Plan & Pay for College

Private Colleges, Universities, and Career Schools

Oregon is home to hundreds of private colleges, universities and career schools providing a wide range of college and career training options to Oregonians. To find lists of approved colleges, schools and opportunities, please visit the following links:

Private Colleges and Universities in Oregon, Authorized to Award Degrees and Certificates

Oregon’s authorized nonprofit and for-profit private institutions award a wide range of credentials, including undergraduate and graduate programs in hundreds of diverse fields, from culinary degrees to juris doctorates. The HECC Office of Degree Authorization (ODA) serves as the state regulator that approves degree-granting institutions to operate in this state. Without approval or explicit exemption from regulation from the HECC, a school cannot legally operate in our state, or offer valid degrees or certificates to Oregonians. Find approved school listings at the link above.​

Licensed Private Career Schools in Oregon

Private career schools provide specialized training and certificate opportunities for students with specific career focuses, in fields as diverse as computer technology, cosmetology, health care, real estate and business. Find approved school listings at the link above, as well as tips on selecting a Private Career School.​

Other Approved Higher Education Opportunities

Institutions approved for awarding veteran benefits: ​

Institutions approved for veteran benefits include public and private colleges, universities, community colleges, high schools, flight schools, private career schools, apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs authorized to administer veteran programs such as GI benefits.

Approved distance education in Oregon:​

Many learners find the flexibility of online or distance education works best to meet their goals. Oregon’s public colleges and universities are leaders in distance education offerings, and many other public and private institutions, in state and out, also offer approved distance education coursework and programs.

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​Consumer Awareness Tips

Check if the school is approved to operate in Oregon. A first and valuable step is to ensure colleges or schools under consideration are approved (authorized or licensed) to operate in Oregon by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. The lists linked to on this page display authorized schools.

Compare options with factual, verifiable information. Explore published fact pages, federal websites and reports, such as:

  • School or Program Fact Pages: Ask the school that you are interested in if they have a fact page on the program that interests you.
  • College Navigator: search for and compare criteria including costs, majors offered, size of school, campus safety and graduation rates.
  • College Scorecard: research a college’s affordability and value.
  • GI-Bill® Comparison Tool: compare programs that are eligible to veteran benefits.

Determine if a school is accredited or if an accrediting agency is legitimate. While the HECC is not an accrediting agency, we encourage consumers to verify accreditation status. For a quick accreditation verification, visit the US Department of Education database for relevant up-to-date information on the authorized accrediting agencies and individual schools they accredit. ​​