Posted Date: May 20, 2015

Author:  Jeff Baker, Director, Policy Liaison and Implementation, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #53 - What is a Gainful Employment (GE) Program?

In Electronic Announcements on June 24, 2011 and July 8, 2011, we provided institutions with guidance on how to determine if an educational program offered is a Gainful Employment (GE) Program. If an educational program is a GE Program, it is subject to the requirements of the October 31, 2014 GE final regulations that go into effect July 1, 2015. The purpose of this Electronic Announcement is to remind institutions of the earlier guidance and to provide additional information on GE Program identification.

Programs Offered by For-Profit Institutions - All educational programs offered by for-profit (proprietary) institutions are GE Programs with the following three exceptions:

  • Preparatory coursework necessary for enrollment in a Title IV eligible program [34 CFR 668.32(a)(1)(ii)];

  • Approved Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for students with intellectual disabilities [34 CFR 668.231]; and

  • A limited number of bachelor degree programs in liberal arts if the institution has been regionally accredited since October 2007 and the program has been offered by the institution since January 2009 [34 CFR 600.5(a)(5)(i)(B)].

Programs Offered by Public and Private Non-Profit Institutions - All non-degree educational programs offered by public or private non-profit institutions are GE Programs with the following four exceptions:

  • Programs of at least two years in length designed to be fully transferable to a bachelor’s degree program where the institution does not confer a credential upon completion of the coursework [34 CFR 668.8(b)(1)(ii)];

  • Approved Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for students with intellectual disabilities [34 CFR 668.231];

  • Preparatory coursework necessary for enrollment in an eligible program [34 CFR 668.32(a)(1)(ii)]; and

  • Teacher certification programs where the institution does not award a credential [34 CFR 668.32(a)(1)(iii)].

Embedded Programs - We are aware that some public and non-profit institutions offer degree programs where students may also be awarded a non-degree credential (e.g., certificate, diploma) after completing a portion of the degree program. Such programs are not GE Programs as long as a significant number of the students enrolled in the program actually earn the degree rather than withdrawing after obtaining the certificate. If a significant number of the students enrolled in the program do not earn the degree, all of the students are considered to be enrolled in a non-degree program, that is, a GE Program.

Concurrent Enrollment - Any student who is concurrently enrolled in a non-degree program while also enrolled in a degree program must be included as an enrolled student in that non-degree program for purposes of GE reporting and in the calculation of information for disclosures.

Additional information, including updates, related to Gainful Employment is available on the Gainful Employment Information Page on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website at ifap.ed.gov.

   

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