Responses Last Confirmed:

Illinois Board of Higher Education

Agency Contact

Dr. Nkechi Onwuameze
217-557-7382
sara@ibhe.org

Additional Contact

Secretary of State Contact

Jesse White
217-782-2201
jessewhite@ilsos.net
Topic

1: Important Agency Information to Note

a.
Provide any important information about your agency.

No response provided

Topic

2: Types of Educational Providers Authorized

a.
Indicate the types of institutions that your agency authorizes. Please provide a short explanation of any ambiguity in the comment section below.

_×___   Public, in-state degree granting institutions
_×__     Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions                
_×___   Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
_×___   Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions 
_×___   Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
_×___   Private, out-of-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
_×___   Public, in-state, non-degree granting institutions
_×___   Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions
_×___   Non-degree, not-for profit institutions
_×___   Non-degree, for-profit institutions 
_×___   Religious institutions
_____   Tribally-controlled institutions
_____   Federal Institutions
_____   Municipal institutions

b.
Does your agency authorize specific academic programs offered by institutions, only institutions themselves, or both?

____ Institution   _____ Program   __X___ Both

c.
Clarifying comments:

Religious institutions offering degree programs are required to seek authorization. Religious institutions offering non-degree programs are exempt. Federal institutions and municipal categories not offering degree programs are not specified in our rules.

Topic

3: Accreditation

a.
Is accreditation required for an institution to be authorized in your state?

Yes

b.
If yes, please check all that apply as appropriate.

Accreditation Required for:
_X___ Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions
_X___ Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
_X___ Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
_X___ Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
_X___ Private, out-of-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
_X___ Public, in-state, non-degree granting institutions
_X___ Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions
_X___ Non-degree, not-for profit institutions
_X___ Non-degree, for-profit institutions
_X___ Religious institutions
_____ Tribally-controlled institutions
_____ Federal Institutions
_____ Municipal institutions

c.
Clarifying comments:

All institutions operating in the State must be accredited by a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. New in-state institutions without accreditation are required to obtain accreditation by a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation within five years of authorization. For non-degree granting institutions, the institution must have the appropriate accreditation if the school offers a program in which professional qualification in a field is necessary for a graduate to obtain employment (Section 1095.40, 23 Illinois Administrative Code 1095).

Illinois Administrative Codes guiding authorization of institutions do not specify regional or national accreditation. All institutions operating in the State must be accredited by a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. New in-state institutions without accreditation are required to obtain accreditation by a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation within five years of authorization. For non-degree granting institutions, the institution must have the appropriate accreditation if the school offers a program in which professional qualification in a field is necessary for a graduate to obtain employment (Section 1095.40, 23 Illinois Administrative Code 1095).

Topic

4: Exemptions

a.
Are certain institutions or programs exempt by law or policy from your state authorization requirements?

Under 23 Illinois Administrative Code Section 1030.10 “Institutions Required to Receive Approval,” institutions which were established and have been in continuous operation at the same location since prior to 1961 are not required to receive authorization to operate or to grant degrees at locations in the institution’s home region.

1. Institutions with Limited Physical Presence in Illinois.

2. Institutions participating in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) that are determined by the Board to have limited physical presence.

3. Additional Board approval is not required for Board approved institutions offering programs:

      A) On federal military bases exclusively to base personnel and their family members;

      B) At clinical or practice sites that are utilized as a part of Board approved degree programs;

      C) Offering dual credit courses to high school students in high schools; or

      D) Offering courses inside public correctional facilities.

Here is a link to other exemption categories in the Code:

https://www.ibhe.org/assets/files/PrivateAdminRules2017.pdf

b.
If yes, for what types of institutions? Which types of programs?

No response provided

c.
Web link for exemptions.

No response provided

d.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

5: Authorization of Distance Education

a.
Does your agency require purely online programs offered by out-of-state institutions to be authorized without regard to physical presence?

No. However, authorization may be required if the online programs originate from in-state (Illinois) operation.

b.
If not, does your agency determine whether an institution must be authorized based on a physical presence (“operating”) standard?

Yes. Institutions that establish physical presence require authorization to operate in Illinois. Also see response to 4A1 above.

c.
Does your agency require correspondence study programs to be authorized without regard to physical presence?

A) in residence or correspondence; or 

B) in the case of an institution offering online instruction, maintaining a physical facility in Illinois, providing instruction for students at a physical location, or physically providing core academic support services in Illinois, including but not limited to admission, evaluation, assessment, registration, financial aid, academic scheduling, and faculty hiring and support (23 Illinois Administrative Code 1030, Section 1030.10).

d.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

 

Topic

6: Physical Presence Policy

a.
If your agency uses a physical presence standard, how does your agency define physical presence?

Section 1030.10 “Institutions Required to Receive Approval” 

a) Institutions Required to Receive Approval under the 1945 Act and this Part

1) Any private or public person, group of persons, partnership or corporation that is or contemplates offering degrees or credit bearing instruction in Illinois above the high school level, either

A) in residence or correspondence; or 

B) in the case of an institution offering online instruction, maintaining a physical facility in Illinois, providing instruction for students at a physical location, or physically providing core academic support services in Illinois, including but not limited to admission, evaluation, assessment, registration, financial aid, academic scheduling, and faculty hiring and support.

b.
Web link for physical presence definition.
c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

7: Student Complaints - SARA Participating Institutions

a.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about SARA participating Institutions.

Students are required to follow their institutional process for complaint resolution prior to filing with the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

b.
Is the process handled all within your agency or do you divide consumer protection and student complaint duties dependent on the type of institution (Public, Private, Technical, etc.)?

Student complaints from institutions that the Agency oversees are handled within the Agency. Complaints outside the oversight of the Agency are referred to other appropriate agencies such as the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

c.
Web link for student complaints – SARA participating institutions.
d.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?
  • Contact Name: Nkechi Onwuameze
  • Title: Associate Director for Academic Affairs
  • Agency: Illinois Board of Higher Education
  • Address: 1 N. Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 333,Springfield, IL 62701
  • Email: complaints@ibhe.org
  • Phone: 217-557-7359
  • URL: http://complaints.ibhe.org/
e.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

8: Student Complaints - Non-SARA Participating Institutions

a.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about out-of-state postsecondary institutions or programs?

Students are required to follow their institutional process for complaint resolution prior to filing with the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

b.
Is the process handled all within your agency or do you divide consumer protection and student complaint duties dependent on the type of institution (Public, Private, Technical, etc.)?

Student complaints from institutions that the Agency oversees are handled within the Agency. Complaints outside the oversight of the Agency are referred to other appropriate agencies such as the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

c.
Does this complaint process extend to institutions not authorized by the agency that may enroll residents of the state (such as explicitly distance education programs with no physical presence or exempt institutions)?

No

d.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?
  • Contact Name: Nkechi Onwuameze
  • Title: Associate Director for Academic Affairs
  • Agency: Illinois Board of Higher Education
  • Address: 1 N. Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 333,Springfield, IL 62701
  • Email: complaints@ibhe.org
  • Phone: 217-557-7359
  • URL: http://complaints.ibhe.org/
e.
Web link for the complaint form.
f.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

9: Surety Bonds

a.
Does your state require a Surety Bond for authorized out-of-state institutions?

Surety bonds are required for non-degree granting institutions. Section 1095.210 of 23 Illinois Administrative Code 1095 states that: Each school shall provide evidence to the Board of a surety bond to protect the interests of the students.  The amount of the bond must be sufficient to provide for the repayment of full tuition to all students enrolled at the institution in the event of closure of the institution.  Evidence of the continuation of the bond must be filed annually with the Board. (Section 55 of the Act). https://www.ibhe.org/assets/files/PBVSAdminRules.pdf                                                                           

b.
Web link for surety bonds.

No response provided

c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

10: Tuition Refund Policy

a.
Does your state have a Tuition Refund Policy Requirement?

Surety bond provision

b.
If yes, for what types of institutions?

No response provided

c.
Web link for tuition refund policy.

No response provided

d.
Clarifying comments:

Section 1095.210 of 23 Illinois Administrative Code 1095 states that: Each school shall provide evidence to the Board of a surety bond to protect the interests of the students.  The amount of the bond must be sufficient to provide for the repayment of full tuition to all students enrolled at the institution in the event of closure of the institution.  Evidence of the continuation of the bond must be filed annually with the Board. (Section 55 of the Act). https://www.ibhe.org/assets/files/PBVSAdminRules.pdf

Topic

11: Student Tuition Recovery Fund

a.
Does your state have a Student Tuition Recovery Fund (or similar fund for school closure)?

Yes

Non-degree granting institutions (below associate level e.g. schools offering diploma)

b.
If yes, for what types of institutions?

No response provided

c.
Web link for student tuition recovery fund.

No response provided

d.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

12: Reporting

a.
What kinds of information or data must an institution report to your agency as a condition for continued out-of-state authorization?
  • Current catalog
  • Illinois Board of Higher Education Fall Enrollment Survey, parts 1 and 2
  • New Illinois Board of Higher Education surveys
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
  • Student Financial Aid Annual Survey
  • Notification of Changes 
  • Illinois Longitudinal Data System (ILDS)
b.
How frequently do institutions report data?

Varies depending on the data reporting requirement.  

c.
Is this information published or shared publicly?

Some data are collected and published.

e.
Clarifying comments:

According to Section 1030.70 “Maintenance of Approval under the 1945 Act” of 23 Illinois Administrative Code 1030: Compliance with all State and federal reporting mandates is required for maintenance of approvals.

Topic

13: Enforcement

a.
What are possible consequences of institutional non-compliance?

Non-compliance may lead to revocation of the authorization to operate.

For degree-granting institutions:

Sections 1030.70 and 1030.80 of 23 Illinois Administrative Code 1030 address revocation of authority based on non-compliance:

i.  Alleged violation of any of the conditions governing issuance of the Certificate of Approval (Section 1030.70).

ii. Failure to maintain the conditions under which the institution and/or its certificates and/or its degrees were authorized (Section 1030.80).   

https://www.ibhe.org/assets/files/PrivateAdminRules2017.pdf

For non-degree granting institutions:

Section 1095.230 “Lack of Compliance,” of 23 Illinois Administrative Code 1095 states:                    

a) The staff of the Board shall initiate an investigation upon receipt of a verified written complaint and may initiate an investigation in response to oral or written information concerning any of the following:

1) Alleged violation of any of the conditions governing issuance of the permit of approval.

b) Whenever an inspection or other information reveals lack of compliance with the Act or this Part, the Board shall send the school a report of deficiencies.  The school shall have 10 days to respond to the report of deficiencies and report on actions that have been taken to correct these deficiencies. 

https://www.ibhe.org/assets/files/PBVSAdminRules.pdf

b.
Web link for enforcement information.

No response provided

c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

14: Application Process

a.
Please provide a short description of the application process to obtain state authorization.
b.
Web link for application.
c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

15: Fees Associated with Authorization

a.
Is there an application fee associated with the authorization process?
Illinois Not-for-Profit Institutions

 

Institution Size 

< 1,000 students

 

1000 or more students

Certificate of Approval or Authority to Operate

$3,000

$4,000

Degree Granting Authority per Region

$1,500

$2,500

Certificate Approval per Region

$750

$750

Notice of Intent

$500

$500

Change Request per Region

$250

$250

Exemption fee

$250

$250

 

Illinois Proprietary Institutions

 

Institution Size

< 1,000 students

 

1000 or more students

Certificate of Approval or Authority to Operate

$6,000

$7,000

Degree Granting Authority per Region

$2,500

$3,500

Certificate Approval per Region

$1,000

$1,000

Notice of Intent

$500

$500

Change Request per Region

$250

$250

Exemption fee

$250

$250

Out of State Institutions

 

Institution Size

< 1,000 students

 

1000 or more students

Certificate of Approval or Authority to Operate

$7,000

$8,000

Degree Granting Authority per Region

$3,500

$4,500

Certificate Approval per Region

$1,750

$1,750

Notice of Intent

$500

$500

Change Request per Region

$250

$250

Exemption fee

$250

$250

b.
If yes, what is the fee or fee schedule?

No response provided

d.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

16: Records Retention

a.
When a school closes, what is the process your state uses to ensure that transcripts/records are kept available?

For degree-granting institutions (Section 1030.80 of 23 Illinois Administrative Code 1030):

1) The institution shall make students aware of how to obtain transcripts from either the closed institution and/or new institution permanently retaining the records.

For non-degree granting institutions approved by the Board (Section 1095.270 of 23 Illinois Administrative Code 1095)

1) Academic Records In the event a school proposes to discontinue its operations, the chief administrative officer of the school shall cause to be filed with the Board the original or legible true copies of all such academic records of the institution as may be specified by the Board. (Section 70 of the Act)

2) Academic records include applications for enrollment and supporting documents, enrollment agreements, transcripts and attendance records.

3) These records shall include, at a minimum, the academic records of each former student that is traditionally provided on an academic transcript, such as, but not limited to, courses taken, terms, grades, and other such information. (Section 70 of the Act)

4) In the event it appears to the Board that any such records of an institution discontinuing its operations is in danger of being lost, hidden, destroyed, or otherwise made unavailable to the Board, the Board may seize and take possession of the records, on its own motion and without order of court. (Section 70 of the Act)

5) The Board shall maintain or cause to be maintained a permanent file of records coming into its possession. (Section 70 of the Act)

6) As an alternative to the deposit of records with the Board, the institution may propose to the Board a plan for permanent retention of the records that may include the transfer of records to a similar institution. The plan must be put into effect only with the approval of the Board. (Section 70 of the Act)

b.
From what agency do students request their transcripts/records from a closed school?

Records retained by the Illinois Board of Higher Education may be obtained directly from the Agency. If records are maintained by third party vendors or another institution, students are directed on how to obtain them.  

c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

17: Additional Information

a.
Is there anything else about the authorization process in your state that we and others ought to know about?

No response provided