To participate in federal student financial aid programs and be initially designated as an eligible institution for other Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) programs, postsecondary institutions must apply for initial approval. Institutions also use the application process for recertification, reinstatement, change in ownership, designation as an eligible nonparticipating institution, and other updates required to be communicated to the Department. The Department uses the application information to examine three major factors about the school: institutional eligibility, administrative capability, and financial responsibility.
Postsecondary institutions use the Electronic Application for Approval to Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid Programs (e-App) to apply for designation as an eligible institution, initial participation, recertification, reinstatement, change in ownership, or to update a current approval. Updates include changes such as, but not limited to, name or address change, new location or program, increased level of offering, and change of officials.