Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is this type of comparability determination important?
It’s important to American students who want to attend a foreign medical school and wish to receive federal student loans to help them with educational expenses. If the NCFMEA determines that a foreign country’s accreditation standards for medical schools are comparable, then any accredited medical school in that country is eligible to apply to the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the federal student loan program.
- Does the NCFMEA accredit foreign medical schools?
No, the NCFMEA does not review or accredit individual foreign medical schools. The NCFMEA only reviews the standards that a foreign country uses to accredit its medical schools.
- Does the U.S. Department of Education accredit foreign medical schools?
No, the U.S. Department of Education does not accredit foreign medical schools. Any accredited medical school in a country that has comparable accreditation standards as determined by the NCFMEA may apply to the Department to participate in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program (Direct Loans). As part of the application, the school must provide documentation that it has been accredited by the entity in the foreign country that has responsibility for such accreditation. Evidence of accreditation is just one of the eligibility criteria that the foreign medical school must meet in order to participate in the Direct Loan Program.
- How do I obtain a list of foreign medical schools that are eligible to participate in Direct Loans?
For information on which foreign medical schools are eligible to participate in the Direct Loans, contact the Foreign Schools Team at the U.S. Department of Education. The Team’s phone number is (202) 377-3168 and fax number is (202) 275-3486.
- Have the regulations concerning foreign medical schools been developed to implement the recommendations made in the NCFMEA’s 2009 Report to Congress and the Secretary of Education?
The final regulations for foreign schools, including foreign medical schools, became effective on July 1, 2011.