Higher Learning Commission


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Public Information Statement: Commission Requirements of Institutions for State Authorization

April 23, 2010

The Commission has become aware of recent confusion concerning its requirements of institutions for state authorization. The following points are intended to clarify the Commission's requirements.

  • For more than 30 years the Commission has required that institutions accredited by or seeking accreditation with the Commission be in compliance with the law, including the laws of any states in which the institutions are active.
  • The Commission requires both on-ground and online institutions to demonstrate compliance with licensing regulations in any state in which their presence triggers state requirements.
  • In other words, the threshold for state authorization is set by the state, not the Commission; the Commission's expectation is that the institution follows the laws of each state in which it operates.
  • Therefore, if the institution's activity in any state is insufficient under that state's law to trigger state requirements for registration, the Commission does not require such registration.
  • At this time the Commission does not anticipate the need for significant changes in its policies regarding state authorization as a result of recent changes in the Federal requirements. If such changes do become necessary, the Commission will follow its normal process of policy revision, which includes notice of the impending change to all affiliated institution and opportunity for comment.

Additional questions can be directed to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Here is the official State Authorization Statement.