Posted Date: August 22, 2011

Author:  David Bergeron, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Innovation, Office of Postsecondary Education

Subject: State Authorization - Documentation of One-Year Extensions of Effective Date

This Electronic Announcement provides guidance regarding documentation of the one-year extensions of the effective date of the regulations at 34 CFR 600.9(a) and (b), which set forth the requirements for an institution of higher education, a proprietary institution of higher education, and a postsecondary vocational institution to be considered legally authorized by a State. As noted in the preamble to the program integrity final regulations that were published on October 29, 2010, while the Secretary has designated §600.9(a) and (b) as being effective July 1, 2011, a State may be unable to provide the appropriate State authorizations to its institutions by that date. The final regulations provide that institutions unable to obtain State authorization may receive a one-year extension of the effective date of the regulations to July 1, 2012, and if necessary, an additional one-year extension to July 1, 2013.

To receive an extension of the effective date to July 1, 2012, an institution must obtain from the State a written explanation of how the one-year extension will permit the State to modify its procedures so that the institution is able to comply with §600.9. The written explanation obtained from the State may apply to multiple institutions within that State or be specific to the institution requesting a one-year extension. If the institution subsequently needs an additional one-year extension to July 1, 2013, the institution must obtain from the State a further written explanation of how this additional one-year extension will permit the State to modify its procedures so that the institution can comply with §600.9. A delay in an institution obtaining any necessary authorizations or approvals in accordance with §600.9(a) and (b) due to an increase in a State’s workload associated with the new regulatory requirements would be an example of an acceptable basis for a one-year extension.

The Department is not establishing a process under which an institution must submit to the Department a request for an extension nor the written explanation from the State to the institution. Institutions should not submit requests for extension or documentation of the one-year extensions to the Department. Rather, institutions should maintain documentation demonstrating that the institution qualifies for each extension and be able to produce the State’s written explanation for each extension upon request. The Department may request this information when an institution is seeking certification or recertification or if a question arises due to a complaint, program review or audit.

Questions regarding documentation of the one-year extensions should be directed to Sophia McArdle, telephone: (202) 219-7078, email: sophia.mcardle@ed.gov.

   

End of Page