Provider & Training Program Application FAQs
Effective Date: July 1, 2023
What is the Indiana Career Accelerator Fund and Accelerate Indiana?
The Indiana Career Accelerator Fund (ICAF) —established by the Indiana General Assembly in 2021—offers income share agreements (ISAs) to help Hoosiers pursue short-term credential training in high-wage, high-demand fields. State lawmakers assigned the program to INvestEd, Indiana’s statutory non-profit dedicated to helping Hoosiers wisely plan and fund education beyond high school since 1980. Accelerate Indiana was formed by INvestEd to administer the day-to-day activities of certifying Qualified Education Programs and managing the ISAs for their students.
Why an Accelerate Indiana ISA?
Certified training programs (Qualified Education Programs) will be able to offer more funding options and serve more prospective students through Accelerate Indiana ISAs.
Who is eligible for an Accelerate Indiana ISA?
To qualify for an Accelerate Indiana ISA, a student must:
- Be enrolled in an Accelerate Indiana-certified Qualified Education Program.
- Be 18 years of age.
- Be an Indiana resident and U.S. citizen and/or eligible resident (same as Workforce Ready Grant).
NOTE: Students possessing a college degree are eligible to utilize the Accelerate Indiana ISA program.
What are the student details of an Accelerate Indiana ISA?
This new funding option offers various student-friendly features and protections:
- Zero interest.
- No fees.
- Never repay more than the principal amount paid for tuition, fees, & course materials directly to the Qualified Education Program
- Payments at 5% of monthly earned income only if earning more than before enrollment or at least the minimum Accelerate Indiana Income Threshold based on 75% of Indiana’s median household income
- Minimum ISA amount: $1,000
- Maximum ISA amount: $7,500 is an individual’s lifetime aggregate maximum
- 6-month ‘Grace Period’ before the repayment term begins (post-graduation or separation from program)
- Forbearance for economic hardship, disability, disasters, and military service
- 84-month repayment term; nothing extends the repayment term and any outstanding obligation is forgiven at expiration
What costs does the ISA cover?
The ISA covers the total cost of tuition, fees, and required course materials certified for the enrolled student by the Qualified Education Program between a minimum of $1,000 and maximum of $7,500. A training program is expected to apply the ISA in a last-dollar manner, assisting the student in maximizing all available free or gift financial aid before offering the ISA as a funding option.
Only students of Qualified Education Programs may apply for Accelerate Indiana ISAs; only Qualified Education Programs may receive ISA tuition disbursements.
How does a Qualified Education Program receive ISA disbursements?
A Qualified Education Program receives ISA disbursements following a conditional schedule similar to the Workforce Ready Grant:
- Upon the student beginning the program, 70% of the verified tuition, fees, and required course materials; and
- Upon the student graduating from the program, the remaining 30% of the originally verified tuition, fees, and required course materials.
What is a Qualified Education Program?
A Qualified Education Program is a short-term credential training program—considered in location-specific terms—that has demonstrated to Accelerate Indiana that it satisfies the requirements to participate in the ICAF program. Training may be in-person, online, or a hybrid model of both.
- Allow an individual to earn a credential within 2 years.
- 6-month graduation rate of at least 75%.
- A 65% job placement rate for graduates within 3 months
- Average graduates’ wage gain is 20% within 6 months
- Average graduates’ earnings of at least 150% of Indiana’s per capita income within 2 years
- Programs must be offered by CHE- and DWD-authorized providers with a physical presence in Indiana
- Offer a credential in one of Next Level Jobs’ five high-demand career fields:
- Advanced Manufacturing
- IT & Business Services
- Building & Construction
- Health & Life Sciences
- Transportation & Logistics
- Enter into an agreement to adhere to Accelerate Indiana’s ‘Standard Terms & Conditions’ and ‘Program Duties & Responsibilities.’
NOTE: The credential does not need a Next Level Jobs ‘5-Flame Occupation’ rating. The training program may be academic credit bearing if the above requirements are met.
How does a training program apply?
First, a credential training program provider should review Accelerate Indiana’s Institution & Program Certification Policies Guide available on the Accelerate Indiana website.
If a provider believes they meet the institutional eligibility requirements and they offer training programs that meet program eligibility criteria (above), they should start the application process by entering some basic institutional/provider information. The application can be accessed at the link below :
The Accelerate Indiana team will review the institutional information and flag any potential issues.
If the program meets the eligibility criteria for participation, the provider will receive a follow-up email providing instructions on how to submit an Application for Consideration on behalf of an individual, location-specific training program. (Note: A virtual training program should be considered its own location.)
What if a training program does not have the required student outcome data?
The ICAF law requires candidate programs demonstrate specific student outcome data many providers may not have collected and new(er) programs could not possibly possess. However, if the provider or program believes they satisfy program eligibility requirements (above), they are encouraged to submit an Application for Consideration on behalf of an individual, location-specific training program. (Note: A virtual program should be considered its own location.)
If a candidate program does not have adequate data for one or more of the student outcome metrics—Student Completion Rate, Graduate Job Placement, and Graduate Earnings—it should enter ‘Unavailable’ or ‘Unknown’ in the application. Under the field to provide additional information in relation to that student outcome metric, the applications should explain why adequate data is unavailable and proactively include relevant, truthful information in support of the application, such as proxy data.
What is Proxy Data?
Proxy data allows the Certification Advisory Committee to consider the application of a credential training program that does not have adequate data for one or more eligibility criteria regarding student outcomes. The Accelerate Indiana Institution & Program Certification Policies Guide (pages 10-12) elaborates on potential proxy data and additional information the committee may consider to provisionally satisfy a specific student outcome data requirement.
Candidate programs are strongly encouraged to utilize the option of providing additional relevant information in support of their application, particularly potential proxy data.
A candidate program requiring proxy data is only eligible for Provisional Certification.
What other data and information will be considered?
Accelerate Indiana may consult with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and other state agencies to verify application information or obtain additional data to facilitate the review process. An example of relevant information is aggregate student outcome data regarding Workforce Ready Grant providers and Eligible Training Providers. The Certification Advisory Committee may always request additional information from the candidate program in support of the application.
What happens to training program applications?
All complete Applications for Consideration will be compiled and submitted for review by Accelerate Indiana’s Certification Advisory Committee. The Certification Advisory Committee anticipates reviewing applications on a monthly basis. Depending upon Committee scheduling, it is possible that an application will not be reviewed until the following calendar month. All certification recommendations are reviewed and subject to the final approval of Accelerate Indiana.
What if a training program receives approval?
If a candidate program receives a certification recommendation from the Certification Advisory Committee and is approved by the Accelerate Indiana Board, the training program must then provide a signed Standard Terms and Conditions prior to certification as a Qualified Education Program. Once certified, a training program will be added to the Accelerate Indiana Qualified Education Program List.
What if a training program is denied a recommendation?
If an application is declined, it is not permanent. A candidate program denied a certification recommendation must await the passage of three (3) calendar months before submitting another application for the same program. A training provider may always submit applications on behalf of other programs. Accelerate Indiana anticipates many providers will have some programs approved and other programs declined. A candidate program declined a certification recommendation from the Certification Advisory Committee shall be supplied an explanation of the determination upon request.
What is required of a Qualified Education Program?
Prior to certification as a Qualified Education Program, the training program or its sponsoring/parent institution (provider) must submit a signed and duly executed Standard Terms & Conditions available on the Accelerate Indiana website.
A Qualified Education Program agrees to adhere to these duties and responsibilities, as amended from to time, such as:
- General Compliance Matters, e.g., signing and duly executing the Standard Terms & Conditions and notifying Accelerate Indiana of any alterations to the original application information, such as a change in the program’s duration, credential offered, or program administrator.
- Enrollment & Cost of Attendance Verification, e.g., verifying a student applying for an ISA is enrolled and their total cost of tuition, fees, and required course materials.
- Academic Separation & Graduation Notification, e.g., timely notification if an ISA student’s progress, including date of graduation, duration of study, and credentials earned.
- Student Outcomes & Performance Metrics, e.g., collecting, tracking, retaining, and reporting to Accelerate Indiana universal student outcome data concerning Student Completion Rate, Graduate Job Placement, and Graduate Earnings, as well ISA student-specific outcomes.