Collapse to view only § 1001. General definition of institution of higher education

§ 1001.
General definition of institution of higher education
(a)
Institution of higher education
For purposes of this chapter, other than subchapter IV, the term “institution of higher education” means an educational institution in any State that—
(1) admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of such a certificate, or persons who meet the requirements of section 1091(d) of this title;
(2) is legally authorized within such State to provide a program of education beyond secondary education;
(3) provides an educational program for which the institution awards a bachelor’s degree or provides not less than a 2-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree, or awards a degree that is acceptable for admission to a graduate or professional degree program, subject to review and approval by the Secretary;
(4) is a public or other nonprofit institution; and
(5) is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association, or if not so accredited, is an institution that has been granted preaccreditation status by such an agency or association that has been recognized by the Secretary for the granting of preaccreditation status, and the Secretary has determined that there is satisfactory assurance that the institution will meet the accreditation standards of such an agency or association within a reasonable time.
(b)
Additional institutions included
For purposes of this chapter, other than subchapter IV, the term “institution of higher education” also includes—
(1) any school that provides not less than a 1-year program of training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation and that meets the provision of paragraphs (1), (2), (4), and (5) of subsection (a); and
(2)
a public or nonprofit private educational institution in any State that, in lieu of the requirement in subsection (a)(1), admits as regular students individuals—
(A) who are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the State in which the institution is located; or
(B) who will be dually or concurrently enrolled in the institution and a secondary school.
(c)
List of accrediting agencies

For purposes of this section and section 1002 of this title, the Secretary shall publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies or associations that the Secretary determines, pursuant to subpart 2 of part H of subchapter IV, to be reliable authority as to the quality of the education or training offered.

(Pub. L. 89–329, title I, § 101, as added Pub. L. 105–244, title I, § 101(a), Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1585; amended Pub. L. 110–315, title I, § 101(a), Aug. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 3083; Pub. L. 112–74, div. F, title III, § 309(c)(3), Dec. 23, 2011, 125 Stat. 1101.)
§ 1002.
Definition of institution of higher education for purposes of student assistance programs
(a)
Definition of institution of higher education for purposes of student assistance programs
(1)
Inclusion of additional institutions
Subject to paragraphs (2) through (4) of this subsection, the term “institution of higher education” for purposes of subchapter IV includes, in addition to the institutions covered by the definition in section 1001 of this title
(A) a proprietary institution of higher education (as defined in subsection (b) of this section);
(B) a postsecondary vocational institution (as defined in subsection (c) of this section); and
(C) only for the purposes of part D of subchapter IV, an institution outside the United States that is comparable to an institution of higher education as defined in section 1001 of this title and that has been approved by the Secretary for the purpose of part D of subchapter IV, consistent with the requirements of section 1087b(d) of this title.
(2)
Institutions outside the United States
(A)
In general
For the purpose of qualifying as an institution under paragraph (1)(C), the Secretary shall establish criteria by regulation for the approval of institutions outside the United States and for the determination that such institutions are comparable to an institution of higher education as defined in section 1001 of this title (except that a graduate medical school, nursing school, or a veterinary school, located outside the United States shall not be required to meet the requirements of section 1001(a)(4) of this title). Such criteria shall include a requirement that a student attending such school outside the United States is ineligible for loans made under part D of subchapter IV unless—
(i)
except as provided in subparagraph (B)(iii)(IV), in the case of a graduate medical school located outside the United States—
(I)(aa) at least 60 percent of those enrolled in, and at least 60 percent of the graduates of, the graduate medical school outside the United States were not persons described in section 1091(a)(5) of this title in the year preceding the year for which a student is seeking a loan under part D of subchapter IV; and(bb) at least 75 percent of the individuals who were students or graduates of the graduate medical school outside the United States or Canada (both nationals of the United States and others) taking the examinations administered by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates received a passing score in the year preceding the year for which a student is seeking a loan under part D of subchapter IV; or(II)
the institution—
(aa) has or had a clinical training program that was approved by a State as of January 1, 1992; and(bb) continues to operate a clinical training program in at least one State that is approved by that State;
(ii) in the case of a veterinary school located outside the United States that does not meet the requirements of section 1001(a)(4) of this title, the institution’s students complete their clinical training at an approved veterinary school located in the United States; or
(iii)
in the case of a nursing school located outside of the United States—
(I) the nursing school has an agreement with a hospital, or accredited school of nursing (as such terms are defined in section 296 of title 42), located in the United States that requires the students of the nursing school to complete the students’ clinical training at such hospital or accredited school of nursing;(II) the nursing school has an agreement with an accredited school of nursing located in the United States providing that the students graduating from the nursing school located outside of the United States also receive a degree from the accredited school of nursing located in the United States;(III) the nursing school certifies only Federal Direct Stafford Loans under section 1087e(a)(2)(A) of this title, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans under section 1087e(a)(2)(D) of this title, or Federal Direct PLUS Loans under section 1087e(a)(2)(B) of this title for students attending the institution;(IV) the nursing school reimburses the Secretary for the cost of any loan defaults for current and former students included in the calculation of the institution’s cohort default rate during the previous fiscal year; and(V) not less than 75 percent of the individuals who were students or graduates of the nursing school, and who took the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses in the year preceding the year for which the institution is certifying a Federal Direct Stafford Loan under section 1087e(a)(2)(A) of this title, a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan under section 1087e(a)(2)(D) of this title, or a Federal Direct PLUS Loan under section 1087e(a)(2)(B) of this title, received a passing score on such examination.
(B)
Advisory panel
(i)
In general
For the purpose of qualifying as an institution under paragraph (1)(C) of this subsection, the Secretary shall establish an advisory panel of medical experts that shall—
(I) evaluate the standards of accreditation applied to applicant foreign medical schools; and(II) determine the comparability of those standards to standards for accreditation applied to United States medical schools.
(ii)
Special rule

If the accreditation standards described in clause (i) are determined not to be comparable, the foreign medical school shall be required to meet the requirements of section 1001 of this title.

(iii)
Report
(I)
In general
Not later than 1 year after August 14, 2008, the advisory panel described in clause (i) shall submit a report to the Secretary and to the authorizing committees recommending eligibility criteria for participation in the loan programs under part D of subchapter IV for graduate medical schools that—
(aa) are located outside of the United States;(bb) do not meet the requirements of subparagraph (A)(i); and(cc) have a clinical training program approved by a State prior to January 1, 2008.(II)
Recommendations
In the report described in subclause (I), the advisory panel’s eligibility criteria shall include recommendations regarding the appropriate levels of performance for graduate medical schools described in such subclause in the following areas:
(aa) Entrance requirements.(bb) Retention and graduation rates.(cc) Successful placement of students in United States medical residency programs.(dd) Passage rate of students on the United States Medical Licensing Examination.(ee) The extent to which State medical boards have assessed the quality of such school’s program of instruction, including through on-site reviews.(ff) The extent to which graduates of such schools would be unable to practice medicine in 1 or more States, based on the judgment of a State medical board.(gg) Any areas recommended by the Comptroller General of the United States under section 1101 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act.(hh) Any additional areas the Secretary may require.(III)
Minimum eligibility requirement

In the recommendations described in subclause (II), the criteria described in subparagraph (A)(i)(I)(bb) shall be a minimum eligibility requirement for a graduate medical school described in subclause (I) to participate in the loan programs under part D of subchapter IV.

(IV)
Authority
The Secretary may—
(aa) not earlier than 180 days after the submission of the report described in subclause (I), issue proposed regulations establishing criteria for the eligibility of graduate medical schools described in such subclause to participate in the loan programs under part D of subchapter IV based on the recommendations of such report; and(bb) not earlier than one year after the issuance of proposed regulations under item (aa), issue final regulations establishing such criteria for eligibility.
(C)
Failure to release information

The failure of an institution outside the United States to provide, release, or authorize release to the Secretary of such information as may be required by subparagraph (A) shall render such institution ineligible for the purpose of part D of subchapter IV.

(D)
Special rule

If, pursuant to this paragraph, an institution loses eligibility to participate in the programs under subchapter IV, then a student enrolled at such institution may, notwithstanding such loss of eligibility, continue to be eligible to receive a loan under part D of subchapter IV while attending such institution for the academic year succeeding the academic year in which such loss of eligibility occurred.

(3)
Limitations based on course of study or enrollment
An institution shall not be considered to meet the definition of an institution of higher education in paragraph (1) if such institution—
(A) offers more than 50 percent of such institution’s courses by correspondence (excluding courses offered by telecommunications as defined in section 1091(l)(4) 1
1 See References in Text note below.
of this title), unless the institution is an institution that meets the definition in section 2302(3)(C) of this title;
(B) enrolls 50 percent or more of the institution’s students in correspondence courses (excluding courses offered by telecommunications as defined in section 1091(l)(4) 1 of this title), unless the institution is an institution that meets the definition in such section, except that the Secretary, at the request of such institution, may waive the applicability of this subparagraph to such institution for good cause, as determined by the Secretary in the case of an institution of higher education that provides a 2- or 4-year program of instruction (or both) for which the institution awards an associate or baccalaureate degree, respectively;
(C) has a student enrollment in which more than 25 percent of the students are incarcerated, except that the Secretary may waive the limitation contained in this subparagraph for a nonprofit institution that provides a 2- or 4-year program of instruction (or both) for which the institution awards a bachelor’s degree, or an associate’s degree or a postsecondary diploma, respectively; or
(D) has a student enrollment in which more than 50 percent of the students do not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and does not provide a 2- or 4-year program of instruction (or both) for which the institution awards a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree, respectively, except that the Secretary may waive the limitation contained in this subparagraph if a nonprofit institution demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the institution exceeds such limitation because the institution serves, through contracts with Federal, State, or local government agencies, significant numbers of students who do not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent.
(4)
Limitations based on management
An institution shall not be considered to meet the definition of an institution of higher education in paragraph (1) if—
(A) the institution, or an affiliate of the institution that has the power, by contract or ownership interest, to direct or cause the direction of the management or policies of the institution, has filed for bankruptcy, except that this paragraph shall not apply to a nonprofit institution, the primary function of which is to provide health care educational services (or an affiliate of such an institution that has the power, by contract or ownership interest, to direct or cause the direction of the institution’s management or policies) that files for bankruptcy under chapter 11 of title 11 between July 1, 1998, and December 1, 1998; or
(B) the institution, the institution’s owner, or the institution’s chief executive officer has been convicted of, or has pled nolo contendere or guilty to, a crime involving the acquisition, use, or expenditure of funds under subchapter IV, or has been judicially determined to have committed fraud involving funds under subchapter IV.
(5)
Certification

The Secretary shall certify an institution’s qualification as an institution of higher education in accordance with the requirements of subpart 3 of part H of subchapter IV.

(6)
Loss of eligibility

An institution of higher education shall not be considered to meet the definition of an institution of higher education in paragraph (1) if such institution is removed from eligibility for funds under subchapter IV as a result of an action pursuant to part H of subchapter IV.

(b)
Proprietary institution of higher education
(1)
Principal criteria
For the purpose of this section, the term “proprietary institution of higher education” means a school that—
(A)
(i) provides an eligible program of training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation; or
(ii)(I) provides a program leading to a baccalaureate degree in liberal arts, and has provided such a program since January 1, 2009; and(II) is accredited by a recognized regional accrediting agency or association, and has continuously held such accreditation since October 1, 2007, or earlier;
(B) meets the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 1001(a) of this title;
(C) does not meet the requirement of paragraph (4) of section 1001(a) of this title;
(D) is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association recognized by the Secretary pursuant to part H of subchapter IV; and
(E) has been in existence for at least 2 years.
(2)
Additional institutions
The term “proprietary institution of higher education” also includes a proprietary educational institution in any State that, in lieu of the requirement in section 1001(a)(1) of this title, admits as regular students individuals—
(A) who are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the State in which the institution is located; or
(B) who will be dually or concurrently enrolled in the institution and a secondary school.
(c)
Postsecondary vocational institution
(1)
Principal criteria
For the purpose of this section, the term “postsecondary vocational institution” means a school that—
(A) provides an eligible program of training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation;
(B) meets the requirements of paragraphs (1), (2), (4), and (5) of section 1001(a) of this title; and
(C) has been in existence for at least 2 years.
(2)
Additional institutions
The term “postsecondary vocational institution” also includes an educational institution in any State that, in lieu of the requirement in section 1001(a)(1) of this title, admits as regular students individuals—
(A) who are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the State in which the institution is located; or
(B) who will be dually or concurrently enrolled in the institution and a secondary school.
(Pub. L. 89–329, title I, § 102, as added Pub. L. 105–244, title I, § 101(a), Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1586; amended Pub. L. 108–98, § 1(a), Oct. 10, 2003, 117 Stat. 1174; Pub. L. 109–171, title VIII, § 8002, Feb. 8, 2006, 120 Stat. 155; Pub. L. 109–270, § 2(c)(1), Aug. 12, 2006, 120 Stat. 746; Pub. L. 110–315, title I, § 102(a)–(d)(1), Aug. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 3083–3085; Pub. L. 111–39, title I, § 101(b)(1), July 1, 2009, 123 Stat. 1935; Pub. L. 111–152, title II, § 2209(b)(1), Mar. 30, 2010, 124 Stat. 1077.)
§ 1003.
Additional definitions
In this chapter:
(1)
Authorizing committees

The term “authorizing committees” means the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives.

(2)
Combination of institutions of higher education

The term “combination of institutions of higher education” means a group of institutions of higher education that have entered into a cooperative arrangement for the purpose of carrying out a common objective, or a public or private nonprofit agency, organization, or institution designated or created by a group of institutions of higher education for the purpose of carrying out a common objective on the group’s behalf.

(3)
Critical foreign language

Except as otherwise provided, the term “critical foreign language” means each of the languages contained in the list of critical languages designated by the Secretary in the Federal Register on August 2, 1985 (50 Fed. Reg. 31412; promulgated under the authority of section 212(d) of the Education for Economic Security Act (repealed by section 2303 of the Augustus F. Hawkins-Robert T. Stafford Elementary and Secondary School Improvement Amendments of 1988)), as updated by the Secretary from time to time and published in the Federal Register, except that in the implementation of this definition with respect to a specific title, the Secretary may set priorities according to the purposes of such title and the national security, economic competitiveness, and educational needs of the United States.

(4)
Department

The term “Department” means the Department of Education.

(5)
Diploma mill
The term “diploma mill” means an entity that—
(A)
(i) offers, for a fee, degrees, diplomas, or certificates, that may be used to represent to the general public that the individual possessing such a degree, diploma, or certificate has completed a program of postsecondary education or training; and
(ii) requires such individual to complete little or no education or coursework to obtain such degree, diploma, or certificate; and
(B)
lacks accreditation by an accrediting agency or association that is recognized as an accrediting agency or association of institutions of higher education (as such term is defined in section 1002 of this title) by—
(i) the Secretary pursuant to subpart 2 of part H of subchapter IV; or
(ii) a Federal agency, State government, or other organization or association that recognizes accrediting agencies or associations.
(6)
Disability

The term “disability” has the same meaning given that term under section 12102(2) of title 42.

(7)
Distance education
(A)
In general
Except as otherwise provided, the term “distance education” means education that uses one or more of the technologies described in subparagraph (B)—
(i) to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor; and
(ii) to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, synchronously or asynchronously.
(B)
Inclusions
For the purposes of subparagraph (A), the technologies used may include—
(i) the Internet;
(ii) one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices;
(iii) audio conferencing; or
(iv) video cassettes, DVDs, and CD–ROMs, if the cassettes, DVDs, or CD–ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed in clauses (i) through (iii).
(8)
Early childhood education program
The term “early childhood education program” means—
(A) a Head Start program or an Early Head Start program carried out under the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.), including a migrant or seasonal Head Start program, an Indian Head Start program, or a Head Start program or an Early Head Start program that also receives State funding;
(B) a State licensed or regulated child care program; or
(C)
a program that—
(i) serves children from birth through age six that addresses the children’s cognitive (including language, early literacy, and early mathematics), social, emotional, and physical development; and
(ii)
is—
(I) a State prekindergarten program;(II) a program authorized under section 619 [20 U.S.C. 1419] or part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [20 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.]; or(III) a program operated by a local educational agency.
(9)
Elementary school

The term “elementary school” has the same meaning given that term under section 7801 of this title.

(10)
Gifted and talented

The term “gifted and talented” has the same meaning given that term under section 7801 of this title.

(11)
Local educational agency

The term “local educational agency” has the same meaning given that term under section 7801 of this title.

(12)
New borrower

The term “new borrower” when used with respect to any date means an individual who on that date has no outstanding balance of principal or interest owing on any loan made, insured, or guaranteed under subchapter IV.

(13)
Nonprofit

(14)
Poverty line

The term “poverty line” means the poverty line (as defined in section 9902(2) of title 42) applicable to a family of the size involved.

(15)
School or department of divinity
The term “school or department of divinity” means an institution, or a department or a branch of an institution, the program of instruction of which is designed for the education of students—
(A) to prepare the students to become ministers of religion or to enter upon some other religious vocation (or to provide continuing training for any such vocation); or
(B) to prepare the students to teach theological subjects.
(16)
Secondary school

The term “secondary school” has the same meaning given that term under section 7801 of this title.

(17)
Secretary

The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Education.

(18)
Service-learning

The term “service-learning” has the same meaning given that term under section 12511(23) 1

1 See References in Text note below.
of title 42.

(19)
Special education teacher

The term “special education teacher” means teachers who teach children with disabilities as defined in section 602 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

(20)
State educational agency

The term “State educational agency” has the same meaning given that term under section 7801 of this title.

(21)
State; Freely Associated States
(A)
State

The term “State” includes, in addition to the several States of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Freely Associated States.

(B)
Freely Associated States

The term “Freely Associated States” means the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.

(22)
State higher education agency

The term “State higher education agency” means the officer or agency primarily responsible for the State supervision of higher education.

(23)
Universal design

The term “universal design” has the meaning given the term in section 3002 of title 29.

(24)
Universal design for learning
The term “universal design for learning” means a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that—
(A) provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and
(B) reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are limited English proficient.
(Pub. L. 89–329, title I, § 103, as added Pub. L. 105–244, title I, § 101(a), Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1589; amended Pub. L. 107–110, title X, § 1076(g), Jan. 8, 2002, 115 Stat. 2091; Pub. L. 110–315, title I, § 103(a), Aug. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 3086; Pub. L. 114–95, title IX, § 9215(oo)(1), Dec. 10, 2015, 129 Stat. 2177.)