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Secondary Postgraduate Year Programs (Grade 13)

Stakeholders request policy guidance or regulations that recognize recent advancements and changes in higher education.  Specifically, stakeholders ask that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) develop and release guidance that addresses recent advances in education and nontraditional programs, namely for secondary postgraduate year programs, commonly referred to as Grade 13.
Government Response

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) plans to release guidance addressing specific areas or types of nontraditional programs individually over time.

On March 21, 2016, SEVP released its first draft guidance for public comment on nontraditional programs. The public had 45 days to comment on SEVP Policy Guidance 1512:10: Secondary Postgraduate Year Programs, which addressed programs commonly referred to as Grade 13.
This draft guidance provided SEVP’s interpretation of how secondary postgraduate year programs of study may or may not be eligible for SEVP certification. The draft guidance explained that, as with all other programs that enroll F and/or M students, SEVP must approve the program on a school’s Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student.” 

SEVP received seven stakeholder comments on the draft guidance and will review all feedback received. SEVP plans to continue releasing additional guidance documents on nontraditional programs. Stakeholders will receive notifications about the release of this guidance through Study in the States.

Stakeholders can sign up to receive notifications when the program releases new guidance for public comment via the Study in the States SEVP Guidance for Comment page