The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) issues identification code numbers to colleges that are eligible to participate in federal financial aid programs. Finding a college or university OPE code is a straightforward process.

Visit the Federal School Code List website at the Department of Education. This site offers a search function that can look up a college or university by name and return information about the school, including its six-digit OPE code.

Check with the university or college. The school's financial aid office will generally know the institutional OPE identification code and can provide it upon request.

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Contact the Department of Education. If other sources don't provide the OPE code, then get it directly from the Department of Education.


Be sure to use the correct format. A formal OPE code consists of six-digits identifying the college or university. Some codes have an additional two-digit extension to identify specific branches or campuses within a university.

About the Author

David Sarokin is a well-known specialist on Internet research. He has been profiled in the "New York Times," the "Washington Post" and in numerous online publications. Based in Washington D.C., he splits his time between several research services, writing content and his work as an environmental specialist with the federal government. David is the author of Missed Information (MIT Press, 2016), a book exploring how better information can lead to a more sustainable future.