Gainful Employment Policy




On July 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Education announced its final regulation regarding the Gainful Employment Rule, which is effective on July 1, 2020.

Federal law requires that certain educational programs offered at some postsecondary institutions, including for-profit institutions, community and technical colleges, and area CTE centers, must provide training programs that prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation” in order to participate in federal financial aid programs. Nearly all educational programs at for-profit higher education institutions, as well as non-degree programs at public and private nonprofit institutions, like community colleges and area CTE centers, are subject to these rules.

Certificate Program Criteria for Financial Aid Eligibility

Effective July 1, 2020, University of Louisville (UofL) students enrolled (half-time or more) in stand-alone certificate programs designated as financial aid eligible can be awarded funds. In order for a UofL certificate program to be deemed eligible to receive Title IV federal aid, it must:

  • be one academic year in duration;
  • be at least 24 credit hours for undergraduate certificates; be at least 9 credit hours for graduate certificates; and
  • prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

Academic units offering certificate programs must certify these credentials as Title IV eligible programs using the following criteria:

  • The program prepares students for employment in a specific recognized occupation as identified by a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code. The list of SOC codes is available here:
    • A majority of program completers are employed in a job or career related to this field within a year after graduation.
    • The annual salaries of graduates are equal to or greater than the average BLS salary estimates for the same or similar occupations [or, alternatively, the annual salaries of graduates fall within the average BLS salary ranges].
    • The following information is made readily available to students:
      • The total cost of the program [to be provided by Financial Aid Office].
      • The percentage of graduates who pass any required licensure exams.
      • The percentage of program completers who are employed in a job or career related to this field within a year after graduation
      • The types of occupations in which graduates are employed and the average salaries.


For more information see the:


Gainful Employment Policy


Notice of Intent to Offer a Certificate Program Eligible for Financial Aid – complete and submit the form to


UofL Student Financial Aid Office website -