The Institution Catalog is one of the most important documents you will create and maintain. The Catalog along with the Enrollment Agreement are the two documents that bind your services to students and your responsibilities as an educational entity. The Commission for Independent Education will hold you responsible to implement all regulations and services as per the approved Institution Catalog. Use the Catalog Checklist Form as your guide on what needs to be included. A catalog should include these sections: general information, admissions policies, academic policies, satisfactory academic progress policy, financial services, refund policy, student services, student responsibilities, student rights, school rules, academic calendar, tuition and fees, faculty listing, administrative personnel, and distance education policies. Look at the catalog of accredited institutions in Florida with a scope similar to yours as examples. Make sure to create your own version, for copying a catalog is a violation of Copyright Laws. ​

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​11 - ​​​​​​​​​FACULTY LISTING FORM 401

​We hope the information included on this page has answered your questions regarding the Florida Commission application elements. Still needing assistance?  We are accredited by the Better Business Bureau with a BBB A+ Rating. Count on us for help with your career school needs.

Request a free consultation by calling 786-618-2277, emailing [email protected], or completing the free session request form. We are available to guide you on how to complete CIE new institution application and provide consulting services on continued compliance. 



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Guidance and tips on how to complete the Florida Commission for Independent Education New Institution Application and obtain your school's license. Download the exhibits list reference guide.  


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Along with the CIE application, it is required to present the following financial statements:

  • Institution financial statement - A financial statement of the parent corporation that controls the institution compiled, reviewed, or audited in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, prepared by an independent certified public accountant, demonstrating sufficient resources to ensure institutional development.
  • A financial statement for each owner of the institution - Compiled, reviewed, or audited in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, prepared by an independent certified public accountant. This statement must demonstrate sufficient resources to ensure institutional development.
  • A pro-forma balance sheet for the type of institution making the application. ​

We recommend hiring an accountant familiar with the higher education sector, for their experience will keep you in compliance from day one. Have in mind that licensed institutions are required to submit institution financials on an annual basis. Issues of financial nature usually lead to additional reporting and delays preventing institutions from adding new programs or qualifying for accreditation.

Considerations Before You Start

Copies of the institution incorporation record with the Florida Department of State Corporation Division to demonstrate the active status and ownership. The ownership of your institution should be a corporation or limited liability company, either for-profit or non-profit. 

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If you are a new institution opening your first campus - Present your projected plan for accreditation. This plan should include the accrediting agency you are considering, the timing for an initial application, workshops, final accreditation visit, and estimated approval date.

If you are a currently licensed institution opening a new campus -  Present a projected plan showing when you are expecting to meet eligibility requirements with your current accreditor, and a timeline with the visits and estimated final approval date. ​​


Submit copies of draft advertisements (you are not allowed to have it live yet), such as flyers, social media ads, brochures, and postcards.


Complete a Criminal Justice Background Information Investigation Fee Form 211 for each owner and administrator. The commission will run a background check on each one of them. A $50 fee is required for each Criminal Justice Background Fee Form. Watch the tutorial video on how to complete Form 211 Criminal Justice Background Information Investigation Fee Form 211 provided by the commission.

Complete the Refund Policy Checklist confirming it complies with all listed requirements. The Refund Policy is listed in the Enrollment Agreement and Institution Catalog. Make sure both match word by word. ​​

Complete the Catalog Checklist confirming your catalog complies with all listed requirements. For questions about any of the specific requirements as listed in the checklist, you may want to review the Florida Statues Rules and Law.​​


Submit copies of Admissions Training Certificates for classes completed by each one of the admissions personnel listed in the institution's catalog. There are many approved courses. One of them is the one provided by FAPSC CM201 - Admissions Compliance for Postsecondary Schools in Florida. ​​

Prepare the Faculty Listing Form 401 by adding your Director of Education and all faculty members to impart instruction at your institution. The Faculty Listing Form 401 should match the information included in the Organizational Chart and Catalog. You must have sufficient faculty members to impart the programs and workloads as presented for approval. The commission will confirm faculty members have the qualifications and licenses required for the programs of instruction. Watch the tutorial video on how to complete the Florida Commission for Independent Education Faculty Listing Form 401 provided by the commission. ​​

Prepare an Instructional and Administrative Personnel Form 402 (IAP) for each owner, faculty, and administrative personnel listed in the school catalog and organizational chart. This form must match the information included in the resume of each individual, as well as the submitted credentials. Watch the commission tutorial video on how to complete Form 402 Instructional and Administrative Personnel Form.​​

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Complete the Student Protection Fund Fee Form 202. Include a copy of the check and form in the package submitted via email with the CIE application. Send the original check and form to the Office of the Comptroller via certified mail.​​


Included next, find an explanation of how to complete CIE New Institution Application for vocational schools, colleges, and universities. A review of each of the 24 exhibits is provided to assist you with the licensing process. Look for the tutorial videos available for many of the items, as well as tips to avoid the most common mistakes. We hope this guide will help you get your application expeditiously moving towards your school's approval!  

We recommend preparing the final Business Plan Form 605 after all other elements of this application have been completed: catalog, organizational chart, program outlines, projected budget, financials, and pro-forma balance sheet. Commissioners will review the Business Plan Form 605 to determine the institution's ability to successfully operate and serve Florida students. It is important that school owners and key personnel are prepared to answer CIE commissioners' questions the day the institution is part of a meeting agenda for initial approval. Information in the business plan should match exactly what is presented in the other elements of this application: catalog, organizational chart, and projected budget. It is expected that the institution's break-even point will happen within the first 12 months of operations ( the point where total revenues equal total costs).

The Business Plan Form 605 includes the following sections:

  • Executive Summary
  • Facilities Description
  • Description of Programs
  • Market Analysis
  • Strategy and Implementation
  • Web Plan
  • Board or Regulatory Agency Approvals
  • Faculty and Personnel
  • Capital Equipment and Supplies
  • Financial Plan
  • Teach-Out Plan
  • Business Continuity of Operations Plan


Complete the Enrollment Agreement Checklist confirming your Enrollment Agreement complies with all listed requirements. ​​


Complete the Provisional License Application Form 101 in its entirety. Do not leave empty fields. For non-applicable fields type "NA".  All information must be typed. Under "Board or Regulatory agency Approval," list board approval information such as for nursing or electrology programs. On the last page add a checkmark for all items that will be submitted with the application. Watch the tutorial video on how to complete the New Institution Application with the Florida Department of Education provided by the commission.  ​​

Submit a copy of the lease agreement for the location where the institution will be officially located. The lease agreement contract must match the name of the registered corporation that owns the institution. If the facilities are owned, a copy of the documentation to prove so is required.


Prepare the Projected or Actual Budget Form 606 based on your estimation of expenses and enrollments for the first year of operations. We recommend being reasonable with the expected number of enrollments and generous in expenses considerations. Follow the guidelines included in the instruction sheet. Complete the Budget sheet in its entirety and one Program Revenue page per program presented for approval. It is expected the institution will not have a profit for the first couple of months, however, it should before the end of the first 12 months of operations. On the program review pages, starts and graduations should match your academic calendar. The commission expects to see sufficient allocated financial resources to ensure proper institutional development. Provide your school's Projected or Actual Budget Form 606 to your CPA for final adjustments/calculations and preparation of the Pro-Forma Balance Sheet.





Here is a list of general considerations that will keep you on the right track: 

  • Visit our page Open a School or College in Florida for an introduction to the application process and recommended homework. Download the exhibits list reference guide
  • Bookmark CIE's Florida New Institution Application Page for your reference. Read this page in its entirety, and download all forms and applications to be completed. Check this page often for current instructions and new form versions.
  • The application is the same for vocational schools, colleges, and universities. Depending on the scope, you will be required to include additional documentation such as externship agreements and online contracts.
  • Submit the completed application via email to [email protected] with documents attached in PDF format.
  • The application will not be reviewed until the payment of application fees is received.
  • Documents submitted must be typed, readable, and properly organized.
  • Your school application will be assigned to a Program Specialist and reviewed within 30 days of submissionThe assigned Program Specialist will become your point of contact with the commission.
  • Check the email provided as a contact in the application daily. CIE communications will be done via email. After the initial review, responses to additional requests may have a deadline of 7 days or less.

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Provide copies of the current occupational license, business tax, and recent fire inspection. All must be under the school's name and for the purpose of education.

​​​​​​Application Review 

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We have helped many new Florida school owners obtain their career school and college licenses. Visit our Florida Consulting page for a complete list of the services readily available to assist you. We can help you with the entire application process, including the planning, preparing the application documents, and operations training. Schedule a complimentary consultation today.

We are ready to assist you with your

  • ​Florida vocational school, college, university
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  • Degree-granting, online, and hybrid school
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​​​​​How to Complete CIE New Institution Application

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Provide a copy of the Enrollment Agreement that will be used at your school. An Enrollment Agreement is a contract between the student and institution which specifies the conditions under which instruction and charges will be executed. This document includes the institution's Refund Policy. A guardian or parent is required to sign the Enrollment Agreement when the student is under 18 years of age. Make sure your Enrollment Agreement complies with all requirements as indicated in the Enrollment Agreement Checklist.​​


Prepare a Program Outline for each program to be included for approval. Before completing this form, it is important you have conducted a study and decided on the program curriculum, duration, cost, textbooks, equipment, and supplies. Make sure these forms match word by word with the information listed in your catalog for program admissions, objective, description, course codes, course titles, hours, and credits. The commission will visit your school on an annual basis and will confirm that the equipment and supplies listed in the program outlines are accurate.  

Diploma Programs

Complete one Non-Degree Granting Outline Form 301 for each diploma program to be included in your CIE application. Watch the tutorial video on how to complete the Program Outline Form 301 for Diploma Programs provided by the commission. 

Degree-Granting Programs

Complete one Degree-Granting Program Outline Form 302 for each degree program to be included in your CIE application. Watch the tutorial video on how to complete the Program Outline Form 302 for Degree Programs provided by the commission.  ​​

Ask your CPA to complete the Finances Checklist confirming financial documents comply with all requirements. ​​

Provide screenshots of your draft website (you are not allowed to have it live yet), Student Handbook, and any other publication you may be planning to have besides the Institution's Catalog. ​​



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The institution's Faculty Handbook is a guide to the faculty that includes the policies and procedures relevant to instruction and the academic department. You may want to look at samples available online. Make sure the version you create fits your institution's scope, for you will be required to abide by it.​​




Step by Step Guide ​​

Prepare an organizational chart that shows the ownership and persons assigned to each one of the functions of the institution. The organizational chart should include at a minimum:

  • Owner(s) (name, title)
  • Campus Director, President, or CEO
  • Financial Director
  • Director of Education (Academic Director, Dean)
  • Admissions
  • Bursar (Financial Services)
  • Registrar (Student Services)
  • Career Services
  • Faculty by Program
  • Clinical Coordinator (for degree programs with externships)
  • Librarian (for degree-granting institutions)
  • Distance Education Coordinator, Quality Assurance (for online and hybrid institutions)

Complete the Fee Transmittal Form 201 based on the type of institution and the estimated enrollments for the first 12 months of operations. Watch the tutorial video on how to complete the Fee Transmittal Form 201 provided by the commission. Include a copy of the check and form in the package submitted via email with the CIE application. Send the original check and form to the Office of the Comptroller via certified mail.​​