International Programs: Dear Colleague Letter on Ineligible Courses at Foreign Institutions

The Department of Education released a Dear Colleague Letter on the implications of laws and regulations that limit the courses that may be offered by a foreign institution as part of an eligible program for students receiving Direct Loan funds.

The letter emphasizes that offering ineligible courses makes the program ineligible for Title IV funds, but notes that a foreign institution may remain eligible by offering two versions of a program if it offers ineligible courses only in the program that does not enroll students receiving Direct Loan funds and that program meets all other legal requirements. The letter also explains that a foreign institution may award credit to a student receiving Direct Loan funds for an ineligible course taken at a different institution as long as the student does not receive Direct Loan funds for those credits and there is no arrangement between the institutions for transfer of credits. Finally, the letter reiterates that a foreign institution will face serious enforcement consequences if a student receiving Direct Loans enrolls in an ineligible course as part of his or her educational program regardless of whether the course is optional or required.