34 CFR § 668.14 - Program participation agreement.
(1) An institution may participate in any Title IV, HEA program, other than the LEAP and NEISP programs, only if the institution enters into a written program participation agreement with the Secretary, on a form approved by the Secretary. A program participation agreement conditions the initial and continued participation of an eligible institution in any Title IV, HEA program upon compliance with the provisions of this part, the individual program regulations, and any additional conditions specified in the program participation agreement that the Secretary requires the institution to meet.
(2) An institution's program participation agreement applies to each branch campus and other location of the institution that meets the applicable requirements of this part unless otherwise specified by the Secretary.
(b) By entering into a program participation agreement, an institution agrees that -
(1) It will comply with all statutory provisions of or applicable to Title IV of the HEA, all applicable regulatory provisions prescribed under that statutory authority, and all applicable special arrangements, agreements, and limitations entered into under the authority of statutes applicable to Title IV of the HEA, including the requirement that the institution will use funds it receives under any Title IV, HEA program and any interest or other earnings thereon, solely for the purposes specified in and in accordance with that program;
(2) As a fiduciary responsible for administering Federal funds, if the institution is permitted to request funds under a Title IV, HEA program advance payment method, the institution will time its requests for funds under the program to meet the institution's immediate Title IV, HEA program needs;
(3) It will not request from or charge any student a fee for processing or handling any application, form, or data required to determine a student's eligibility for, and amount of, Title IV, HEA program assistance;
(4) It will establish and maintain such administrative and fiscal procedures and records as may be necessary to ensure proper and efficient administration of funds received from the Secretary or from students under the Title IV, HEA programs, together with assurances that the institution will provide, upon request and in a timely manner, information relating to the administrative capability and financial responsibility of the institution to -
(i) The Secretary;
(ii) A guaranty agency, as defined in 34 CFR part 682, that guarantees loans made under the Federal Stafford Loan and Federal PLUS programs for attendance at the institution or any of the institution's branch campuses or other locations;
(iii) The nationally recognized accrediting agency that accredits or preaccredits the institution or any of the institution's branch campuses, other locations, or educational programs;
(iv) The State agency that legally authorizes the institution and any branch campus or other location of the institution to provide postsecondary education; and
(v) In the case of a public postsecondary vocational educational institution that is approved by a State agency recognized for the approval of public postsecondary vocational education, that State agency;
(5) It will comply with the provisions of § 668.15 relating to factors of financial responsibility;
(6) It will comply with the provisions of § 668.16 relating to standards of administrative capability;
(7) It will submit reports to the Secretary and, in the case of an institution participating in the Federal Stafford Loan, Federal PLUS, or the Federal Perkins Loan Program, to holders of loans made to the institution's students under that program at such times and containing such information as the Secretary may reasonably require to carry out the purpose of the Title IV, HEA programs;
(8) It will not provide any statement to any student or certification to any lender in the case of an FFEL Program loan, or origination record to the Secretary in the case of a Direct Loan Program loan that qualifies the student or parent for a loan or loans in excess of the amount that the student or parent is eligible to borrow in accordance with sections 425(a), 428(a)(2), 428(b)(1)(A) and (B), 428B, 428H, and 455(a) of the HEA;
(9) It will comply with the requirements of subpart D of this part concerning institutional and financial assistance information for students and prospective students;
(10) In the case of an institution that advertises job placement rates as a means of attracting students to enroll in the institution, the institution will make available to prospective students, at or before the time that those students apply for enrollment -
(i) The most recent available data concerning employment statistics, graduation statistics, and any other information necessary to substantiate the truthfulness of the advertisements; and
(ii) Relevant State licensing requirements of the State in which the institution is located for any job for which the course of instruction is designed to prepare such prospective students, as provided in § 668.43(a)(5)(v);
(11) In the case of an institution participating in the FFEL program, the institution will inform all eligible borrowers, as defined in 34 CFR part 682, enrolled in the institution about the availability and eligibility of those borrowers for State grant assistance from the State in which the institution is located, and will inform borrowers from another State of the source of further information concerning State grant assistance from that State;
(12) It will provide the certifications described in paragraph (c) of this section;
(13) In the case of an institution whose students receive financial assistance pursuant to section 484(d) of the HEA, the institution will make available to those students a program proven successful in assisting students in obtaining the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma;
(14) It will not deny any form of Federal financial aid to any eligible student solely on the grounds that the student is participating in a program of study abroad approved for credit by the institution;
(i) Except as provided under paragraph (b)(15)(ii) of this section, the institution will use a default management plan approved by the Secretary with regard to its administration of the FFEL or Direct Loan programs, or both for at least the first two years of its participation in those programs, if the institution -
(A) Is participating in the FFEL or Direct Loan programs for the first time; or
(B) Is an institution that has undergone a change of ownership that results in a change in control and is participating in the FFEL or Direct Loan programs.
(ii) The institution does not have to use an approved default management plan if -
(A) The institution, including its main campus and any branch campus, does not have a cohort default rate in excess of 10 percent; and
(B) The owner of the institution does not own and has not owned any other institution that had a cohort default rate in excess of 10 percent while that owner owned the institution.
(16) For a proprietary institution, the institution will derive at least 10 percent of its revenues for each fiscal year from sources other than Title IV, HEA program funds, as provided in § 668.28(a) and (b), or be subject to sanctions described in § 668.28(c);
(17) The Secretary, guaranty agencies and lenders as defined in 34 CFR part 682, nationally recognized accrediting agencies, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, State agencies recognized under 34 CFR part 603 for the approval of public postsecondary vocational education, and State agencies that legally authorize institutions and branch campuses or other locations of institutions to provide postsecondary education, have the authority to share with each other any information pertaining to the institution's eligibility for or participation in the Title IV, HEA programs or any information on fraud and abuse;
(18) It will not knowingly -
(i) Employ in a capacity that involves the administration of the Title IV, HEA programs or the receipt of funds under those programs, an individual who has been convicted of, or has pled nolo contendere or guilty to, a crime involving the acquisition, use, or expenditure of Federal, State, or local government funds, or has been administratively or judicially determined to have committed fraud or any other material violation of law involving Federal, State, or local government funds;
(ii) Contract with an institution or third-party servicer that has been terminated under section 432 of the HEA for a reason involving the acquisition, use, or expenditure of Federal, State, or local government funds, or that has been administratively or judicially determined to have committed fraud or any other material violation of law involving Federal, State, or local government funds; or
(iii) Contract with or employ any individual, agency, or organization that has been, or whose officers or employees have been -
(A) Convicted of, or pled nolo contendere or guilty to, a crime involving the acquisition, use, or expenditure of Federal, State, or local government funds; or
(B) Administratively or judicially determined to have committed fraud or any other material violation of law involving Federal, State, or local government funds;
(19) It will complete, in a timely manner and to the satisfaction of the Secretary, surveys conducted as a part of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) or any other Federal collection effort, as designated by the Secretary, regarding data on postsecondary institutions;
(20) In the case of an institution that is co-educational and has an intercollegiate athletic program, it will comply with the provisions of § 668.48;
(21) It will not impose any penalty, including, but not limited to, the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that the student borrow additional funds for which interest or other charges are assessed, on any student because of the student's inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution as a result of the delayed disbursement of the proceeds of a Title IV, HEA program loan due to compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements of or applicable to the Title IV, HEA programs, or delays attributable to the institution;
(i) It will not provide any commission, bonus, or other incentive payment based in any part, directly or indirectly, upon success in securing enrollments or the award of financial aid, to any person or entity who is engaged in any student recruitment or admission activity, or in making decisions regarding the award of title IV, HEA program funds.
(A) The restrictions in paragraph (b)(22) of this section do not apply to the recruitment of foreign students residing in foreign countries who are not eligible to receive Federal student assistance.
(B) For the purpose of paragraph (b)(22) of this section, an employee who receives multiple adjustments to compensation in a calendar year and is engaged in any student enrollment or admission activity or in making decisions regarding the award of title IV, HEA program funds is considered to have received such adjustments based upon success in securing enrollments or the award of financial aid if those adjustments create compensation that is based in any part, directly or indirectly, upon success in securing enrollments or the award of financial aid.
(ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(22)(i) of this section, eligible institutions, organizations that are contractors to eligible institutions, and other entities may make -
(A) Merit-based adjustments to employee compensation provided that such adjustments are not based in any part, directly or indirectly, upon success in securing enrollments or the award of financial aid; and
(B) Profit-sharing payments so long as such payments are not provided to any person or entity engaged in student recruitment or admission activity or in making decisions regarding the award of title IV, HEA program funds.
(iii) As used in paragraph (b)(22) of this section,
(A) Commission, bonus, or other incentive payment means a sum of money or something of value, other than a fixed salary or wages, paid to or given to a person or an entity for services rendered.
(B) Securing enrollments or the award of financial aid means activities that a person or entity engages in at any point in time through completion of an educational program for the purpose of the admission or matriculation of students for any period of time or the award of financial aid to students.
(1) These activities include contact in any form with a prospective student, such as, but not limited to - contact through preadmission or advising activities, scheduling an appointment to visit the enrollment office or any other office of the institution, attendance at such an appointment, or involvement in a prospective student's signing of an enrollment agreement or financial aid application.
(2) These activities do not include making a payment to a third party for the provision of student contact information for prospective students provided that such payment is not based on -
(i) Any additional conduct or action by the third party or the prospective students, such as participation in preadmission or advising activities, scheduling an appointment to visit the enrollment office or any other office of the institution or attendance at such an appointment, or the signing, or being involved in the signing, of a prospective student's enrollment agreement or financial aid application; or
(ii) The number of students (calculated at any point in time of an educational program) who apply for enrollment, are awarded financial aid, or are enrolled for any period of time, including through completion of an educational program.
(C) Entity or person engaged in any student recruitment or admission activity or in making decisions about the award of financial aid means -
(1) With respect to an entity engaged in any student recruitment or admission activity or in making decisions about the award of financial aid, any institution or organization that undertakes the recruiting or the admitting of students or that makes decisions about and awards title IV, HEA program funds; and
(2) With respect to a person engaged in any student recruitment or admission activity or in making decisions about the award of financial aid, any employee who undertakes recruiting or admitting of students or who makes decisions about and awards title IV, HEA program funds, and any higher level employee with responsibility for recruitment or admission of students, or making decisions about awarding title IV, HEA program funds.
(D) Enrollment means the admission or matriculation of a student into an eligible institution.
(23) It will meet the requirements established pursuant to part H of Title IV of the HEA by the Secretary and nationally recognized accrediting agencies;
(24) It will comply with the requirements of § 668.22;
(25) It is liable for all -
(i) Improperly spent or unspent funds received under the Title IV, HEA programs, including any funds administered by a third-party servicer; and
(ii) Returns of title IV, HEA program funds that the institution or its servicer may be required to make;
(26) If an educational program offered by the institution is required to prepare a student for gainful employment in a recognized occupation, the institution must -
(i) Demonstrate a reasonable relationship between the length of the program and entry level requirements for the recognized occupation for which the program prepares the student. The Secretary considers the relationship to be reasonable if the number of clock hours provided in the program does not exceed the greater of -
(A) One hundred and fifty percent of the minimum number of clock hours required for training in the recognized occupation for which the program prepares the student, as established by the State in which the institution is located, if the State has established such a requirement, or as established by any Federal agency; or
(B) The minimum number of clock hours required for training in the recognized occupation for which the program prepares the student as established in a State adjacent to the State in which the institution is located; and
(ii) Establish the need for the training for the student to obtain employment in the recognized occupation for which the program prepares the student;
(27) In the case of an institution participating in a Title IV, HEA loan program, the institution -
(i) Will develop, publish, administer, and enforce a code of conduct with respect to loans made, insured or guaranteed under the Title IV, HEA loan programs in accordance with 34 CFR 601.21; and
(ii) Must inform its officers, employees, and agents with responsibilities with respect to loans made, insured or guaranteed under the Title IV, HEA loan programs annually of the provisions of the code required under paragraph (b)(27) of this section;
(28) For any year in which the institution has a preferred lender arrangement (as defined in 34 CFR 601.2(b)), it will at least annually compile, maintain, and make available for students attending the institution, and the families of such students, a list in print or other medium, of the specific lenders for loans made, insured, or guaranteed under title IV of the HEA or private education loans that the institution recommends, promotes, or endorses in accordance with such preferred lender arrangement. In making such a list, the institution must comply with the requirements in 34 CFR 682.212(h) and 34 CFR 601.10;
(i) It will, upon the request of an enrolled or admitted student who is an applicant for a private education loan (as defined in 34 CFR 601.2(b)), provide to the applicant the self-certification form required under 34 CFR 601.11(d) and the information required to complete the form, to the extent the institution possesses such information, including -
(A) The applicant's cost of attendance at the institution, as determined by the institution under part F of title IV of the HEA;
(B) The applicant's estimated financial assistance, including amounts of financial assistance used to replace the expected family contribution as determined by the institution in accordance with title IV, for students who have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid; and
(C) The difference between the amounts under paragraphs (b)(29)(i)(A) and (29)(i)(B) of this section, as applicable.
(ii) It will, upon the request of the applicant, discuss with the applicant the availability of Federal, State, and institutional student financial aid;
(30) The institution -
(i) Has developed and implemented written plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institution's network, without unduly interfering with educational and research use of the network, that include -
(A) The use of one or more technology-based deterrents;
(B) Mechanisms for educating and informing its community about appropriate versus inappropriate use of copyrighted material, including that described in § 668.43(a)(10);
(D) Procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by users of the institution's network using relevant assessment criteria. No particular technology measures are favored or required for inclusion in an institution's plans, and each institution retains the authority to determine what its particular plans for compliance with paragraph (b)(30) of this section will be, including those that prohibit content monitoring; and
(ii) Will, in consultation with the chief technology officer or other designated officer of the institution -
(A) Periodically review the legal alternatives for downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material;
(B) Make available the results of the review in paragraph (b)(30)(ii)(A) of this section to its students through a Web site or other means; and
(C) To the extent practicable, offer legal alternatives for downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material, as determined by the institution; and
(31) The institution will submit a teach-out plan to its accrediting agency in compliance with 34 CFR 602.24(c) and the standards of the institution's accrediting agency. The institution will update its teach-out plan upon the occurrence of any of the following events:
(i) The Secretary initiates the limitation, suspension, or termination of the participation of an institution in any Title IV, HEA program under 34 CFR 600.41 or subpart G of this part or initiates an emergency action under § 668.83.
(ii) The institution's accrediting agency acts to withdraw, terminate, or suspend the accreditation or preaccreditation of the institution.
(iii) The institution's State licensing or authorizing agency revokes the institution's license or legal authorization to provide an educational program.
(iv) The institution intends to close a location that provides 100 percent of at least one program.
(v) The institution otherwise intends to cease operations.
(c) In order to participate in any Title IV, HEA program (other than the LEAP and NEISP programs), the institution must certify that it -
(1) Has in operation a drug abuse prevention program that the institution has determined to be accessible to any officer, employee, or student at the institution; and
(i) Has established a campus security policy in accordance with section 485(f) of the HEA; and
(ii) Has complied with the disclosure requirements of § 668.47 as required by section 485(f) of the HEA.
(1) The institution, if located in a State to which section 4(b) of the National Voter Registration Act (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-2(b)) does not apply, will make a good faith effort to distribute a mail voter registration form, requested and received from the State, to each student enrolled in a degree or certificate program and physically in attendance at the institution, and to make those forms widely available to students at the institution.
(2) The institution must request the forms from the State 120 days prior to the deadline for registering to vote within the State. If an institution has not received a sufficient quantity of forms to fulfill this section from the State within 60 days prior to the deadline for registering to vote in the State, the institution is not liable for not meeting the requirements of this section during that election year.
(3) This paragraph applies to elections as defined in section 301(1) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431(1)), and includes the election for Governor or other chief executive within such State.
(1) A program participation agreement becomes effective on the date that the Secretary signs the agreement.
(2) A new program participation agreement supersedes any prior program participation agreement between the Secretary and the institution.
(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (g) and (h) of this section, the Secretary terminates a program participation agreement through the proceedings in subpart G of this part.
(2) An institution may terminate a program participation agreement.
(3) If the Secretary or the institution terminates a program participation agreement under paragraph (f) of this section, the Secretary establishes the termination date.
(g) An institution's program participation agreement automatically expires on the date that -
(1) The institution changes ownership that results in a change in control as determined by the Secretary under 34 CFR part 600; or
(2) The institution's participation ends under the provisions of § 668.26(a) (1), (2), (4), or (7).
(h) An institution's program participation agreement no longer applies to or covers a location of the institution as of the date on which that location ceases to be a part of the participating institution.
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