Getting State Approval in Georgia

Georgia is an ideal place to open an educational institution, due to its combination of quality infrastructure, abundant resources, and access to talent

However, opening an educational institution in Georgia can be a complicated process, and it's important to know all of the steps required as well as any regulations that you must adhere to.

By carefully following this guide, you can ensure that your school is compliant with all state regulations and can begin offering quality educational programs.

Understanding the Requirements and Associated Costs for Authorization

In order to be approved to operate in the State of Georgia, nonpublic and out-of-state postsecondary educational institutions must file an application with the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (GNPEC).

The GNPEC has established a set of minimum standards for institutions seeking to become authorized to offer postsecondary education in the State of Georgia.

GNPEC's Minimum Standards Criteria include:

Here are the steps for getting authorization for an educational institution in Georgia:

Step 1: Submit an Institutional Proposal

Step 2. Attend the Initial Applicant Training

Step 3. Complete the application process in EDvera

Step 4 Initial Applicant (IA) Coordinator will review the submitted documents for completeness

Step 5. Work with Rs to Ensure the Application Is in Compliance with The Minimum Standards

Step 6. Host a Site Visit and Pay the Remaining Fees

Step 1: Submit an Institutional Proposal

The first step in the process is to submit an Institutional Proposal (IP) to GNPEC. To submit a proposal, fill out the online form via the GNPEC website.

Applicants will be required to enter:

  • Contact Information of the institution’s principals
  • Mission Statement
  • List of Proposed Programs including names, degree or certificate levels, and program objectives
  • Needs Assessment based on official labor data to justify the need for the proposed training within the State.

It is important that the IP is complete and accurate, as this will be used to evaluate the institution's ability to meet the Georgia Standards for Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Institutions.

Step 2: Attend the Initial Applicant Training

Once your proposal has been approved, you will be required to attend the Initial Authorization Training, where you will learn the specifics of authorization and gain an understanding of what is expected of you and your institution.

After the training, you will be given access to EDvera, the GNPEC's online authorization system, to complete the application.

Step 3: Complete The Application Process In EDvera

Pay the application fee

After attending the Initial Authorization Training, the Application Evaluation fee must be paid before login credentials can be issued to access GNPEC’s online application portal, EDvera.

Fees will vary depending on the type of program being offered and the number of programs you are applying for.

Application fees:

  • Bachelor's degrees ($3,000)
  • Master/Specialist degrees ($4,000)
  • Doctorate degrees ($5,000)

Complete the EDvera form

As part of the application, you will need to complete the following items:

  • Basic institutional information (Web form)
  • Minimum Standards Criteria Form (GNPEC document requiring completion and upload)
  • New Program Application for each proposed program (Web form).
  • Organizational Chart (Exhibit)
  • Personnel Data Inventory Form(s) (Web form)
  • Records Agreement and Director’s Agreement (Attestation)
  • Financial Statement (GNPEC document requiring completion and upload).
  • Tuition information with estimations for the first fiscal year of operation (Web form)

Step 4: Initial Applicant (Ia) Coordinator Will Review The Submitted Documents

Once your application has been submitted and all associated fees have been paid, an Initial Applicant (IA) Coordinator will review it for completeness.

  • The IA Coordinator will also review program documentation, such as lesson plans, syllabi, and outlines to ensure they meet GNPEC’s Minimum Standards.
  • If the application is incomplete or does not follow the minimum standards, the IA Coordinator will provide detailed feedback outlining what needs to be done before the applicant can move forward in the process.
  • Any application considered “grossly insufficient” by the IA Coordinator will not be eligible for resubmission.

Upon successfully meeting all requirements, the application will be submitted to a Regulatory Specialist (assigned by GNPEC) for further review and assessment

Step 5: Work With Rs To Ensure the Application Is In Compliance

After receiving receipt of the Application Evaluation fee, the institution must coordinate with a GNPEC-assigned Regulatory Specialist (RS) to ensure that all Minimum Standards have been satisfied.

You'll be asked to provide documentation of your institution's:

  • Ability to meet financial responsibility standards
  • Management/administrative structure
  • Programmatic content
  • Program length
  • Required equipment/facilities
  • Student services
  • Faculty qualifications

Once the RS has confirmed that the application has satisfied all GNPEC requirements, the institution will be notified and may proceed to provide the remaining documents, if applicable.

Step 6. Host a Site Visit and Pay the Remaining Fees

Having satisfied all the previous steps listed, institutions must host a site visit for GNPEC representatives. This should be scheduled by the institution in coordination with its assigned Regulatory Specialist.

The site visit will include a review of:

  • curricula
  • facilities
  • services
  • faculty
  • administrative or management structure.

Upon successful completion of the site visit, the institution will be required to pay any remaining fees, including:

  • Authorization fee (2% of total tuition & fees - max. of $25,000/year)
  • Tuition Guaranty Trust Fund (TGTF) Fee

For more information on the payment process, see GNPEC's Schedule of Fees page.

Once all fees have been successfully paid, the Certificate of Authorization will be issued.

Closing Words

Opening an educational institution in Georgia is a complex process that requires patience and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that you are in compliance with all the minimum standards set by GNPEC and will ultimately receive your Certificate of Authorization.

Do you have more questions about the process of getting state authorization for opening an educational institution in Georgia? For a free consultation about all things related to accreditation and licensing, email or call us today.

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