I take online courses for a masters in nursing education with Aspen University. The university is headquartered in NY and is accredited by a regional accrediting agency of the US Dept of Ed. I live in NY. I was awarded the scholarship then subsequently denied eligibility because "the school is not a registered school with the NYS Board of Ed" (a rep stated).

Does my school satisfy the requirement and can I rightfully appeal their decision to overturn the denial of my award?

Can the denial be reversed?

Here is the source for the eligibility requirements: https://www.hesc.ny.gov/pay-for-college/financial-aid/types-of-financial-aid/nys-grants-scholarships-awards/senator-patricia-k-mcgee-nursing-faculty-scholarship-program.html

Scholarship Requirements


Aspen University does not seem to appear in the NYSED list of accredited universities, so that would make it ineligible. I'm not sure whether you can appeal this or not, but it would seem that you don't meet the eligibility requirements.

As far as I can tell, Aspen University is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, not NY State.


Under NY Educ Law 661 - 665-A, the scholarship recipient

Must be matriculated in an approved program, as defined by the commissioner pursuant to article thirteen of this chapter, or pursuant to paragraph b of this subdivision, in an institution situated in the state, which has been approved and operating in this state for at least one year, and has been approved for participation in federal student financial aid programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended

Paragraph (b) extend this to other schools as long as the institution is exempt from federal taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which excludes Aspen U.

Article 13 defines the duties of the commissioner, which are pretty open-ended and include promulgating regulations: it essentially allows the commission to say what programs are approved, or not approved. §665-A requires institutions to enter into a participation agreement, and an institution may be suspended if they violate a rule or law. You may be able to demand formal evidence that Aspen U is precluded from participation; however, it may simply be that the university did not seek such an agreement. (It is headquartered in NY).

  • The parent company (Aspen Group) is headquartered there, but the Aspen University child company is not, which may be an important legal separation that means it doesn't have to seek accreditation in NYS to operate online there since the University doesn't have a physical presence. – Ron Beyer Aug 2 '18 at 0:31

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