GE Program Length/150% Rule

View CECU's Comprehensive Analysis of the Financial Responsibility, Administrative Capability, Certification Procedures, and Ability to Benefit rules here. The cap on program length - formerly known as the "150% rule" - is found in the Certification Procedures rule. 

The final rule amends "§ 668.14(b)(26)(ii) to limit the number of hours in a GE program to the greater of the required minimum number of clock hours, credit hours, or the equivalent required for training in the recognized occupation for which the program prepares the student, as established by the State in which the institution is located, or the required minimum number of hours required for training in another State, if the institution provides documentation of that State meeting one of three qualifying requirements to use a State in which the institution is not located that is substantiated by the certified public accountant who prepares the institution's compliance audit report as required under § 668.23. This provision does not apply to fully online programs or where the State entry level requirements include the completion of an associate or higher level degree."

 The relevant regulatory text prior to amendment can be found here, 34 CFR § 668.14(b)(26). The new rule goes into effect on July 1, 2024.

CECU Analysis: 

Program hour cap. Under the Final Rule, Title IV eligibility will be capped for certain programs that lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation. Specifically, the Final Rule limits eligible program length to the greater of: 

(1) the minimum hours required for training in the State for the occupation for which the program prepares students; or 

(2) the minimum hours required for training in another State if an institution can demonstrate that a majority of students
        a. resided in that State while enrolled in the program during the most recently completed award year, 
        b. were employed in such a State during the most recently completed award year after completing the program, or 
        c. affirmed in writing upon enrollment that they intended to work in such a State, as long as the State was in the same metropolitan statistical area as the institution. 

An institution could still offer a longer program, but the program would not be eligible for Title IV funding. In the Final Rule the Department added exceptions to the program hour cap where the State requires an associate or higher-level degree for that occupation and where the program is delivered entirely through distance education or correspondence courses.

Cortiva Institute School of Beauty, Health, and Wellness, and The Coalition for Career Schools v. U.S. Department of Education

On May 31, 2024, Cortiva Institute School of Beauty, Health, and Wellness and The Coalition of Career Schools filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Department of Education’s “Bare Minimum Rule” in the Northern District of Texas. For more information regarding the lawsuit, click here. To support the lawsuit, click here.

Join the Coalition for Career Schools

Schools impacted by the new Program Length Rule have formed an unincorporated association (the Coalition of Career Schools) for the purpose of joining a lawsuit against the new Rule. The lawsuit could result in relief from the new Rule for schools that are members of the Coalition.

If you are interested in joining the Coalition in order to ensure you are included in any relief provided by the lawsuit, please fill out the form here for each impacted institution. Once you have submitted this information, CECU staff will contact you regarding the details of your impacted programs and your support of the Coalition.

Department of Education Resource

CECU Resources

Below you will find CECU's resources. To see this information you must be a CECU member and log in. To learn more about becoming a member click here.