Summary of the State Higher Education Grant Program Eligibility Requirements for Change of Ownership for Schools

Institutional Requirements

It is the responsibility of the school under the current ownership to notify the Agency immediately of an impending change in administration and/or ownership. This would also include changes in the institution's accrediting or licensing status.

Schools wanting to continue their participation in the Pennsylvania (PA) State Grant Program following a change in ownership are required to notify PHEAA within 30 days of their change in ownership and have their new owner sign a Change of Ownership Agreement as stated in PHEAA Regulation 121.32(b)(6) cited below.

"When a change in ownership of an approved institution occurs, the new owner shall notify the Agency in writing of the change in ownership within 30 days of the effective date of the change. The new owner shall execute and file with the Agency an agreement on a form provided by the Agency to assume responsibility for repayment of State grant funds to the Agency or payment of State grant funds to eligible students, as designated by the Agency, made necessary by the failure of the previous owner to follow Agency procedures and requirements. An institution that fails to execute this agreement will be required to wait 24 months before being considered for approval in the State Grant Program."

The school must also have an authorized official who is legally able to bind the institution, sign an Institutional Domiciled Certification and two Master Program Participation Agreements with Schedule A.

To obtain the documents mentioned above the school should contact Institution Compliance and Eligibility staff within 30 days of their change in ownership with the following information:

  • Change in ownership date and school's legal name to be written on the agreements.
  • Description of the change in ownership occurrence and how this change will benefit students.
  • Note any status changes (example: for-profit is now a non-profit.)

The information above can be emailed to ProgramReview@PHEAA.org or mailed to:

PHEAA
Institution Compliance and Eligibility/SGSP
1200 North 7th Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102-1444

As an alternative, schools may call PHEAA Institution Eligibility and leave a message at 717-720-2740, option 3.

In addition, the school will be required to provide change in ownership approval letters from the Pennsylvania Department of Education or their respective State Licensure and accreditor showing that they continue to be in an approved status. For a hospital school of nursing this would be the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and the Accreditation Commission for Education and Nursing. The school will also need to provide documentation showing that the United States Department of Education has approved their change in ownership.

Within 30 days of the change of ownership occurrence, a disbursement hold will be placed on the institution's PA State Grant account. The hold status will prevent funds from being sent to the institution while they are in this transition period but will not prevent students from being awarded and receiving notices (including reject notices). The school's PA State Grant master record will remain in a hold status until all requirements for re-establishing eligibility have been satisfied. Once the change in ownership is approved, the Agency will send an approval letter advising the hold has been removed.