Application for Approval to Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid Programs

U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid


What is this document?
When must an institution submit this application?
How is this application organized?
Why is there a glossary?
Paperwork Reduction Statement
Privacy Act Statement
How to complete this application
What is your status during our review period?
What if you have questions?

What is this document?

This is an application that a postsecondary educational institution must complete and submit to the U.S. Department of Education:

When must an institution submit this application?

An institution (referred to as "you" for the remainder of this application) must submit this application to the U.S. Department of Education (referred to as "we" for the remainder of this application) when:


We will consider your date of submission to be the date you used the "Submit Application" page to electronically submit the application to us.

How is this application organized?

This application is divided into 13 sections, plus a glossary at the end.

Note: To expand on any of your answers, you may use Question 69.

Why is there a glossary?

We mean a specific definition for many of the words and phrases in this application, such as "regular student," "award year," and "federal student financial aid programs." When filling out the application, you must be sure that you know how terms are defined. The definitions contained in the glossary generally are restatements of statutory or regulatory definitions.

Paperwork Reduction Statement

According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 17 hours per response, including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. The obligation to respond to this collection is required to obtain or retain benefit (Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA)). Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to the U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20210-4537 or email and reference the OMB Control Number 1845-0012.

Privacy Act Statement

Authorities: The following authorities authorize the collection of this information: Higher Education Act and Title 31 as amended by Section 31001 of Public Law 104-134 of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996. Section 498A(a)(3) of the HEA requires the Secretary to establish a central database of information on institutional accreditation, eligibility, and certification that includes all information available to the Department. Section 498A(c) instructs the Secretary to make this information available to all institutions of higher education, guaranty agencies, states, and other organizations participating in the programs authorized under Title IV of the HEA.

Please note: the Application requests the Social Security numbers (SSNs) of the owners of the institution. The SSNs are used to determine institutional eligibility and to verify identities. The SSNs are collected under the authority of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-134. This act requires Federal agencies to secure the TIN (the Social Security Number, for individuals) of persons "doing business with the agency," a term that includes being "in a relationship with the agency that may give rise to a receivable due that agency." 31 U.S.C. §7701(c)(1), (2)(E). Due to security concerns, U.S. Department of Education is not collecting SSNs on this website at this time. Instead, if applicable, you must submit your SSNs to U.S. Department of Education by writing them on Section M of the application and including it with your supporting documents.

Information Collected: We only collect information that we need to determine if the institution is eligible, and if applicable, certified to participate in the Title IV, HEA programs. Information collected includes, but is not limited to, name, work title/role school name, owner (name), tax ID number (TIN), Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Number (DUN), address, programs available, officers (e.g., financial officer, board members), and contact information (such as name, email address, phone number).

Purpose: Postsecondary institutions use the E-APP to apply for designation as an eligible institution, initial participation, recertification, reinstatement, or continued approval after a 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, change of officials, or mailing address for publications. This includes information about the school’s name, address, locations, programs, officials, authorizing agencies, owners and servicers.

Disclosures: Information is validated through the Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) website. The provided TIN is checked against the school’s D&B account to identify if the school has been barred from doing business with the Federal Government.

Consequences of Failure to Provide information: If you chose not to submit an Application for Approval to Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid Programs, the institution cannot be determined to be eligible or continued to be eligible for the Title IV FSA programs.

No cookies or other tracking technology are used on the website. If you decide to send us an electronic mail message (email), the message will usually contain our return email address. If you include personally identifiable information in your email because you want us to address issues specific to your situation, we may use that information in responding to your request. Please send only information necessary to help us process your application.

Please contact us at U. S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, 830 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-5402, or call 1-800 872-5327, or email us at to ask any questions regarding our Privacy Policy and our Privacy Act Statement.

How to complete this application

Step 1:

You must have an OPE ID assigned by the U.S. Department of Education to use the Electronic Application. Read each section that you are required to complete and identify the kinds of information and documents you will need to collect. Note that you will not have to complete every section of the application. Determine the information that you need from other offices and request it. At the time of your request, also ask those offices to notify you if the information changes.

Step 2:

Gather the information and fill out the application. Refer to the Help Page for additional assistance in filling out the electronic application.

Step 3:

If you have any questions, please contact the appropriate School Participation Division (listed at the end of this Introduction) by telephone, fax, or Internet.

Step 4:

After you have filled out your application, you must submit it electronically. For your electronic application to be considered submitted to U.S. Department of Education, you must:

  • Click on the Submit the Application link from the Index page or Section M (there is also a submit option available from the bottom of each application page).
  • If there are any edit errors on the application or if any required fields have not been entered, messages will display to indicate what changes are required with hot links to follow to access the appropriate section of the application directly.
  • If all required entries have been made on your application and all edit errors have been corrected, a "Submit Application" button will display.
  • Click on this button to submit your application to U.S. Department of Education
  • A page will display with the message "Your application has been received by the U.S. Department of Education." to verify that the application has been submitted.
  • If you need to make additional changes to your application after it is submitted the first time, follow this same process to resubmit the application after completing the changes.

Step 5:

Have the President/CEO/Chancellor of your institution review the application and sign the signature page (Section L). You have several options for signing Section L: (1) Print, sign, and scan, or (2) Sign with your manually drawn signature by placing a photo of your signature on the signature line or using a mouse or finger to sign the document. The signature must be manually drawn, even if digitally. Font-based typed signatures, and certificate-based signatures without a manually drawn signature, are not authorized for use.

Step 6:

Save a copy of the application and the required supporting documentation for your records (see Section M for a list of documents required to be submitted to complete your application).

Step 7:

Submit the signature page (Section L) and copies of required supporting documents to us.

Upload the signed signature page and copies of required supporting documents via the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Document Center.

If you do not have the capability to upload your documents, please contact your School Participation Division (SPD) for further directions on documentation submission. If you experience technical problems with the COD Document Center, contact


We recommend that you retain proof of when you submit the application.

Step 8:

Respond to any additional questions that we might have about your application during our review period. You will receive any such requests generally within 90 days of our receiving your application. We might ask for materials, such as your catalog or copies of contracts with third-party servicers. We also will use information from documents on file that you already submitted to us.

Depending on the outcome of our review, either we will send you a Program Participation Agreement to sign (and further instructions) or we will notify you that your application is denied.

What is your status during our review period?

During our review period, your status will be as follows:





What if you have questions?

For additional help in filling out the Electronic Application, refer to the Help Document

If you have questions, please contact the appropriate School Participation Division by telephone, fax, or email.

For help with the Web site, your user ID or password, or in filling out the
E-App, please contact the School Participation Division for your state.
dot New York/Boston
(CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PR, RI, VT, Virgin Islands)
dot Dallas
(AR, LA, NM, OK, TX)
dot Philadelphia
(DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV, MI)
dot Kansas City
(IA, KS, KY, MO, NE, TN)
dot Atlanta
(AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC)
dot San Francisco/Seattle
(AZ, CA, HI, NV, Pacific Islands, AK, ID, OR, WA)
dot Chicago/Denver
(IL, IN, MN, OH, WI, CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY)
dot Multi-Regional and Foreign School Participation Division
202-377-3168 and