Responses Last Confirmed:

New Hampshire Department of Education, Division of Educator Support and Higher Education

Agency Contact

Laura A. Stoneking
603.271.4196
laura.a.stoneking@doe.nh.gov

Additional Contact

Stephen Appleby
603.271.2408

Secretary of State Contact

William M. Gardner
603.271.3242
elections@sos.nh.gov
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
__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

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

____ Institution _____ Program ___X__ Both

c.
Clarifying comments:

For NC-SARA and teacher educator preparation programs, both public and private institutions must seek our approval. For degree-granting authority, only private institutions are required to seek our approval.

Topic

3: Accreditation

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

Any institution seeking initial degree-granting authority shall be in good standing with a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. department of education, the council for higher education accreditation, or both, within 8 years of receiving initial commission approval. (NH Hedc 406.03)

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
_____  Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions
_____ Non-degree, not-for profit institutions
_____ Non-degree, for-profit institutions
__X__ Religious institutions
_____ Tribally-controlled institutions
_____ Federal Institutions
_____ Municipal institutions

c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

4: Exemptions

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

Yes, certain institutions or programs are exempt by law or policy from NH state authorization requirements.

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

Per NH Administrative rules (Hedc 401.01)- Institutions Excluded from Commission Jurisdiction. The following institutions shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of the higher education commission:

(a) Institutions of the university system of New Hampshire pursuant to RSA 187-A, and the community college system of New Hampshire pursuant to RSA 188-F;

(b) An in-state institution which has been in continuous operation since before 1775 [Dartmouth College]; and

(c) Out-of-state institutions with no physical presence in New Hampshire that:

  1. Offer credit-bearing courses, programs and/or degrees exclusively by online computer delivery, even if the institution has online instructors residing in this state if those instructors do not physically meet with students;
  2. Send recruiters to college fairs or advertise in this state;
  3. Partner with an approved New Hampshire institution that provides credit to New Hampshire college and university students; or
  4. Contract with a New Hampshire entity that develops curriculum or instructional materials.
c.
Web link for exemptions.
d.
Clarifying comments:

Dartmouth College; all NH public community colleges; or all NH public universities or colleges are institutions that are typically exempt from regulatory oversight of the NH Higher Education Commission. Exceptions include complaints from online (distance learning), out-of-state students and complaints from students that have served, or are serving, in the U.S. Armed Forces.

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. 

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

Yes.

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

Yes. 

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?

“Physical presence” means an actual physical location for instructional purposes, maintaining an administrative office including a mailing address or phone number in NH. And/or per the current SARA Policy Manual - Version 20.3 (Section 5) requirements for coverage are NOT met.

PART Hedc 402.01 (b)

b.
Web link for physical presence definition.

Hedc 400 (state.nh.us) (PART Hedc 402 Definitions)

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.

Federal regulations require that each state have a process to review and appropriately act upon three types of student complaints: consumer protection, approval/licensure, and quality of education. The Division of Educator Support and Higher Education, under New Hampshire statutes and Administrative Rules, is responsible for reviewing such allegations.

Exceptions: Dartmouth College, the Community College System of New Hampshire, and the University System of New Hampshire. (See details below.)

1. Before students submit a complaint to this Division, they must first contact the appropriate official(s) at the institution they are attending (or attended), and follow the grievance procedures outlined in that institution’s catalog and Web site. If an individual continues to have an allegation against any college, university, or postsecondary career school (higher education institution) operating within the state, s/he should file a complaint using the complaint form linked below.

2. The Division will acknowledge receipt of the complaint, and if the matter is within defined statutory authority, take appropriate action. The Division does not intervene in the internal procedures of higher-education institutions, but does, however, respond to allegations that raise significant questions about the institution’s compliance with the NH Code of Administrative Rules: Chapter Hedc 400 (Degree-Granting Higher Education Institutions With A Physical Presence In New Hampshire) Chapter Hedc 300 (Office of Career School Licensing). If the allegation is applicable to a program that is approved for veterans’ educational benefits, then compliance with the applicable Federal statutes and regulations (Title 38) shall be reviewed.

3. If the nature of the matter is not within Division authority, the complainant will be advised to contact the proper authority.

Complete the complaint form at bottom of this page if you have contacted the institution and have a continued complaint regarding consumer protection, approval/licensure, and/or quality of education at:

  • a NH degree-granting private institution.
  • a NH non-degree granting career school (Learn more about the Division’s career school policies).
  • Dartmouth College, a NH public community college or a NH public university or college (all complaints against these institutions will be reviewed and referred to the proper authorities). Note: these institutions are typically exempt from regulatory oversight of the Division, and as a result complaints received by the Division regarding these institutions will almost always be referred directly to the governing board of the subject institution. Exceptions include complaints from online, out-of-state students and complaints from students that have served, or are serving, in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • a distance or online education program offered by a NH-based, degree- granting institution and you are an out-of-state student: Note: These complaints fall under NH’s participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).
  • a NH-based institution and you have served, or are serving, in the U.S. Armed Forces (Learn more about the Division’s Veterans Education Services).

If you are a client of the NH Department of Education’s Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, please contact your counselor directly.

If you are not a current or former student and have a grievance, please fill out the complaint form below and we will determine if your complaint falls within Division authority.

Higher Education Complaint Form Note: You should receive a confirmation e-mail upon successful submission of the form.

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.)?

The process for handling student complaints are handled all within the NH DOE agency.

c.
Web link for student complaints – SARA participating institutions.
d.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?
  • Contact Name: Stephen Appleby
  • Title: Director, Division of Educator Support and Higher Education
  • Agency:  NH Department of Education
  • Address:  101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH  03301
  • Email:  stephen.m.appleby@doe.nh.gov
  • Phone:  603.271.2408
  • URL:
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?

Federal regulations require that each state have a process to review and appropriately act upon three types of student complaints: consumer protection, approval/licensure, and quality of education. The Division of Educator Support and Higher Education, under New Hampshire statutes and Administrative Rules, is responsible for reviewing such allegations.

Exceptions: Dartmouth College, the Community College System of New Hampshire, and the University System of New Hampshire. (See details below.)

1. Before students submit a complaint to this Division, they must first contact the appropriate official(s) at the institution they are attending (or attended), and follow the grievance procedures outlined in that institution’s catalog and Web site. If an individual continues to have an allegation against any college, university, or postsecondary career school (higher education institution) operating within the state, s/he should file a complaint using the complaint form linked below.

2. The Division will acknowledge receipt of the complaint, and if the matter is within defined statutory authority, take appropriate action.

The Division does not intervene in the internal procedures of higher-education institutions, but does, however, respond to allegations that raise significant questions about the institution’s compliance with the NH Code of Administrative Rules:

Chapter Hedc 400 (Degree-Granting Higher Education Institutions With A Physical Presence In New Hampshire)

Chapter Hedc 300 (Office of Career School Licensing).

If the allegation is applicable to a program that is approved for veterans’ educational benefits, then compliance with the applicable Federal statutes and regulations (Title 38) shall be reviewed.

3. If the nature of the matter is not within Division authority, the complainant will be advised to contact the proper authority.

Complete the complaint form at bottom of this page if you have contacted the institution and have a continued complaint regarding consumer protection, approval/licensure, and/or quality of education at:

  • a NH degree-granting private institution.
  • a NH non-degree granting career school (Learn more about the Division’s career school policies).
  • Dartmouth College, a NH public community college or a NH public university or college (all complaints against these institutions will be reviewed and referred to the proper authorities). Note: these institutions are typically exempt from regulatory oversight of the Division, and as a result complaints received by the Division regarding these institutions will almost always be referred directly to the governing board of the subject institution. Exceptions include complaints from online, out-of-state students and complaints from students that have served, or are serving, in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • a distance or online education program offered by a NH-based, degree- granting institution and you are an out-of-state student: Note: These complaints fall under NH’s participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).
  • a NH-based institution and you have served, or are serving, in the U.S. Armed Forces (Learn more about the Division’s Veterans Education Services).

If you are a client of the NH Department of Education’s Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, please contact your counselor directly.

If you are not a current or former student and have a grievance, please fill out the complaint form below and we will determine if your complaint falls within Division authority.

Higher Education Complaint Form Note: You should receive a confirmation e-mail upon successful submission of the form.

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.)?

The process for handling student complaints are handled all within the NH DOE Agency.

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: Stephen Appleby
  • Title: Director, Division of Educator Support and Higher Education
  • Agency:  NH Department of Education
  • Address:  101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH  03301
  • Email:  stephen.m.appleby@doe.nh.gov
  • Phone:  603.271.2408
  • URL:
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?

Any non-degree granting approved career schools under the jurisdiction of the Higher Education Commission shall submit notarized proof of surety indemnification in the form of a bond, an irrevocable letter of credit, or a term deposit pursuant to RSA 188-G:3.

b.
Web link for surety bonds.
c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

10: Tuition Refund Policy

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

Yes. NH has a refund policy requirement.

b.
If yes, for what types of institutions?

No response provided

c.
Web link for tuition refund policy.

Each approved institution must have their respective cancellation and refund policies included as part of their Public Disclosure requirements.

d.
Clarifying comments:

Hedc 405.11 Public Disclosure. The applicant shall, in the public disclosure section of its evaluation plan, include a catalog and supporting materials that are accessible electronically and that include the following:

[…] (k) Cancellation and refund policies;

Topic

11: Student Tuition Recovery Fund

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

No

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?

Out-of-state institutions having commission approvals as described under Hedc 404.02(b)(2), (c)(2) and (3) shall file annual and/or other reports as specified in its commission approval(s). The director shall review and report compliance to the commission. Additional report(s) shall be required at the discretion of the commission as necessary to provide additional information on the status of program approval. (NH Hedc 406.02 a, c)

b.
How frequently do institutions report data?

Annual and/or additional report(s) at the discretion of the Commission.

c.
Is this information published or shared publicly?

Information regarding annual report(s), and/or additional reports are included in the institutions approval letter and can requirements can be found at:

Hedc 400 (state.nh.us)

d.
Web link for reporting.
e.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

13: Enforcement

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

Hedc 407.01 Violations.

(a) Alleged violations of RSA 292:8-g and RSA 292:8-h shall be reported by the commission to the department of justice for enforcement.

(b) Written notification of alleged violations shall be given to the institution by the director.

(c) Institutions shall provide a written response to the commission within 30 calendar days.

(d) The commission shall consider the institution’s response and provide the opportunity for the institution to make an oral presentation.

(e) Any institution dissatisfied with the commission’s decision may request a hearing within 60 days of the commission’s decision.

Hedc 407.02 Suspension or Revocation of Authority.

(a) Degree-granting authority of any institution which no longer meets the standards established by rules shall be suspended or revoked, pursuant to RSA 21-N:8-a,II(e).

(b) Any institution which has not conducted regular instruction for 3 consecutive years and whose charter has not been repealed pursuant to RSA 292:8-ff IV, shall be evaluated before resumption of instruction.

(c) Degrees which an institution has not awarded for 4 years shall be evaluated pursuant to Hedc 405 prior to the re-awarding of any such degree.

Hedc 407.03 Hearing.

Any institution dissatisfied with the commission’s decision may request a hearing within 60 days of the date of the commission’s decision.

b.
Web link for enforcement information.
c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

14: Application Process

a.
Please provide a short description of the application process to obtain state authorization.

A representative from the requesting institution sets up a meeting with the director or designated representative, to discuss proposed plans. The institution representative shall identify the name of the institution • approval being sought • the reason therefore • the proposed timeline • anticipated benefits to students and the state of New Hampshire.

c.
Clarifying comments:

We do not have an Application per se – a person would follow Standards in Hedc 400 – NH Code of Administrative Rules. See the Procedures for the Reviews in the above question.

Topic

15: Fees Associated with Authorization

a.
Is there an application fee associated with the authorization process?

Yes. There is an application fee associated with the authorization process.

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

          Hedc 408.01 Fees. 

          (a)  Fees for commission reviews and actions, and professional stipends, shall be as specified in Table Hedc 400-1 below. 

Table Hedc 400-1

SCHEDULE OF REQUIRED INSTITUTIONAL FEES

Action

Fee

INCORPORATION

 

   New institution – main campus in New Hampshire

$10,000

   New institution – main campus outside the U.S.

$20,000

   Out-of-state incorporated/branch campus in New Hampshire

$10,000

 

 

COMMISSION REVIEWS

 

   Comprehensive Review (per program)

 $ 1,500

   Expedited Review (per program)

 $ 1,000

   Administrative Review (per program)

$    500

   Accreditation Observation by Director

$    500

   Annual Report from Out-of-State Institution (Hedc 406.02 (a))

$    500

 

 

SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE IN GOVERNANCE

$    750

 

 

ACQUISITION, MERGER, TRANSFER, OR SALE OF ASSETS

$ 1,000

 

 

INSTITUTIONAL CLOSURE

 $ 3,000

 

 

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

$ 3,000

 

 

STIPENDS

 

   Chair – in-state site visit

$ 2,000

   Chair – international site visit

$ 3,000

   Team Member – in-state site visit

$ 1,000

   Team Member – international site visit

$ 1,500

   Accreditation Observer – in-state site visit

$ 1,000

   Accreditation Observer – international site visit

$ 1,500

CLOSED SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS

 

   Transcript Request Fee per transcript

$      20

           (b)  All direct costs for institutional and/or program evaluations shall be the responsibility of the requesting institution. 

          (c)  Evaluators/observers shall be reimbursed for all expenses related to the evaluation, such as travel, lodging, and meals.  Payment shall be made to the individual, but forwarded to the commission for recording 10 days following the site visit. 

          (d)  Checks for required fees shall be made payable to:  Treasurer, State of New Hampshire and forwarded to the commission prior to on-site visits.

c.
Web link for fee information.
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?

Hedc 406.06 Institutions Undergoing Closure.

(a) Any institution that plans to close shall inform the commission by forwarding the following:

   (1) A transition plan and timetable that addresses and includes, but is not limited to:

      a. Public disclosure and student and donor notification;

      b. Changes in internal governance and leadership structure; and

      c. Changes in faculty and staff appointments;

   (2) A plan for discontinuation of programs that includes:

      a. Number of students impacted;

      b. Teach-out schedule detailing program completion at current institution; and

      c. Evidence of arrangement with another accredited institution for student transfer;

   (3) Evidence of fiscal resources necessary to support the transition;

   (4) Accreditor(s) expectations; and

   (5) Any correspondence to and from accrediting agencies.

(b) Pursuant to RSA 292:8-kk, any institution that closes shall also submit the following:

   (1) Two original transcripts and an electronic transcript for each student who was enrolled for instruction at the institution;

   (2) One original copy of catalogs for each year in existence;

   (3) An explanation of the institution’s credit and grading system; and

   (4) A typed list of students.

b.
From what agency do students request their transcripts/records from a closed school?
  • Agency Name:  NH Department of Education, Division of Educator Support and Higher Education, Closed School Transcripts
  • Contact Person:  Patricia Moquin
  • Contact Phone:  603-271-0289
  • Contact Address:  101 Pleasant Street Concord, NH 03301-3860
  • Contact Email: ClosedSchoolTranscripts@doe.nh.gov
  • Contact web site: Closed School Transcripts
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