Pol-Certificate Program Criteria for Financial Aid Eligibility

policy gainful employment, certificate program modified Mon Oct 03 2022 14:23:33 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)

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University of Louisville



Certificate Program Criteria for Financial Aid Eligibility


July 1, 2020


This policy applies to the University of Louisville, its academic units and programs, employees, and students.


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.


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: https://www.onetonline.org/.
  • 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.


Failure to comply with this policy could result in UofL certificate programs not being eligible to receive Title IV federal aid.


For more information visit the UofL Student Financial Aid Office website at http://louisville.edu/financialaid/our-services.


Annually, the Provost Office of Academic Planning and Accountability will ask that academic units offering certificate programs certify these credentials as Title IV eligible programs. The eligible programs will be reported to the Student Financial Aid Office for approval and action with the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). Any programs deemed not eligible will be removed from the university’s authorization with USDOE.


The Student Financial Aid Office is responsible for oversight and interpretation of this policy.

Academic units are responsible for determining if the certificate programs offered in their units meet the criteria to receive Title IV financial aid.  


Executive Vice President and University Provost


Student Financial Aid Office

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY 40292

(502) 852-5511



Policy approved by Beth A. Boehm, Executive Vice President and University Provost effective July 1, 2020.

Revision Date(s): 

Reviewed Date(s):

The University Policy and Procedure Library is updated regularly. In order to ensure a printed copy of this document is current, please access it online at http://louisville.edu/policies.