34 CFR 668.8 - Eligible program.

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§ 668.8 Eligible program.
(a) General. An eligible program is an educational program that—
(1) Is provided by a participating institution; and
(2) Satisfies the other relevant requirements contained in this section.
(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section—
(1) The Secretary considers the “equivalent of an associate degree” to be—
(i) An associate degree; or
(ii) The successful completion of at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree and qualifies a student for admission into the third year of a bachelor's degree program;
(2) A week is a consecutive seven-day period; and
(3)
(i) The Secretary considers that an institution provides one week of instructional time in an academic program during any week the institution provides at least one day of regularly scheduled instruction or examinations, or, after the last scheduled day of classes for a term or a payment period, at least one day of study for final examinations.
(ii) Instructional time does not include any vacation periods, homework, or periods of orientation or counseling.
(c) Institution of higher education. An eligible program provided by an institution of higher education must—
(1) Lead to an associate, bachelor's, professional, or graduate degree;
(2) Be at least a two-academic-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree; or
(3) Be 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.
(d) Proprietary institution of higher education and postsecondary vocational institution. An eligible program provided by a proprietary institution of higher education or postsecondary vocational institution—
(1)
(i) Must require a minimum of 15 weeks of instruction, beginning on the first day of classes and ending on the last day of classes or examinations;
(ii) Must be at least 600 clock hours, 16 semester or trimester hours, or 24 quarter hours;
(iii) Must provide undergraduate training that prepares a student for gainful employment in a recognized occupation; and
(iv) May admit as regular students persons who have not completed the equivalent of an associate degree;
(2) Must—
(i) Require a minimum of 10 weeks of instruction, beginning on the first day of classes and ending on the last day of classes or examinations;
(ii) Be at least 300 clock hours, 8 semester or trimester hours, or 12 quarter hours;
(iii) Provide training that prepares a student for gainful employment in a recognized occupation as provided under § 668.6; and
(iv)
(A) Be a graduate or professional program; or
(B) Admit as regular students only persons who have completed the equivalent of an associate degree;
(3) For purposes of the FFEL and Direct Loan programs only, must—
(i) Require a minimum of 10 weeks of instruction, beginning on the first day of classes and ending on the last day of classes or examinations;
(ii) Be at least 300 clock hours but less than 600 clock hours;
(iii) Provide undergraduate training that prepares a student for gainful employment in a recognized occupation as provided under § 668.6;
(iv) Admit as regular students some persons who have not completed the equivalent of an associate degree; and
(v) Satisfy the requirements of paragraph (e) of this section; or
(4) For purposes of a proprietary institution of higher education only, is a program leading to a baccalaureate degree in liberal arts, as defined in 34 CFR 600.5(e), that—
(i) Is provided by an institution that is accredited by a recognized regional accrediting agency or association, and has continuously held such accreditation since October 1, 2007, or earlier; and
(ii) The institution has provided continuously since January 1, 2009.
(e) Qualitative factors.
(1) An educational program that satisfies the requirements of paragraphs (d)(3)(i) through (iv) of this section qualifies as an eligible program only if—
(i) The program has a substantiated completion rate of at least 70 percent, as calculated under paragraph (f) of this section;
(ii) The program has a substantiated placement rate of at least 70 percent, as calculated under paragraph (g) of this section;
(iii) The number of clock hours provided in the program does not exceed by more than 50 percent the minimum number of clock hours required for training in the recognized occupation for which the program prepares students, as established by the State in which the program is offered, if the State has established such a requirement, or as established by any Federal agency; and
(iv) The program has been in existence for at least one year. The Secretary considers an educational program to have been in existence for at least one year only if an institution has been legally authorized to provide, and has continuously provided, the program during the 12 months (except for normal vacation periods and, at the discretion of the Secretary, periods when the institution closes due to a natural disaster that directly affects the institution or the institution's students) preceding the date on which the institution applied for eligibility for that program.
(2) An institution shall substantiate the calculation of its completion and placement rates by having the certified public accountant who prepares its audit report required under § 668.23 report on the institution's calculation based on performing an attestation engagement in accordance with the Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
(f) Calculation of completion rate. An institution shall calculate its completion rate for an educational program for any award year as follows:
(1) Determine the number of regular students who were enrolled in the program during the award year.
(2) Subtract from the number of students determined under paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the number of regular students who, during that award year, withdrew from, dropped out of, or were expelled from the program and were entitled to and actually received, in a timely manner a refund of 100 percent of their tuition and fees.
(3) Subtract from the total obtained under paragraph (f)(2) of this section the number of students who were enrolled in the program at the end of that award year.
(4) Determine the number of regular students who, during that award year, received within 150 percent of the published length of the educational program the degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential awarded for successfully completing the program.
(5) Divide the number determined under paragraph (f)(4) of this section by the total obtained under paragraph (f)(3) of this section.
(g) Calculation of placement rate.
(1) An institution shall calculate its placement rate for an educational program for any award year as follows:
(i) Determine the number of students who, during the award year, received the degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential awarded for successfully completing the program.
(ii) Of the total obtained under paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this section, determine the number of students who, within 180 days of the day they received their degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential, obtained gainful employment in the recognized occupation for which they were trained or in a related comparable recognized occupation and, on the date of this calculation, are employed, or have been employed, for at least 13 weeks following receipt of the credential from the institution.
(iii) Divide the number of students determined under paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this section by the total obtained under paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this section.
(2) An institution shall document that each student described in paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this section obtained gainful employment in the recognized occupation for which he or she was trained or in a related comparable recognized occupation. Examples of satisfactory documentation of a student's gainful employment include, but are not limited to—
(i) A written statement from the student's employer;
(ii) Signed copies of State or Federal income tax forms; and
(iii) Written evidence of payments of Social Security taxes.
(h) Eligibility for Federal Pell Grant, ACG, National SMART Grant, TEACH Grant, and FSEOG Programs. In addition to satisfying other relevant provisions of the section—
(1) An educational program qualifies as an eligible program for purposes of the Federal Pell Grant Program only if the educational program is an undergraduate program or a postbaccalaureate teacher certificate or licensing program as described in 34 CFR 690.6(c);
(2) An educational program qualifies as an eligible program for purposes of the ACG, National SMART Grant, and FSEOG programs only if the educational program is an undergraduate program; and
(3) An educational program qualifies as an eligible program for purposes of the TEACH Grant program if it satisfies the requirements of the definition of TEACH Grant-eligible program in 34 CFR 686.2(d).
(i) Flight training. In addition to satisfying other relevant provisions of this section, for a program of flight training to be an eligible program, it must have a current valid certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.
(j) English as a second language (ESL).
(1) In addition to satisfying the relevant provisions of this section, an educational program that consists solely of instruction in ESL qualifies as an eligible program if—
(i) The institution admits to the program only students who the institution determines need the ESL instruction to use already existing knowledge, training, or skills; and
(ii) The program leads to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential.
(2) An institution shall document its determination that ESL instruction is necessary to enable each student enrolled in its ESL program to use already existing knowledge, training, or skills with regard to the students that it admits to its ESL program under paragraph (j)(1)(i) of this section.
(3) An ESL program that qualifies as an eligible program under this paragraph is eligible for purposes of the Federal Pell Grant Program only.
(k) Undergraduate educational program in credit hours.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (k)(2) of this section, if an institution offers an undergraduate educational program in credit hours, the institution must use the formula contained in paragraph (l) of this section to determine whether that program satisfies the requirements contained in paragraph (c)(3) or (d) of this section, and the number of credit hours in that educational program for purposes of the title IV, HEA programs, unless—
(i) The program is at least two academic years in length and provides an associate degree, a bachelor's degree, a professional degree, or an equivalent degree as determined by the Secretary; or
(ii) Each course within the program is acceptable for full credit toward that institution's associate degree, bachelor's degree, professional degree, or equivalent degree as determined by the Secretary provided that—
(A) The institution's degree requires at least two academic years of study; and
(B) The institution demonstrates that students enroll in, and graduate from, the degree program.
(2) A program is considered to be a clock-hour program for purposes of the title IV, HEA programs if—
(i) Except as provided in paragraph (k)(3) of this section, a program is required to measure student progress in clock hours when—
(A) Receiving Federal or State approval or licensure to offer the program; or
(B) Completing clock hours is a requirement for graduates to apply for licensure or the authorization to practice the occupation that the student is intending to pursue;
(ii) The credit hours awarded for the program are not in compliance with the definition of a credit hour in 34 CFR 600.2; or
(iii) The institution does not provide the clock hours that are the basis for the credit hours awarded for the program or each course in the program and, except as provided in § 668.4(e), requires attendance in the clock hours that are the basis for the credit hours awarded.
(3) The requirements of paragraph (k)(2)(i) of this section do not apply to a program if there is a State or Federal approval or licensure requirement that a limited component of the program must include a practicum, internship, or clinical experience component of the program that must include a minimum number of clock hours.
(l) Formula.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (l)(2) of this section, for purposes of determining whether a program described in paragraph (k) of this section satisfies the requirements contained in paragraph (c)(3) or (d) of this section, and of determining the number of credit hours in that educational program with regard to the title IV, HEA programs—
(i) A semester hour must include at least 37.5 clock hours of instruction;
(ii) A trimester hour must include at least 37.5 clock hours of instruction; and
(iii) A quarter hour must include at least 25 clock hours of instruction.
(2) The institution's conversions to establish a minimum number of clock hours of instruction per credit may be less than those specified in paragraph (l)(1) of this section, if the institution's designated accrediting agency, or recognized State agency for the approval of public postsecondary vocational institutions, for participation in the title IV, HEA programs has not identified any deficiencies with the institution's policies and procedures, or their implementation, for determining the credit hours, as defined in 34 CFR 600.2, that the institution awards for programs and courses, in accordance with 34 CFR 602.24(f), or, if applicable, 34 CFR 603.24(c), so long as—
(i) The institution's student work outside of class combined with the clock-hours of instruction meet or exceed the numeric requirements in paragraph (l)(1) of this section; and
(ii)
(A) A semester hour must include at least 30 clock hours of instruction;
(B) A trimester hour must include at least 30 clock hours of instruction; and
(C) A quarter hour must include at least 20 hours of instruction.
(m) An otherwise eligible program that is offered in whole or in part through telecommunications is eligible for title IV, HEA program purposes if the program is offered by an institution, other than a foreign institution, that has been evaluated and is accredited for its effective delivery of distance education programs by an accrediting agency or association that—
(1) Is recognized by the Secretary under subpart 2 of part H of the HEA; and
(2) Has accreditation of distance education within the scope of its recognition.
(n) For Title IV, HEA program purposes, eligible program includes a direct assessment program approved by the Secretary under § 668.10 and a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program approved by the Secretary under § 668.232.
[59 FR 22421, Apr. 29, 1994]
Editorial Note:
For Federal Register citations affecting § 668.8, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

Title 34 published on 2014-07-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 34.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-12-04; vol. 79 # 233 - Thursday, December 4, 2014
    1. 79 FR 71957 - Program Integrity: Gainful Employment; Correction
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, 34 CFR Parts 600 and 668
      Final regulations; correction.
      Effective July 1, 2015.

Title 34 published on 2014-07-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 34 CFR 668 after this date.

  • 2014-12-04; vol. 79 # 233 - Thursday, December 4, 2014
    1. 79 FR 71957 - Program Integrity: Gainful Employment; Correction
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, 34 CFR Parts 600 and 668
      Final regulations; correction.
      Effective July 1, 2015.