Skip to main content

The Program Participation Agreement (PPA) is one of the initial requirements that schools must fulfill when they become eligible for Title IV funding. This agreement specifies the conditions that all institutions must meet before and during participation in Title IV programs, including compliance with laws, regulations, and policies governing Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs. Once a school applies for Title IV eligibility through the e-App, the PPA is automatically generated. By understanding and adhering to the terms of the PPA, schools can maintain their eligibility and ensure that students receive the financial assistance they need to pursue their education. 

The PPA contains information such as: 

  • the school’s effective approval date
  • the date when the approval expires
  • date by which the school needs to reapply for participation
  • the FSA programs which the school is approved for funding

The PPA is also used for:  

  • Recertification – Schools may be certified to participate in FSA for up to six years. Six months before the school’s expiration of its PPA, the Department will reach out to notify you to complete a recertification (Federal Student Aid Handbook)
  • Reinstatement – Occurs after a school has had a lapse in eligibility, but is now again eligible to participate in Title IV funds
  • Change of Ownership – Schools must notify the Department of a change in ownership
  • Designation as an Eligible Nonparticipating institution – An institution that does not currently choose to participate in Title IV funds but wants to report enrolled students with outstanding loan balances, for in school deferment purposes


PPA Signature Requirements 

To be Title-IV eligible, schools must follow all Department of Education instructions closely. They must have a current PPA signed by: 

  • School’s President
  • CEO
  • An authorized representative of the Secretary of Education

Upon approval of a school’s application to participate, a member of the School Participation Division (SPD) will send an electronic notice to the CEO/President and the financial aid administrator that the school’s PPA is ready to print and review.  

The school must print two (2) original PPA documents in portrait orientation and not edited in any way. The appropriate officials at the school must sign and date both printed PPAs and upload ALL pages to the document center. 

Acceptable forms of signature: 

  • original wet signatures
  • electronic signatures that have been drawn with a finger or mouse
  • photo scanned
  • placed on signature line

Unacceptable forms of signature: 

  • typed signature
  • Adobe certifications

Based on the information presented, it’s clear that the Program Participation Agreement (PPA) is a crucial component of the Title IV eligibility process for schools. By signing the PPA, schools agree to comply with all relevant laws, regulations, and policies related to the FSA programs. This commitment is essential for maintaining eligibility and ensuring that students receive the financial assistance they need to pursue their education.  

This material is presented for informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be giving legal advice.

Speak to our experts




Headshot of Christal Carson

Christal Carson  

Software & Financial Aid Trainer, FAME 

Christal brings the knowledge and experience from our Customer Service and Financial Aid Processing teams to her latest role on our Training team at FAME. She has 12 years of experience in the Financial Aid field with an extensive focus on Title IV Regulatory matters including the packaging of Pell and Direct Loans. 




Sally Samuels 

Director of Compliance, FAME 

Sally is one of the country’s leading authorities on Federal financial aid administration with 41 years of “in the trenches” experience. As a respected Industry leader, she is frequently called upon to speak at School, Accrediting, Regional and State conferences as well as to act as school liaison during program reviews and compliance audits. Having processed, reviewed and taught financial 

aid for 42 years Sally’s experience includes representation at over 300 program reviews and certification visits for postsecondary institutions.