New institutions planning to offer degrees, diplomas, or certificate programs in the state of Florida are required by law to obtain an initial license from the Commission for Independent Education. Certification ensures that your institution meets the standards put forward by the governing bodies. The Commission for Independent Education is part of the Florida Department of Education.

Established in 2001, the Commission for Independent Education is responsible for the licensure of independent postsecondary educational institutions in Florida. In line with the Florida DoE’s goal of producing a consistent educational system, these functions range from consumer protection and program improvement to data management and the licensing of independent schools, colleges, and universities.

Getting Started

The first step when licensing your institution is to submit a completed application with all the required documentation. Twenty-four documents are required in addition to the application. You will need to provide comprehensive information about your school, its mission, and how you intend to accomplish your goals, including:

  • A copy of the institution’s organizational chart
  • Financial statements
  • Program outline for each proposed program
  • Faculty listing and faculty handbook
  • Institution catalog
  • Drafts of advertisements and marketing materials
  • Business plan
  • Projected or actual budget

Please review our Before You Start page for further insights.

Time To Complete the License Application

All in all, the application process is lengthy and time-consuming. If your submission is returned as incomplete, insufficient, or denied, you could face delays and may need to adjust your timeline. In our experience, the average time to prepare a License application is about one month.

Once submitted, the application process typically takes four to six months in Florida. Following your licensure staff review, you’ll have the opportunity to address omissions or deficiencies before your application is presented to the full commission for final review. The commission will then deny or approve your application. To avoid delays and assure success, you need to put together the strongest application possible.

Associated Costs

You must present a full financial statement reviewed and audited by a certified public accountant (CPA). The report must show sufficient resources to ensure the development of your institution. We advise working with an experienced accounting professional from the educational field. For clients using our comprehensive setup services, this feature is included in our offer.

Based on anticipated enrollment, proposed programing, and your highest programmatic offering (Diploma or Occupational Associate Degree), application fees are due when you file.

On average, a completed submission package can be anywhere from 200 to 500 pages in length. The application is not always straightforward when it comes to individual regulations, which you must understand to complete your application. While you could undertake the process yourself, engaging an experienced agency like ours is an excellent strategy.

Our team is here to guide you through the Commission for Independent Education New Institution License application process and provide consultation on continued compliance.

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