California Educational Facilities Authority

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is CEFA? What types of programs does CEFA offer?

The California Educational Facilities Authority (CEFA) is a conduit financing agency of the State of California, created by legislation in 1972 to provide tax-exempt financing to private non-profit higher educational facilities of California, and housed in the State Treasurer's Office in Sacramento, CA. CEFA currently offers a Bond Financing Program and an Equipment Financing Program.

2. What are the benefits of doing business with CEFA?

Bond transactions can close in less than two months from application submission, CEFA offers competitive application and issuance fees, and CEFA requires a single TEFRA (Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act) hearing.

3. Does CEFA provide Borrowers with a financing team?

No, CEFA does not provide borrowers with a financing team. The State Treasurer's Office has a pool of approved Bond Counsel and Underwriters.

4. Does CEFA lend its own money?

As a conduit issuer, CEFA issues bonds on behalf of a borrower and then lends those proceeds to that borrower. The borrower provides security to the bondholder, not CEFA.

5. What are the criteria to be eligible for CEFA financing?

Minimum criteria include the following: must be a private, non-profit, post-secondary degree-granting institution located in California, or have educational facilities in California that are regionally accredited and do not factor race or ethnicity into their admissions process. Additional criteria may apply on a case by case basis.

6. My institution is religiously-affiliated, am I eligible?

Religious affiliation does not preclude your institution from participating, as long as your institution meets the criteria listed in the previous question.

7. What kinds of projects can be financed by bond proceeds?

Bond proceeds may be used to purchase land, construct or remodel buildings, purchase or lease equipment, and/or refinance existing debt.

8. Assuming that my project meets the eligibility requirements, how much of my project costs can be financed on a tax-exempt basis?

Eligible project costs are spelled out under the Education Code Section 94110 (c).

9. Where can I find the application?

CEFA's application can be downloaded from the financing programs page.

10. Can the application be sent electronically?

Yes, you may email the application to our offices, but we do require a hard copy be submitted as well.

11. What is the deadline to turn in an application?

The first business day of the month of the CEFA Board meeting (for instance: March 1 for the board meeting held the last Thursday in March).

12. How much does CEFA charge for financing?

Please see the Bond Financing Program Fees.

13. Do audited financial statements need to be provided?

The three most recent consecutive years of audited financial statements are required as part of the application process.

14. When are the CEFA board meetings?

Board meetings are typically held the last Thursday of each month. The meeting schedule is posted on the CEFA website. Check the meetings page for updates, or sign up to receive agendas and other notices.

15. Who are the representatives on the CEFA board?

The CEFA board consists of five members (three ex officio members and two appointees): the State Treasurer (chair of the board), the State Controller, the Director of the Department of Finance, and two Governor appointees.

16. If I have additional questions, who can I contact?

Summer Nishio, Program Manager for CEFA, can be reached at (916) 653-2872, or via email.