Student Search Service Eligibility

Eligibility for Student Search Service (in effect until September 2024)

Student Search Service™ eligibility is established at two levels: organization and program. Eligibility criteria are described below. Organizations and programs applying for a Student Search account may be required to provide evidence of compliance with any of the eligibility conditions set forth below.

Organization Eligibility Requirements Organizations seeking a Student Search account must qualify under one of four categories:

  1. Higher Education
  2. Scholarship
  3. Education/Access, or
  4. Consortium.

Following are the eligibility requirements for each category.

Higher Education Organization

  • Be an accredited college or university at the college level by an agency or association recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. See the complete list at
  • Offer degree programs at the 2-year degree level or higher.

Scholarship Organization 

  • Hold 501(c)3 status. 
  • Provide a scholarship as its primary activity, which may be disbursed directly to students (no requirement to disburse directly to a postsecondary institution). 
  • Not require membership fees for scholarship consideration. 
  • Be eligible under IRS NTEE Code “B82-Scholarships, Student Financial Aid Services, Awards” (if not, additional website review will be required). 

Education or Access Organizations 

  • Hold 501(c)3 status or be sponsored by a government entity. 
  • Promote access or enhance readiness for postsecondary education. 
  • Provide material alignment with the College Board mission. 
  • Be eligible under IRS NTEE Code “B80 – Student Services, Organizations of Students,” “B90 – Educational Services and Schools – Other,” "B99 – Education N.E.C,” “O50 – Youth Development Programs, Other,” “O99 – Youth Development N.E.C”; if not, additional website review will be required. 


  • A College Board Student Search Consortium is a group of organizations in which each member is qualified to hold a Student Search account based on its own credentials. 
  • Consortium members may designate a vendor/service provider to lead execution of the recruitment program on behalf and at the behest of the Consortium (See vendor section for Vendor guidelines). 
  • Consortium members shall promote each of their programs equally in all communications/material sent to students. 


  • Vendors are third parties working on behalf of a Student Search account holder to provide designated services for the account holder. 
  • Vendors are not eligible to hold a Student Search account. 
  • Vendors must sign a College Board third-party agreement to act on behalf of the Student Search account holder. 
  • Vendor employees, staff, consultants (“Personnel”) are considered authorized users of the Student Search account holder when accessing Search and must act on behalf and at the behest of the account holder. 
  • Vendor Personnel are subject to the College Board Search Terms and Conditions. 
  • Student Search account holders are responsible for vendor access to their accounts. 
  • College Board staff are not permitted to create vendor access for any Student Search account. 

2023-24 Connections Eligibility

(Eligibility standards for Connections beginning September 2023 and for both Search and Connections beginning September 2024)

Eligibility is open to non-profit organizations sending messages to students through College Board’s Connections program on one or more of the following approved topics:

  • Information about college or university undergraduate academic degree programs, admissions processes and free events, scholarship and financial aid opportunities, or general college information
  • Information about no-cost scholarship and financial aid opportunities
  • Information about accessing higher education, including information about particular types of non-profit institutions or academic degree programs

Non-profit organizations eligible to participate are at the discretion of the College Board and meet one of the following criteria:

  • Non-profit colleges and universities accredited institution-wide by a US DoE recognized accreditor to offer two-year associate and/or four-year bachelor degrees.
  • Non-profit colleges and universities outside the US accredited institution-wide by a government recognized accrediting agency
  • 501(c)(3) organizations for the purpose of offering no-cost scholarships, financial aid, or information regarding access to higher education
  • Non-profit consortia of any of the above organizations for the purpose of offering no-cost scholarships, financial aid, or information regarding access to higher education with equal regard for any and all organizations participating in the consortia