An institution is not permitted to advertise or offer instruction to residents of Georgia until it obtains a Certificate of Authorization, as required by the Nonpublic Postsecondary Educational Institutions Act of 1990.

The information about the authorization application process is below.

  • Review Requirements and Costs for Authorization

    Prior to submission of the Institutional Proposal, the institution contact must review the current web page in its entirety along with the following documents to ensure that he or she is informed regarding institutional requirements and costs and timeline expectations associated with authorization.

    NOTE:  Please be aware that Standard 8 of the Minimum Standards recommends access to liquid funds held strictly for the purposes of the institution, in the amount of 90 days of institutional expenses. The expenses figure is provided to the Commission as an estimation in the GNPEC Financial Statement, required as part of the Initial Authorization Application.

  • Submit an Institutional Proposal for GNPEC Authorization

    The Institutional Proposal for GNPEC Authorization must be submitted for review.

    Any request for clarification and/or information will be communicated with the institutional representative via email within 10 business days of receipt of the proposal.

  • Initial Authorization Training

    Once approved to proceed with an application, applicants are required to attend the Initial Authorization Training prior to being given access to Edvera to complete the application.  Once again, please review the Download this pdf file. GNPEC Initial Application Process flowchart for an outline of agency expectations and timelines. 

  • Program Development

    Please ensure any program submitted as part of the application process has a fully developed curriculum and supporting documents. This includes a program outline, syllabus, and lesson plan at a minimum, though additional documents may be requested during the review.  

  • Complete application process in EDvera

    After attendance at the Initial Authorization Training, the non-refundable Application Evaluation fee is required and must be paid prior to login credentials being issued to access GNPEC’s online application portal, Edvera.

    The Initial Authorization Application will be completed in EDvera. The application is made up of web forms, GNPEC documents, institution-created exhibits, and attestations.  For help with completing the EDvera application, How-To tutorials are available here. As you are working on the application, remember the policy regarding inactive applications in Edvera, which can be found under FAQ 17 at this link

    The following items are required as part of the application:

    • Basic institutional information  (Web form)
      • All nonpublic institutions authorized or seeking to obtain authorization in Georgia must annually provide a Georgia Secretary of State issued Certificate of Authority and the Annual Registration.       
    • Minimum Standards Criteria Form (GNPEC document requiring completion and upload)
    • New Program Application for each proposed program (Web form). Please note that any institution that is not institutionally accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education may not offer any graduate-level degree in Georgia (including but not limited to master’s degrees and doctorate degrees). Additionally, any institution seeking initial authorization in Georgia that is not institutionally accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education is limited to the new program application of three (3) programs as part of its Application Evaluation Fee.  Accredited institutions are limited to ten new program applications included in the Application Fee. The Program Evaluation Fee will apply to each additional program beyond the ten. The Program Evaluation Fee will apply to each additional program.
    • Enrollment Agreement/Student Contract (Exhibit)
    • Certificate or diploma example (Exhibit)
    • Description of facilities and equipment (Exhibit)
    • Current catalog (Exhibit) (See Download this pdf file. Catalog Guidelines )
    • Organizational Chart (Exhibit)
    • Personnel Data Inventory Form(s) (Web form)
    • Records Agreement (Attestation)
    • Director’s Agreement (Attestation)
    • Financial Statement (GNPEC document requiring completion and upload)
      • Please be aware that a financial viability assessment will also be required as part of the authorization process. Additional financial documentation may be requested in order to complete this review.  See Minimum Standard 8 for detailed information regarding financial resources.
    • Cash on Hand
      • A minimum of 90 days of projected operating expenses is recommended.
    • Tuition information with estimations for the first fiscal year of operation (Web form)
    • Fees: Application Evaluation Fee, Authorization Fee, and Tuition Guaranty Trust Fund (TGTF) Fee. 
      • See Schedule of Fees  for details
      • TGTF Fee is required for the first 7 years of authorization
  • Work with assigned Regulatory Specialist (RS)

    After receipt of the Application Evaluation Fee and complete Initial Authorization Application submission, the institution will be assigned a Regulatory Specialist (RS) that works with the institution through the remainder of the authorization process. Please note that no login credentials to complete the Initial Authorization Application will be provided until the Application Evaluation Fee has been received.

  • Financial Viability Assessment

    The RS will submit the institution’s financial documentation to the external auditor to conduct a financial viability assessment.  The auditor may request additional financial documentation, require a Financial Improvement Plan, or provide an approved financial assessment of the institution.  The RS will guide the institutional contact through the process should any additional documentation be required.

  • Regulatory Specialist reviews application

    The RS will review the Initial Authorization Application and determine any need for modification. This review will include a standards-based assessment of application documentation and an evaluation of programmatic content.

    During the application review, any new program submitted will be reviewed first for consistency with other institutional documentation and then the program's length, delivery, and content will be evaluated to ensure it meets program objectives and agency requirements. The school will be provided feedback and have the opportunity to revise the program based on that feedback as part of this review process, However, the program’s approval is not guaranteed. If the school does not meet the requirements as explained during the review period, the program will be denied. If a school does not have any authorized programs, it will not become an authorized institution.  

  • Site Visit

    If the institution is located in Georgia, the RS will complete a site visit (see the Download this pdf file. Site Visit Guidelines  for details).

  • Provide Remaining Fees

    Once the RS has confirmed that the application has satisfied all GNPEC requirements, the institution must pay the TGTF Fee and the Authorization Fee. These fee amounts are calculated for institutions within the application. See the Schedule of Fees for information. 

  • Certificate of Authorization Granted

    Having met GNPEC standards and paid all appropriate fees, the institution is issued a Certificate of Authorization, which is valid for a maximum of one year and must be visibly posted on the campus.

  • Renewal of Authorization

    Application for annual renewal of Certificate of Authorization, with all appropriate fees, must be submitted in Edvera no later than sixty (60) days prior to the certificate’s expiration date. 25% late fees will be incurred for any application submitted after the due date but prior to 30 days before expiration. 50% late fees will be incurred for any application submitted within thirty days of the expiration date. 

    An institution that fails to submit the Renewal of Authorization, in its entirety, by the expiration date listed on the current Certificate will experience a loss of authorization due to non-renewal and will no longer be legally permitted to operate. If the institution seeks to regain authorization in the future, it will be required to comply with the policies and procedures for initial authorization, including all fees.

  • Notice for institutions not accredited by a US-based accrediting association

    Please be aware that institutions not accredited by a US-based accrediting association recognized by the United States Secretary of Education are required to submit the GNPEC Student Outcome Data Report. The GNPEC Student Outcome Data Report is required to be completed and submitted annually within the Renewal of Authorization application; the reporting period should align with the institution's fiscal year.  Additionally, for institutions not accredited by a US-based accrediting association recognized by the United States Secretary of Education, the GNPEC Student Disclosure Form must be provided to each student at the time of his/her enrollment. It must be signed by both the student and institutional representative, and a copy must be included in the student’s file. The disclosure form may not be altered or revised by the institution.