12   xxx

Link to an amendment published at 84 FR 58916, Nov. 1, 2019.

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