Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
Major Changes by Chapter ............................................................................................. i

CHAPTER 1 —INSTITUTIONAL AND PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY ............2-1
The Three Definitions of Eligible Institutions ........................................................... 2-1
Institutional Control .................................................................................................... 2-1
Eligible Institution ...................................................................................................... 2-2
Legal Authorization by a State ................................................................................... 2-3
Accreditation .............................................................................................................. 2-3
Alternatives to accreditation ........................................................................................... 2-4
Changes in accreditation ................................................................................................. 2-4
Change in primary institution-wide accreditation ........................................................... 2-4
Accreditation by more than one institution-wide accrediting agency............................. 2-4
Primary accreditor ........................................................................................................... 2-5
Dual accreditation ........................................................................................................... 2-5

Admissions Standards................................................................................................. 2-5
High School Diploma ........................................................................................................... 2-5
Recognized Equivalent Of A High School Diploma ............................................................ 2-6
Home Schooled..................................................................................................................... 2-6

“Two-Year” Rule ........................................................................................................ 2-7
Additional Institutional Eligibility Factors ................................................................. 2-7
Demonstrations of compliance........................................................................................ 2-8
The 90/10 Rule ................................................................................................................ 2-9
The cash basis of accounting, Exclusions from fraction. FSA program funds for
institutional charges, Revenues, Time period covered
Correspondence course limitation ................................................................................. 2-12
Correspondence student limitation................................................................................ 2-12
Incarcerated student limitation ...................................................................................... 2-12
Ability-to-benefit limitation .......................................................................................... 2-13
Bankruptcy .................................................................................................................... 2-13
Crimes involving FSA program funds .......................................................................... 2-13

Program Eligibility Requirements ............................................................................ 2-13
Determination of program eligibility
......................................................... 2-14
Types of eligible programs at an institution of higher education .................................. 2-14
Types of eligible programs at a proprietary or postsecondary vocational institution ... 2-15
Exceptions to eligible program definition ..................................................................... 2-17

Weeks Of Instruction And The 12-hour Rule ........................................................... 2-17
Additional Eligibility Requirements ......................................................................... 2-18
ESL Programs ............................................................................................................... 2-19

Study abroad programs ................................................................................................. 2-19
Flight schools ................................................................................................................ 2-19

Clock Hour/Credit Hour Conversions ...................................................................... 2-20
Foreign Schools Eligible for FFEL Programs .......................................................... 2-23
Foreign Medical Schools .......................................................................................... 2-23
Criteria for determining whether a foreign veterinary school is eligible to apply to participate in the FFEL programs ...................................................................................... 2-24

Reporting Information on Foreign Sources .............................................................. 2-24

CHAPTER 2 — GENERAL PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS .............2-27
The Program Participation Agreement ..................................................................... 2-27
Purpose and scope of the PPA ....................................................................................... 2-27
PPA Requirements ......................................................................................................... 2-28
Voter Registration Required .......................................................................................... 2-31
GED preparatory program required .............................................................................. 2-32
Civil rights and privacy requirements ........................................................................... 2-32

Academic Calendars ................................................................................................. 2-32
Definition of a Payment Period ................................................................................ 2-33
Payment period for term-based credit hour programs .................................................. 2-34
Payment period for nonterm credit hour programs and clock hour programs .............. 2-34
Payment period for programs of an academic year or less ........................................... 2-35
Payment period for programs of multiples of an academic year .................................. 2-36
Programs longer than an academic year with a remainder ........................................... 2-37
Definition of coursework .............................................................................................. 2-38
More than two payment periods per academic year ..................................................... 2-38
Payment periods and the return of Title IV funds ......................................................... 2-39

Academic Year Requirements................................................................................... 2-39
Thirty-week minimum of instructional time ................................................................. 2-39
Determining academic year length ............................................................................... 2-39
Definition of a week of instructional time .................................................................... 2-39
12-hour rule and definition of an academic year .......................................................... 2-40
Reductions in academic year length.............................................................................. 2-40

Contracts with Third-Party Servicers ....................................................................... 2-41
Anti-Drug Abuse Requirements ............................................................................... 2-43
Anti-Lobbying Certification and Disclosure ............................................................ 2-45

CHAPTER 3 — ADMINISTRATIVE CAPABILITY ....................................2-47
Required Electronic Processes.................................................................................. 2-47
“IFAP — Information for Financial Aid Professionals” Web site ............................... 2-47
Submission of the Application to Participate (Recertification) through the Internet .... 2-49

Administrative Requirements for the Financial Aid Office ...................................... 2-49

Coordinating official ..................................................................................................... 2-49
Consistency of information ........................................................................................... 2-49
OIG Referrals ................................................................................................................ 2-50
Counseling .................................................................................................................... 2-50
Adequate staffing .......................................................................................................... 2-50
System of checks and balances ..................................................................................... 2-51

Satisfactory Academic Progress ............................................................................... 2-51
Financial Aid History................................................................................................ 2-52
Default Rates ............................................................................................................ 2-52
Withdrawal Rates ...................................................................................................... 2-53
Debarment And Suspension Certification ................................................................ 2-54

CHAPTER 4 — FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY........................................2-57
General Standards ..................................................................................................... 2-58
Proprietary or private nonprofit institution ................................................................... 2-58
Audit opinions and past performance, Composite score, Refund reserve standards,
Current in debt payments
Public schools ............................................................................................................... 2-63

Alternatives to the General Standards ...................................................................... 2-64
Letter of credit alternative for new school .................................................................... 2-64
Letter of credit alternative for participating school ...................................................... 2-64
Zone alternative............................................................................................................. 2-64
Provisional certification for school not meeting standards ........................................... 2-65
Provisional certification for school where persons or entities owe liabilities............... 2-66

Past performance and Affiliation Standards ............................................................. 2-67
Past performance of a school ........................................................................................ 2-67
Past performance of persons affiliated with a school.................................................... 2-68

Financial Statements ................................................................................................. 2-68
Foreign Schools ........................................................................................................ 2-69

CHAPTER 5 — CASH MANAGEMENT .....................................................2-71
Purpose of Cash Management Regulations .............................................................. 2-71
Requesting Funds ..................................................................................................... 2-72
The advance payment method....................................................................................... 2-72
The reimbursement method .......................................................................................... 2-72
Requesting loan funds from an FFEL lender, Limitations on use of FFEL funds
The cash monitoring payment method .......................................................................... 2-74
The just-in-time payment method ................................................................................. 2-75

GAPS ........................................................................................................................ 2-76
Maintaining and Accounting for Funds .................................................................... 2-77
Bank account notification requirements ....................................................................... 2-77

Interest-bearing or investment account ......................................................................... 2-77
Exceptions ..................................................................................................................... 2-78
Federal Perkins Loan Program participants .................................................................. 2-78
Accounting and financial requirements ........................................................................ 2-78

Disbursing Funds ...................................................................................................... 2-79
Definition of disbursed.................................................................................................. 2-79
Exceptions ..................................................................................................................... 2-79
Disbursement by crediting a student’s account ............................................................. 2-80

Time Frames To Disburse Loan Funds Or Return Them ........................................ 2-80
Time frames for disbursing FFEL funds received from lender ..................................... 2-81
Verification extension ................................................................................................... 2-81
Time frame for returning undisbursed FFEL loan funds .............................................. 2-81
Proration of loan fees for returned FFEL funds ............................................................ 2-82
Disbursing FSA funds directly ...................................................................................... 2-82

Disbursement by Payment Period............................................................................. 2-83
Excused Absences..................................................................................................... 2-83
Early Disbursements ................................................................................................. 2-84
Late Disbursements .................................................................................................. 2-85
FSA Credit Balances ................................................................................................. 2-86
Holding credit balances ................................................................................................. 2-88

Prior-year Charges .................................................................................................... 2-88
Required School Notifications.................................................................................. 2-89
Opportunity for loan cancellation ................................................................................. 2-89

Required Student Authorizations .............................................................................. 2-91
Using Electronic Processes for Authorizations and Notifications ............................ 2-93
The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act .............................. 2-93

Excess Cash .............................................................................................................. 2-94
Allowable excess cash tolerances ................................................................................. 2-94

CHAPTER 6 — RETURN OF TITLE IV FUNDS.........................................2-97
Withdrawals .............................................................................................................. 2-97
Worksheets and software............................................................................................... 2-98
General requirements .................................................................................................... 2-98
Definition of a Title IV recipient ................................................................................... 2-98
Verification .................................................................................................................... 2-99
Consumer information .................................................................................................. 2-99
Foreign schools ........................................................................................................... 2-100
Rounding ..................................................................................................................... 2-101
Date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew .............................. 2-101
Use of payment period or period of enrollment .......................................................... 2-102
Payment period, Period of enrollment, Applicability ...................................... 2-103

Step 1: Student’s Title IV Aid Information ............................................................. 2-104
Funds to include in the calculation, FSEOG program funds, LEAP program funds
2-104, Title IV aid disbursed, Title IV aid that could have been disbursed
Second or subsequent FFEL/DL disbursements, Effects of the 30-day delayed
disbursement requirement, Late arriving aid

Step 2: Percentage of Title IV Aid Earned.............................................................. 2-108
Withdrawal date .......................................................................................................... 2-108
Withdrawal date for a student who withdraws from a school that is required to
take attendance, Attendance requirements of outside entities, Documentation,
Determining a student’s withdrawal date at a school that is not required to take
attendance, Official notification, School’s withdrawal process, Otherwise provides
official notification, When a student triggers both dates, Official notification not
provided by the student, Time frame for the determination of a withdrawal date for
an unofficial withdrawal, Withdrawal without student notification due to,
circumstances beyond the student’s control, All other withdrawals without student
notification
When students fail to earn a passing grade in any of their classes ..............................2-115
Last date of attendance at an academically-related activity .........................................2-115
Withdrawals after rescission of official notification ....................................................2-116
Withdrawals from standard term-based programs ................................................................
using modules .........................................................................................................2-117
Leaves of absence ........................................................................................................2-118
Approved leaves of absence, Number of leaves of absence in a 12-month period,
Formal policy, Reasonable expectation of return, No additional charges, Does not
exceed 180 days in any 12-month period, Completion of coursework upon return,
Explanation of consequences of withdrawal to loan recipients, Unapproved leaves
of absence
Death of a student ....................................................................................................... 2-123
Percentage of payment period or period of enrollment completed ............................. 2-125
Credit-hour programs, Scheduled breaks, Clock-hour programs, Use of scheduled
hours, Excused absences

Step 3: Amount of Title IV Aid Earned by the Student .......................................... 2-128
Effects of a post-withdrawal reduction in charges ...................................................... 2-128

Step 4: Total Title IV Aid to be Disbursed or Returned.......................................... 2-129
Post-withdrawal disbursements................................................................................... 2-129
Crediting a student’s account ...................................................................................... 2-129
Notice to a student offering a post-withdrawal disbursement ..................................... 2-131
Disburse grant before loan .......................................................................................... 2-134
Title IV aid to be returned ........................................................................................... 2-134

Step 5: Amount of Unearned Title IV Aid Due From the School........................... 2-134
Aid disbursed to the student before institutional charges are paid.............................. 2-135

Institutional charges .................................................................................................... 2-135
Use of institutional charges in determining the school's responsibility for return,
Effects of waivers on institutional charges, January 7, 1999, policy bulletin, Institutional versus noninstitutional charges, Principle 1: Most costs are institutional
Principle 2: An institutional charge does not need to be assessed to all students,
Principle 3: Institutional charges may or may not be charged to a student's
account, General guidelines for defining institutional charges, Demonstrating a
real and reasonable opportunity, Book vouchers and institutional charges in the
return of Title IV funds calculation, Summary ................................................. 2-142

Step 6: Return of Funds by the School ................................................................... 2-143
Order of return of Title IV funds ................................................................................. 2-143
Time frame for the return of Title IV funds ................................................................ 2-144

Step 7: Initial Amount Of Unearned Title IV Aid Due From The Student ............. 2-144
Step 8: Return Of Funds By The Student ............................................................... 2-144
Grant Overpayments ............................................................................................... 2-145
When a student receives additional funds during the 45-day period of extended
eligibility, Student overpayments less than $25, Payments on a student’s behalf,
Recording reductions and student payments in the Pell System, Notifying the
Department, Reporting and referring overpayments, Summary, Accepting payments on referred overpayments
Calculating a Pell award when a student who owes an overpayment returns to a standard
term-based educational program in the same award year ..................................... 2-155
When a student loses eligibility at a former school while receiving aid at a second school
2-156

Sample Summary of the Requirements of 34 CFR 668.22 .................................... 2-158

CASE STUDIES............................................................................................2-161
Worksheet for Withdrawal from a Clock Hour Program ........................................ 2-205
Worksheet for Withdrawal from a Credit Hour Program ....................................... 2-207
Post-Withdrawal Disbursement Tracking Sheet ..................................................... 2-209
Format for Referral to ED Collections ................................................................... 2-210
Chart of Requirements and Deadlines for Return of Title IV Funds ...................... 2-211
Chart of Notification Requirements Associated with the Return of Title IV Funds ..... 2212
Chart of Withdrawal Dates for a School that is not Required to Take Attendance 2-211
Chart of Requirements and Deadlines for Return of Title IV Funds ...................... 2-211

CHAPTER 7 — CONSUMER INFORMATION .........................................2-215
Basic Consumer Information Requirements........................................................... 2-217
Financial Aid Information ...................................................................................... 2-217
General Information About The School ................................................................. 2-217
Consumer Information From The Department ....................................................... 2-219

Student Right-to-Know Disclosures ............................................................. 2-2192-220
Determining The Cohort For Completion Or Graduation And Transfer-out Rates 2-220
Standard-term schools ................................................................................................. 2-221
Nonstandard term or nonterm schools ........................................................................ 2-221
Definitions ................................................................................................................... 2-221

Waivers ................................................................................................................... 2-222
Reporting on Completion /Graduation Rates for General Student Body Cohort ... 2-222
Reporting Information on Completion or Graduation Rates for Student Athletes . 2-224
Equity in Athletics .................................................................................................. 2-228
Loan Counseling ..................................................................................................... 2-232
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Information .................................................. 2-233
Misrepresentation ................................................................................................... 2-234
Definition of misrepresentation, Nature of educational program, Nature of
financial charges, Employability of graduates

Campus Security ..................................................................................................... 2-236
General information, Distribution of the Campus Crime Report, Definition of
campus, Timely warning, Campus security authority, Professional and pastoral
counselors excluded from reporting requirements, Daily crime log, The annual
security report, Policies and procedures for reporting crimes, Complaints against
schools

FERPA .................................................................................................................... 2-245

Chart of Requirements for Institutional and Financial Assistance
Information for Students (continued) .......................................................2-248
CHAPTER 8 — RECORDKEEPING AND DISCLOSURE........................2-251
Required Records ................................................................................................... 2-251
Program Records a School Must Maintain ................................................................. 2-252

Fiscal Records......................................................................................................... 2-252
General Records ..................................................................................................... 2-253
Record Retention Periods ....................................................................................... 2-255
Record Maintenance ............................................................................................... 2-256
Acceptable formats ..................................................................................................... 2-256
Safeguarding electronic records .................................................................................. 2-257
Special requirements for SARs and ISIRs .................................................................. 2-258

Examination of Records ......................................................................................... 2-258
Location ...................................................................................................................... 2-258
Cooperation with agency representatives ................................................................... 2-258
Timely access .............................................................................................................. 2-259

Reasonable Access To Personnel ............................................................................ 2-259
FSA Recipient Information ..................................................................................... 2-259

Disclosing Student Information .............................................................................. 2-259
FERPA .................................................................................................................... 2-259
Disclosure requests for information ............................................................................ 2-262
Sample disclosure statement ....................................................................................... 2-262
Redisclosure to other authorized parties ..................................................................... 2-262

CHAPTER 9 — WRITTEN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN SCHOOLS ......2-265
Definitions .............................................................................................................. 2-265
Consortium Agreement ........................................................................................... 2-266
Contractual Agreement ........................................................................................... 2-267
Study Abroad or Domestic Exchange Programs .................................................... 2-268

CHAPTER 10 — APPLYING FOR AND MAINTAINING PARTICIPATION
IN THE FSA PROGRAMS ......................................................................... 271
Applying to Participate .............................................................................................. 271
Electronic application ..................................................................................................... 272

When to Complete an Application............................................................................. 274
A school seeking initial certification to participate in the FSA programs ...................... 274
Application process for schools seeking initial eligibility and participation .................. 275

Precertification Training Requirement ...................................................................... 276
Recertification ........................................................................................................... 276
A school seeking to be recertified to continue to participate in the FSA programs ........ 276
An eligible nonparticipating institution .......................................................................... 277

Reinstatement ............................................................................................................ 278
Change in Ownership of For-Profit and Nonprofit institutions ................................. 279
A school that undergoes a change in ownership that results in a change of control, structure, or governance .................................................................................................... 279
Change in controlling interest ......................................................................................... 279
Change in ownership for publicly traded corporations, Steps to be taken by
former owners, Steps to be taken by prospective owners, Accepting liabilities
and return of funds policy, Payments to eligible students, Preacquisition review
Temporary approval for continued participation on provisional certification
after change in ownership .......................................................................................... 283
Effect of cohort default requirements ............................................................................. 285
Audits and closeout procedures ...................................................................................... 285

PPA and ECAR .......................................................................................................... 286
Effective date for participation........................................................................................ 286
Changes at public institutions ......................................................................................... 286
Provisional certification .................................................................................................. 287
Revoking provisional certification .................................................................................. 288

Substantive Changes And How To Report Them ...................................................... 288
Changes requiring the Department’s written approval ................................................... 288

Changes not requiring the Department’s written approval ............................................. 290
All schools must report the following information to the Department ........................... 290
Foreign graduate medical schools only ........................................................................... 290

Adding Locations ...................................................................................................... 292
Eligibility of additional locations .................................................................................... 292
Reporting a new location ................................................................................................ 293
Applying for approval of a new location ........................................................................ 293

Adding Programs ....................................................................................................... 294
Changing from a Non-main Campus to a Branch Campus ....................................... 295
Disbursement Rules Related to Applications
for New Locations And Programs ........................................................................ 296
Changes in Accreditation ........................................................................................... 296
Notification of School Closure or Bankruptcy .......................................................... 297
Quality Assurance Program ....................................................................................... 298
FSA Assessment Tools ............................................................................................... 299
Quality Analysis Tool ................................................................................................ 300
Experimental Sites Initiative ..................................................................................... 301

CHAPTER 11 — PROGRAM INTEGRITY ................................................2-303
State and Accrediting Agency Roles ...................................................................... 2-303
State role ..................................................................................................................... 2-303
Accrediting agency role .............................................................................................. 2-303

The Department’s Role ........................................................................................... 2-305
Your Comments Are Important............................................................................... 2-305
Audit Requirements for Schools............................................................................. 2-306
Simultaneous audit submissions ................................................................................. 2-306

Types of Audit Guidelines ...................................................................................... 2-309
Submission Dates for FSA Audits ......................................................................... 2-310

Chart of Audit Submission Due Dates for 2001 and 2002 ............................ 2-311
Compliance Audit Submission Requirements ........................................................ 2-311
Financial Statements Audit Submission Requirements .......................................... 2-312
Consolidated Statements......................................................................................... 2-312
Required Disclosure Of 90/10 Finding ................................................................... 2-313
Audits For Foreign Schools .................................................................................... 2-313
Audits For Third-party Servicers ............................................................................ 2-313
Having The Audit Performed.................................................................................. 2-314
Submitting Audits ................................................................................................... 2-314
Access To Records .................................................................................................. 2-315
Program Reviews .................................................................................................... 2-316

Guaranty Agency Reviews ..................................................................................... 2-318
Appealing Audit and Program Review Determinations ......................................... 2-318
Requirements When a School Ceases to be an Eligible Institution ........................ 2-319
Loss of accreditation ............................................................................................... 2-319
Exceptions .............................................................................................................. 2-319
Requirements When a School’s FSA Participation Ends ....................................... 2-320
Voluntary Withdrawal from FSA Participation....................................................... 2-320
Involuntary Withdrawal from FSA Participation.................................................... 2-321
When participation ends.............................................................................................. 2-321
Additional closeout procedures ................................................................................... 2-322

Case Management................................................................................................... 2-323
Corrective Actions and Sanctions ........................................................................... 2-324
Administrative subpoena authority ............................................................................. 2-324
Sanctions ..................................................................................................................... 2-324
Actions due to program violations or misrepresentation ............................................ 2-325
Emergency action ........................................................................................................ 2-325
Fine.............................................................................................................................. 2-325
Limitation .................................................................................................................... 2-326
Suspension .................................................................................................................. 2-326
Termination ................................................................................................................. 2-326
Corrective action ......................................................................................................... 2-326

Possibility of Reinstatement ................................................................................... 2-326
Criminal Penalties................................................................................................... 2-327
Chart of Case Management Teams ......................................................................... 2-328

CHAPTER 12 — DISTANCE EDUCATION...............................................2-329
Correspondence and Telecommunications Courses ............................................... 2-330
Definitions ................................................................................................................... 2-330
What is a correspondence course? What is a telecommunications course?

The Effects of Correspondence And Telecommunications Courses on
Institutional Eligibility....................................................................................... 2-331
Basic Principles ...................................................................................................... 2-331
The Consequences of the 50% Rule for Three Types of Eligible Institutions ........ 2-334
1. Eligible institutions that provide certificate programs but do not provide degree
programs ...................................................................................................... 2-334
2. Eligible institutions that provide educational certificate and degree programs
where the number of degree programs was less than 50% of the institution's
total number of education programs in its latest award year ................................. 2-335
3. Eligible institutions that provide educational certificate programs and degree
programs where the number of degree programs was at least 50% of the
institution's total number of education programs in its latest award year ............. 2-336

Student Eligibility ................................................................................................... 2-338
Are There Any Limits on a Student’s Eligibility for FSA
Program Funds for Attendance in Correspondence Courses? ........................... 2-338
Are There Any Limits on a Student’s Eligibility for FSA Program
Funds for Attendance in a Telecommunications Program? ............................... 2-339
Cost Of Attendance ................................................................................................. 2-339
Federal Pell Grant Program and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
(FSEOG) Program disbursements ..................................................................... 2-339
FSEOG Program ......................................................................................................... 2-339
Federal Pell Grant Program......................................................................................... 2-340
Miscellaneous questions and answers ......................................................................... 2-340

Distance Education Demonstration Program ......................................................... 2-341
Purpose of the Demonstration Program ...................................................................... 2-341
Waivers of FSA program requirements for participating schools ............................... 2-341
Selection of participants .............................................................................................. 2-342
Eligible applicants ....................................................................................................... 2-342
Evaluation of the Demonstration Program.................................................................. 2-343
Oversight ..................................................................................................................... 2-343