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Postsecondary State Authorization

The Utah legislature passed HB 405 in response to 34 CFR 600.9.  The law is effective on May 13, 2014.  Determining how to register in Utah depends on the school's desire to obtain state authorization under 34 C.F.R. 600.9.  If receiving state authorization is the school’s objective, the school can apply under 13-34a.  If state authorization is not the school’s objective, the school may register or file an exemption under 13-34.

Please review sections 13-34a-203 and 13-34a-204, to determine its applicability to your school.

Frequently Asked Questions   (click question to view answer)

A:  Any postsecondary school who desires to obtain state authorization under 34 CFR 600.9.

A:  A certificate issued by the division to a postsecondary school in accordance with the provisions of Utah Code Ann. §13-34a.

A:  Section 13-34a-203 applies to nonprofit postsecondary institutions whether they are private or public.  The postsecondary school must provide documentation that it is nonprofit and has been in continuous operation as a nonprofit for at least 20 years.  This section applies to in state and out of state nonprofit private postsecondary schools, and out of state nonprofit public postsecondary schools that desire to obtain State Authorization from the State of Utah.
Section 13-34a-204 applies to any other postsecondary school operating in Utah either in state or out of state.

A:  Certificates issued to schools that fall under Section 13-34a-203 do not expire.  Certificates issued to schools that fall under Section 13-34a-204 expire one year after the day on which the certificate of postsecondary state authorization is issued.  However, both are subject to denial, revocation, and suspension under the terms described in 13-34a.

A:  If the school continues to desire to maintain state authorization under 34 CFR 600.9 the school shall submit the application annually if it falls under Section 13-34a-204.

A:  The Division does not define physical presence; however, the Utah Postsecondary State Authorization Act defines operate in 13-34a-102(8).  Operate means to maintain a place of business in the state; conduct significant educational activities within the state; or provide postsecondary education to a Utah resident that: is intended to lead to a postsecondary degree or certificate; and is provided from a location outside the state by correspondence or telecommunications or electronic media technology.

A:  If there is a change in circumstances that affects the status of the postsecondary school, the postsecondary school shall notify the division in writing of the change within 30 days after the day on which the change occurs.

A:  Yes. The Division can investigate postsecondary schools pursuant to the Utah Postsecondary State Authorization Act and the Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act, and any other statute enforced by the Division.

A:  The postsecondary school shall provide each student or prospective student written information regarding how to file a complaint against the postsecondary school with the Division, its accrediting body and its approval or licensing entity.
To satisfy the requirements, a postsecondary school may place a conspicuous link on the postsecondary school’s website that links to the contact information of each entity or a third party’s website that states the contact information for each entity.

A: If a postsecondary school ceases to operate, at least 30 days before the day on which the postsecondary school ceases to operate, the postsecondary school shall give the Division written notice that includes the date on which it will cease operating and if accredited, a written certification that the postsecondary school has complied with the postsecondary school’s accrediting agency’s closure requirements.

A: Unless the school decides to change its status, the exempt status under the Postsecondary Proprietary School Act remains effective. The law change does not affect an exemption previously issued to a postsecondary proprietary school by the Division. However, the exemption only applies to Chapter 34 of Title 13, and not to Chapter 34a of Title 13 related to State Authorization.

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