Administrators FINANCIAL AID FOR POSTSECONDARY STUDENTS
Accreditation in the United States

Part 602 - Secretary's Recognition of Accrediting Agencies

The procedures and criteria for recognizing accrediting agencies are contained in Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The following procedures and criteria that went into effect July 1, 2010 were published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2009.

Guidelines have been developed to assist in the preparation and review of petitions and compliance reports. download files MS Word (513K) | PDF (771K)

Dear Colleague Letter: Guidance to Institutions and Accrediting Agencies Regarding a Credit Hour as Defined in the Final Regulations Published on October 29, 2010 (March 18, 2011) | download files PDF (includes enclosures)

PART 602--THE SECRETARY'S RECOGNITION OF ACCREDITING AGENCIES

Subpart A--General

Sec.
602.1 Why does the Secretary recognize accrediting agencies?
602.2 How do I know which agencies the Secretary recognizes?
602.3 What definitions apply to this part?

Subpart B--The Criteria for Recognition

Basic Eligibility Requirements

602.10 Link to Federal programs.
602.11 Geographic scope of accrediting activities.
602.12 Accrediting experience.
602.13 Acceptance of the agency by others.

Organizational and Administrative Requirements

602.14 Purpose and organization.
602.15 Administrative and fiscal responsibilities.

Required Standards and Their Application

602.16 Accreditation and preaccreditation standards.
602.17 Application of standards in reaching an accrediting decision.
602.18 Ensuring consistency in decision-making.
602.19 Monitoring and reevaluation of accredited institutions and programs.
602.20 Enforcement of standards.
602.21 Review of standards.

Required Operating Policies and Procedures

602.22 Substantive change.
602.23 Operating procedures all agencies must have.
602.24 Additional procedures certain institutional accreditors must have.
602.25 Due process.
602.26 Notification of accrediting decisions.
602.27 Other information an agency must provide the Department.
602.28 Regard for decisions of States and other accrediting agencies.

Subpart C--The Recognition Process

Application and Review by Department Staff

602.30 Activities covered by recognition procedures.
602.31 Agency submissions to the Department.
602.32 Procedures for Department review of applications for recognition or for change in scope, compliance reports, and increases in enrollment.
602.33 Procedures for review of agencies during the period of recognition.

Review by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity

602.34 Advisory Committee meetings.
602.35 Responding to the Advisory Committee’s recommendation.

Review and Decision by the Senior Department Official

602.36 Senior Department official's decision

Appeal Rights and Procedures

602.37 Appealing the senior Department official’s decision to the Secretary.
602.38 Contesting the Secretary's final decision to deny, limit, suspend, or terminate an agency's recognition.

Subpart D--Department Responsibility

602.50 What information does the Department share with a recognized agency about its accredited institutions and programs?

Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1099b, unless otherwise noted.


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