(b) Eligible program (1) For purposes of this subchapter, the term “eligible program” means a program of at least— (A) 600 clock hours of instruction, 16 semester hours, or 24 quarter hours, offered during a minimum of 15 weeks, in the case of a program that—
(i) provides a program of training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized profession; and
(ii) admits students who have not completed the equivalent of an associate degree; or
(B) 300 clock hours of instruction, 8 semester hours, or 12 hours, offered during a minimum of 10 weeks, in the case of—
(i) an undergraduate program that requires the equivalent of an associate degree for admissions; or
(ii) a graduate or professional program.
(2) (A) A program is an eligible program for purposes of part B of this subchapter if it is a program of at least 300 clock hours of instruction, but less than 600 clock hours of instruction, offered during a minimum of 10 weeks, that—
(i) has a verified completion rate of at least 70 percent, as determined in accordance with the regulations of the Secretary;
(ii) has a verified placement rate of at least 70 percent, as determined in accordance with the regulations of the Secretary; and
(iii) satisfies such further criteria as the Secretary may prescribe by regulation.
(B) In the case of a program being determined eligible for the first time under this paragraph, such determination shall be made by the Secretary before such program is considered to have satisfied the requirements of this paragraph.
(3) An otherwise eligible program that is offered in whole or in part through telecommunications is eligible for the purposes of this subchapter if the program is offered by an institution, other than a foreign institution, that has been evaluated and determined (before or after February 8, 2006) to have the capability to effectively deliver distance education programs by an accrediting agency or association that—
(A) is recognized by the Secretary under subpart 2 of part H; and
(B) has evaluation of distance education programs within the scope of its recognition, as described in section 1099b(n)(3) of this title.
(4) For purposes of this subchapter, the term “eligible program” includes an instructional program that, in lieu of credit hours or clock hours as the measure of student learning, utilizes direct assessment of student learning, or recognizes the direct assessment of student learning by others, if such assessment is consistent with the accreditation of the institution or program utilizing the results of the assessment. In the case of a program being determined eligible for the first time under this paragraph, such determination shall be made by the Secretary before such program is considered to be an eligible program.
(c) Third party servicerFor purposes of this subchapter, the term “third party servicer” means any individual, any State, or any private, for-profit or nonprofit organization, which enters into a contract with—
(1) any eligible institution of higher education to administer, through either manual or automated processing, any aspect of such institution’s student assistance programs under this subchapter; or
(2) any guaranty agency, or any eligible lender, to administer, through either manual or automated processing, any aspect of such guaranty agency’s or lender’s student loan programs under part B of this subchapter, including originating, guaranteeing, monitoring, processing, servicing, or collecting loans.
(Pub. L. 89–329, title IV, § 481, as added Pub. L. 99–498, title IV, § 407(a), Oct. 17, 1986, 100 Stat. 1476; amended Pub. L. 100–50, § 15(1), June 3, 1987, 101 Stat. 355; Pub. L. 101–239, title II, § 2007(b), (c), Dec. 19, 1989, 103 Stat. 2120, 2121; Pub. L. 101–508, title III, § 3005(b), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–28; Pub. L. 102–26, § 2(a)(2), (3), (d)(2)(A), Apr. 9, 1991, 105 Stat. 123, 124; Pub. L. 102–325, title IV, § 481, July 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 609; Pub. L. 103–208, § 2(h)(1)–(6), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2475, 2476; Pub. L. 105–216, § 12, July 29, 1998, 112 Stat. 908; Pub. L. 105–244, title I, § 101(c), Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1617; Pub. L. 109–171, title VIII, §§ 8007(d), 8020(a), (b), Feb. 8, 2006, 120 Stat. 161, 177; Pub. L. 110–315, title IV, § 481, Aug. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 3271; Pub. L. 111–39, title IV, § 407(b)(1), July 1, 2009, 123 Stat. 1950; Pub. L. 114–95, title IX, § 9215(oo)(10), Dec. 10, 2015, 129 Stat. 2180.)