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Higher Education Coordination Commission

Resources for Students of Private Institutions

If you are attending or considering a private institution, the State of Oregon is here to support you in your goals. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) Office of Academic Policy and Authorization: Private Postsecondary Education team offers numerous services for students in Oregon who are served by private colleges, universities, and career schools. We provide basic information on approved schools, intervene when a crisis occurs (such as in the event of a sudden school closure), secure transcripts of closed schools, investigate student concerns that are not resolved at the institutional level, and more.

Check if a Private Institution is Licensed or Authorized in Oregon

Without approval or explicit exemption from regulation from the HECC, a school cannot legally operate in our state, or offer valid degrees or certificates or college credit to Oregonians. Our office maintains lists of schools or programs authorized to operate in the State of Oregon.

Updates and Consumer Alerts

Our office provides consumer alerts regarding the status of schools. For example, if a school has informed us that it is closing, information would be posted here. We play a supporting role when a licensed or authorized school closes.

Read Updates and Consumer Alerts.

Student Transcript Requests for Closed Schools

Our office provides student transcripts from closed private career schools and some closed degree-granting institutions. All transcript requests must be made by the student. The transcripts may be provided to students, or to another postsecondary institution designated by the student. There is a non-refundable $12 search fee for any transcript request. For student protection, the HECC does not email or fax transcripts or provide educational records from transcripts by phone. The HECC does not provide education verifications to employers and other third parties on individual student records from closed schools. Students may call 503-947-5716 or email info.pps@hecc.oregon.gov for guidance.

1. A first step is to determine if the HECC holds the transcripts. We may not have a copy of transcripts if the school was purchased by another school, and the records were transferred. We do not keep transcripts longer than 25 years. The HECC does not hold the transcripts for all closed degree-granting institutions. The list below of closed degree-granting institutions in Oregon shows where transcripts are held. 

View the list of closed degree-granting institutions.

2. The next step is to submit a request. To request a transcript from a closed private career school or a closed degree-granting institution, complete and submit the Transcript Release Request Form with the $12 search fee to:

Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Private Postsecondary Education unit
3225 25th Street SE
Salem, OR 97302

Complete the Transcript Release Request form.

The $12 fee pays for one unofficial transcript as well as three official signed and sealed transcripts. One of the signed/sealed transcripts may be sent to an institution.   

Support in the Event of a Closure

In the event of a school closure, the HECC aims to support you in continuing your education goals, and addressing academic and financial concerns. For information on recent or active closures, see our Consumer Alerts web page. You may contact our office at 503-947-5716 or email us at info.pps@hecc.oregon.gov if you have questions.

The State of Oregon has certain requirements of private schools to help ensure students’ tuition payments have some protection in case the private institution fails to provide the contracted instructional services due to an abrupt closure. Licensed Private Career Schools are required to participate in and contribute to a Tuition Protection Fund, a special fund that is designed to cover tuition payment claims for students in the event of a school closure. Authorized regulated degree granting institutions under the Office of Degree Authorization are now required to maintain a Surety Bond or Letter of Credit (LOC) to protect student tuition payments.

Apply for Financial Aid in Oregon

Financial aid can help you afford your education after high school. Go to OregonStudentAid.gov to apply for grants and scholarships, get help completing financial aid applications, and learn about preparing for your education and career.

How to File a Student Complaint

Learn about the student complaint process related to a private career school or a private college, university, or online degree program.




 

Additional Resources

  • Oregon Occupational Licensing Boards: these boards license graduates of authorized private postsecondary schools to practice their professions.
  • Accreditation: Determine if a school is accredited or if an accrediting agency is legitimate. For a quick accreditation verification, visit the U.S. Department of Education database for relevant up-to-date information on the authorized accrediting agencies and individual schools they accredit.

    Note: Even if an institution is accredited, it may not be authorized to confer degrees or certificates in Oregon, so it is important to check our lists of licensed schools as well.

  • Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities