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Prospective Students: Get the Facts

The Private Postsecondary Education (PPE) unit of the Academic Affairs division of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is responsible for regulating over 200 private and out-of-state postsecondary educational institutions operating in Virginia. Certified institutions operating in Virginia fall into a variety of categories: non-profit and for-profit; degree and non-degree; and in-state and out-of-state. Postsecondary institutions in Virginia may be large, serving thousands of students and providing instruction in a multitude of areas; or small schools that provide vocational training in specific areas like massage therapy, or dental assisting. These private universities, colleges, career colleges and vocational schools provide educational instruction to more than 40,000 residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia on a full-time or part-time basis annually.

The information provided on this page is meant to serve as a one stop shop for students seeking information regarding institutions that are certified to operate by SCHEV.  Here, prospective students will find:

  • General information for students considering enrolling in a certified institution;
  • Five year statistics for complaints lodged against all institutions operating in Virginia;
  • Information regarding institutions that are conditionally certified to operate in Virginia;
  • Student advisories regarding closed institutions; and
  • Other information that may help students make informed decisions about their postsecondary educational choices.
The PPE unit provides valuable services that benefit the residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia. These include:
  • Ensuring institutions certified to operate in Virginia meet minimal academic and administrative capability standards;
  • Investigating student complaints that are not resolved at the institutional level;
  • Retaining student academic records from closed institutions;
  • Administering refunds of unearned tuition to students affected by the closure of a school previously certified to operate in Virginia.

The meaning of Certification to Operate a Postsecondary Institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Student Advisory: Student Complaints Report 2013-2017

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