Responses Last Confirmed:

Utah Division of Consumer Protection

Agency Contact

Marla Winegar
801-530-6601
mwinegar@utah.gov

Additional Contact

Secretary of State Contact

The state of Utah does not have a Secretary of State office.
https://www.utah.gov/government/secretary-of-state.html
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.

No response provided

____ 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?

_X___ Institution _____ Program _____ Both

c.
Clarifying comments:

The Utah legislature passed HB 405 in response to 34 CFR 600.9.  The law became 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 pursuant to Utah Code Ann. §13-34-105.

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

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.

No response provided

Accreditation Required for:

____ 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

c.
Clarifying comments:

Accreditation must be from regional or national accrediting agencies recognized by the US Department of Education.

To obtain state authorization under §13-34a, the school must be accredited by a regional or national accrediting body recognized by the US Department of Education.  If the institution is not accredited and is offering postsecondary education to Utah residents whether degree or non-degree granting, in-state or out-of-state, the institution will need to register or establish an exemption pursuant to Utah Code Ann. §13-34.

Topic

4: Exemptions

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

Utah Postsecondary Proprietary School Act Exemptions https://dcp.utah.gov/businesses/schools.html

Utah Postsecondary School State Authorization - No Exemptions

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 response provided

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

No response provided

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

The Utah legislature passed HB 405 in response to 34 CFR 600.9.  The law became 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 pursuant to Utah Code Ann. §13-34-105.

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

d.
Clarifying comments:

The Utah legislature passed HB 405 in response to 34 CFR 600.9.  The law became 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 pursuant to Utah Code Ann. §13-34-105.

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

Topic

6: Physical Presence Policy

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

The statute 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.

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.

The Utah System of Higher Education "USHE" is the portal agency for Utah and takes SARA complaints.  Their website link is https://ushe.edu/sara.  If the complaint involves a deceptive practice, USHE may forward the complaint to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection for further investigation.

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 Utah System of Higher Education accepts complaints against institutions based in Utah that participate in SARA.  If warranted, the complaint will be forwarded to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection for further investigation.

c.
Web link for student complaints – SARA participating institutions.
d.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?
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?

All complaints will be reviewed by the complaint processor to determine if it falls within the jurisdiction of the Division.  If the complaint appears to be within the Division's jurisdiction, the complaint will be assigned to an investigator.

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.)?

Handled within the Utah Division of Consumer Protection

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)?

Yes. 

d.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?
  • Contact Name:  Complaint Processor
  • Title
  • Agency:  Utah Division of Consumer Protection
  • Address:  160 E. 300 S., SLC, UT  84114-6704
  • Email:  consumerprotection@utah.gov
  • Phone:  801-530-6604
  • URL:  dcp.utah.gov
e.
Web link for the complaint form.

 https://dcp.utah.gov/complaints.html

f.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

9: Surety Bonds

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

No

b.
Web link for surety bonds.

No response provided

c.
Clarifying comments:

Surety bonds are required for schools that are registered under the Utah Postsecondary Proprietary School Act, Utah Code § 13-34 and are NOT accredited by a regional or national accrediting body recognized by the US Department of Education.

Topic

10: Tuition Refund Policy

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

The statute provides for a tuition refund if the postsecondary school's certificate of state authorization is revoked by the Division, §13-34a-303.

The rules mandate the school to disclose to each student in writing the refund policy before requiring a student to make any payment to the school, R152-34a-202(1)(b).

b.
If yes, for what types of institutions?

No response provided

c.
Web link for tuition refund policy.

No response provided

d.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

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?

No response provided

b.
How frequently do institutions report data?

No response provided

c.
Is this information published or shared publicly?

No response provided

d.
Web link for reporting.

No response provided

e.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

13: Enforcement

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

Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act:  https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title13/Chapter11/13-11-S17.html?v=C13-11-S17_2018050820180508. Utah Code Ann. §13-11:

 Utah Postsecondary State Authorization Act, Utah Code Ann. §13-34a: https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title13/Chapter34A/13-34a-S305.html?v=C13-34a-S305_2014040320140513     (registration for unaccredited institutions)

Utah Postsecondary Proprietary School Act: Utah Code Ann. §13-34: https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title13/Chapter34/13-34-S111.html?v=C13-34-S111_1800010118000101

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.

The Utah legislature passed HB 405 in response to 34 CFR 600.9.  The law became 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 pursuant to Utah Code Ann. § 13-34-105.

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

b.
Web link for application.

https://dcp.utah.gov/businesses/stateauth.html

c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

15: Fees Associated with Authorization

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

State Authorization fee:  $1,500

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

No response provided

c.
Web link for fee information.

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?

13-34a Schools:  If a postsecondary school that ceases operation has a student transcript or student diploma, the postsecondary school shall provide for the storage of the transcript or student diploma for at least 60 years; and make the student transcript or student diploma available to the same extent that an education record is available under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 34 C.F.R. Part 00.  Additionally, the school needs to identify the name and contact information of the individual who will maintain custody of student records.

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

If a postsecondary school that ceases operation has a student transcript or student diploma, the postsecondary school shall provide for the storage of the student transcript or student diploma; and make the student transcript or student diploma available to the same extent that an education record is available under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 34 C.F.R Part 99.  The Division may accept a copy of a student transcript or student diploma from a postsecondary school that ceases operation. 

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