How Do I Apply for a Certificate of Authorization?
An institution that seeks to operate in Georgia, as required by the Nonpublic Postsecondary Educational Institutions Act of 1990, must apply for a Certificate of Authorization.
Submit your Institutional Proposal for GNPEC Authorization
The Institutional Proposal for GNPEC Authorization must be submitted to Mr. Adam Hawk for review.
Requests for clarification
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.
Approval to proceed with application
If approved to proceed with an application, the applicant will be provided with login credentials to be used to access GNPEC’s online application portal, Edvera.
Complete application process in 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 and by selecting “?” in the upper right corner of your EDvera Dashboard.
The following items are required as part of the application:
- Basic institutional information (Web form)
- Minimum Standards Form (GNPEC document requiring completion and upload)
- New Program Application for each proposed program (Web form)
- Entrance requirements description (Exhibit)
- Entrance information provided to students (Exhibit)
- Enrollment Agreement/Student Contract (Exhibit)
- Educational goals for the institution (Exhibit)
- Certificate or diploma example (Exhibit)
- Statement of business practices and advertising policies (Exhibit)
- Description of facilities and equipment (Exhibit)
- Description of placement services (Exhibit)
- Current catalog (Exhibit)
- Occupancy Permit (Exhibit)
- Complaint Procedure (Exhibit)
- Refund Policy (Exhibit)
- Description of Learning Resource System (Exhibit)
- Organizational Chart (Exhibit)
- New Agent Permit Application(s) (Web form)
- 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.
- Current Bank Statement
- A minimum of 90 days of projected operating expenses must be available, and the account must be dedicated to the institution.
- Preliminary Bond Approval Letter (Exhibit)
- Letter from an insurance agency or bonding company certifying that the named institution and/or owner is qualified to secure the required bond for the required minimum amount. See the Bonding Requirements for detailed information.
- 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
- Surety Bond
- Bond must be submitted as an original, using the GNPEC Bond Form. Do not secure the actual bond until you are instructed to do so by your assigned Regulatory Specialist. Bond fields should be left blank until bond is obtained.
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 review will be conducted 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. Please note GNPEC may contract an external expert to evaluate new programs to help the agency ensure proposed curriculum offerings are comparable to similar programs offered elsewhere. All required changes will be communicated with the institution via the Comments tab of the document, available in Edvera.
If the institution is located in Georgia, the RS will complete a site visit (see the site visit guideline for details).
Provide Surety bond and Authorization Fee
Once the RS has confirmed that the application has satisfied all GNPEC requirements, the institution must AT THIS POINT provide an original surety bond, the TGTF Fee, and the Authorization Fee. These fee amounts are calculated for institutions within the application. See the Schedule of Fees for information. The bond is to be secured only after the RS informs the institution to do so and must be dated exactly as directed by the RS.
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.
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.