California Educational Facilities Authority


The California Educational Facilities Authority (CEFA) was established in 1973. CEFA operates pursuant to the California Educational Facilities Authority Act, as set forth in the California Education Code, Section 94100-94213 and the California Code of Regulations (Title 4, Division 12, Chapters 1-3).

CEFA was created for the purpose of issuing revenue bonds to assist private non-profit institutions of higher learning, in the expansion and construction of educational facilities. Because it is authorized to issue tax-exempt bonds, the Authority may provide more favorable financing to such private institutions than might otherwise be obtainable.

The law specifically provides that bonds issued under this Act shall not be a debt, liability, or claim on the faith and credit or the taxing power of the State of California, or any of its political subdivisions. The full faith and credit of the participating institution is normally pledged to the payment of the bonds.


In order to meet the requirements for CEFA financing, an institution must meet the following criteria:

  • Be regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges;
  • Be a private, non-profit, post-secondary degree granting educational institution that does not factor race or ethnicity into their admissions process, and is located in California or that has educational facilities in California that are regionally accredited;
  • Offer a broad curriculum in secular subjects, and the information and coursework used to teach secular subjects must be neutral with respect to religion;
  • Have been operating for a minimum of three years prior to submitting an application for financing and provide three years of audited financial statements;
  • Have revenue or collateral sufficient to cover debt service on the proposed financing.

Should you have questions on eligibility, contact Summer Nishio, Program Manager at (916) 653‑2872.

In addition to initial eligibility, the Authority requires borrowers to comply with its Bond Issuance Guidelines per bond rating category and provide loan security provisions and bond covenants that correspond with its rating.

Use of Funds

Proceeds from CEFA financings may be used for the following project related costs:

  • Construction
  • Remodeling and renovation
  • Land acquisition (as part of the proposed project)
  • Purchase of or lease of equipment
  • Refinancing or refunding of prior debt
  • Working Capital
  • Costs of bond issuance and reimbursement of prior expenses.

Application and Approval Process

Submitted applications are thoroughly reviewed by the Authority. The borrower may select the following personnel, subject to approval by the STO:

  • A qualified financial advisor, or investment banker, with experience in preparing municipal bond offerings.
  • Bond Counsel
  • Trustee to act as a depository and record keeper for the required bond reserve, redemption, and other funds.

A complete list of these approved companies can be found at

The Authority utilizes the services of the following advisors:

  • Financial Analyst - Analyst assists with evaluating creditworthiness of Authority applicants:
    • TAP International, Inc.
  • Municipal Advisors - A pool of advisors who assist with evaluating the security and covenant packages offered by tax-exempt borrowers. These advisors also assist with the tax-exempt bond sale process.
    • KNN Public Finance, LLC
    • Fieldman, Rolapp & Associates, Inc

Upon a finding by the Authority that the application is in good order and the institution is in a position to meet the financial obligations of a bond issue, a CEFA meeting is scheduled for approval of the financing. The bond issue is then scheduled for either public or private sale. Typically, within thirty days of the bond sale, a closing takes place at which time the transaction is completed.