Q: My school was first accredited in 1912. I get an error message when I try to enter the accreditation start date in either the Department of Education or the SEVP-recognized agency lists. What should I do?
A: For both the Department of Education-recognized and the SEVP-identified lists, SEVIS will not accept an effective date that is more than 100 years in the past. You should enter the start date for your most recent period of accreditation/re-affirmation of accreditation, not the date your school was first accredited.
Q: If a school is accredited by a regional accrediting agency such as Middle States, what are the effective and expiration dates? The statement of accreditation does not list them. Is the expiration date the next periodic review date or the next self-study date? Is the effective date the "last reaffirmed" date?
A: The effective date is the “last reaffirmed” date – the date of the accreditation was most recently reaffirmed or granted. The expiration date is the date of the next periodic review.
Q: For clarification, SEVP does not require the date of ORIGINAL accreditation which might well go back over 100 years for some schools?
A: Correct. If your school is accredited by an agency on either the Department of Education or the SEVP-Identified agency lists, enter the start date of your last accreditation.
Q: My school is accredited by a State-Recognized Agency. Can I enter an effective date that is more than 100 years ago?
A: Yes. For State Recognized agencies, SEVIS will accept any start date going back as far as July 4, 1776.
Q: My school is accredited by an agency I had to list in the Licenses and Other Recognitions section. Can I enter an effective date that is more than 100 years ago?
A: Yes. For the Licenses and Other Recognitions, SEVIS will accept any start date going back as far as July 4, 1776.
Q: My school is accredited by an agency on the State-Recognized list. This accreditation does not have an expiration date. How do I indicate this?
A: The State-Recognized list allows schools to select “N/A” for the expiration date.
Q: My school is accredited by an agency I must enter on the Licenses and Other Recognitions section. This accreditation does not have an expiration date. How do I indicate this?
A: The Licenses and Other Recognitions section allows schools to select “N/A” for the expiration date.
Q: What consequences will schools face if minor accreditations expire, such as a business school accreditation, assuming the institutional accreditation is still valid? For large schools with many program or department level accreditations, this will be a challenge to manage.
A: If you have an over-arching institutional accreditation, you are not required to list individual departmental accreditations. However if you list departmental accrediting agencies and they expire, they do not affect your eligibility to be an SEVP-certified school.
Q: Once we enter our expiration dates for regional accreditation, and come to that date (i.e., March 2016), what will happen? Will there be a problem with our Form I–17 once that date has passed?
A: You are required to keep the information updated, just as you do now. If you are in the middle of a re-accreditation process, and are still in good standing with the accrediting agency, you would e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to notify them that you have an expiring accreditation, but that you are in the middle of a review.
Q: Are schools expected to continually update accreditation expiration dates on the Form I–17?
A: Yes. You will be expected to update the dates.
Q: My institution is affiliated with another university and now we are accredited under their regional agency. Our programs are SEVP-approved, theirs are not. What accreditation dates should we use; since they began to be accredited or since we affiliated with them?
A: You would put in the date that your school was authorized under their accreditation.
Q: My accrediting agency only lists the years of validity and does not give specific dates for the start and end of my school’s accreditation. How should I record this in SEVIS?
A: Schools should always seek guidance from their accreditor regarding the full scope of their accreditation cycle. If your accreditor does not have a specific accreditation expiration or reaffirmation date for your school, you may list a general end date, which encompasses, but does not exceed, your current accreditation cycle. For example, if your school’s accreditation was last renewed on 9/1/2005, and accreditation is granted for a 10 year period, you should list 9/1/2015 as the expiration date.
Q: My school is accredited by an agency that only gives the month and the year for the accreditation start and end dates. How should we list these?
A: For the accreditation start date, list the first day of the month that the accreditation took effect. For the expiration date, list the last day of the month the accreditation is in effect. For example if your school is accredited April 2010 through March 2020, list this as 04/01/2010 through 03/31/2020.
Q: My school is in the re-accreditation process now. We have had the site visit, but do not know when we will get the official reaffirmation of our accreditation. Our period of accreditation ends soon. How should we update the Form I-17?
A: Consult with your accrediting agency to find out when they will meet to make a decision on your school’s accreditation. Use that month to define the expiration of your current accreditation. For example, if they do not meet until December 2014, enter December 31, 2014 as the expiration; and then explain your situation in the Accreditation Remarks field.