Tips on Selecting an Approved School
Determine your career and/or academic goal and narrow
your search to schools that offer programs in your field of interest.
Verify the schools are approved by the
Office of Higher Education.
Prior to enrolling, take a tour of the
schools, interview students in the programs, ask if the schools will allow
you to sit in and observe the classes or courses of interest.
Request a copy of the student catalog and
enrollment agreement to review all binding terms (school withdrawal,
termination and refund policies), conditions, costs and student disclosures.
Contact the accrediting agency that a school
may claim to have accreditation from and verify the school’s claims.
Contact the Office of Higher Education to inquire about complaints filed against the
Review all advertising carefully and compare
what is being advertised with what is disclosed in the school’s catalog and
Request to see the school’s student completion
and job placement rates.
Be aware that a school may provide job
placement services but cannot guarantee employment.
Find out what documentation the school
requires from you.
Make sure you know the amount and types of
financial aid you will need before you enroll.
Get everything in writing and signed by a
Keep a copy of all your documents.
Enjoy your educational experience!
Request a Transcript
All requests for student transcripts for records the
Office of Higher
Education holds, must be made by the student in writing. Complete the
request form, including a phone number, and mail it to the attention of the
Transcript Release Officer at the Office of
Higher Education, 450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 510, Hartford, CT 06103-1841. Allow up to 14 days for our response.
No school shall have any policy nor
shall act in any manner which discourages or prohibits the filing of inquiries
or complaints regarding the school’s operation with the Executive Director of
the Office of Higher Education.
Regarding school inquiries or
complaints, please refer first to the school's complaint policy.
If you do not achieve a satisfactory
resolution after exhausting the school's grievance procedures, you may proceed
with filing a formal complaint with the Office of Higher Education. To do so,
send an email to the
Education & Employment Information Center
a complaint form which must be completed and
sent to our agency.
The Office of Higher Education can
only act to assure that private and hospital-based occupational schools comply
with state statutes that we administer. Complaints regarding other issues
should be directed to the entity which specializes in those issues. For
· For complaints
regarding employer-employee matters, contact the
Connecticut Department of
Labor at (860)263-6000
complaints regarding discrimination, contact the
Commission on Human
Rights and Opportunities at (860)541-3400
complaints regarding disabilities violations, contact Disability Rights
Connecticut at (860)297-4300 or (800)842-7303
complaints regarding higher education institutions located in other states,
state agency responsible for authorization
Once the Office of Higher Education
receives your complaint, we will send a copy to the school. A response is
required within 20 days of receipt by the school.
The Office of Higher Education will
review the complaint and response, and, if necessary, request additional
information be provided by either party.
Following a full and complete review
of all available information, the Office of Higher Education will determine if
the school has complied with Connecticut’s General Statutes, and will indicate
if the school has violated any of the school's approved criteria.
Please note that if either party
disagrees with the decision by the Office of Higher Education, the complainant
can pursue the matter in Connecticut Superior Court or through other legal
What To Do
Students should contact the
Office of Higher Education if a school closes.
In addition, this
website will contain special instructions related to the specific school closure
as soon as information becomes available.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a private occupational school?
It is a person, board, association, partnership, corporation, limited
liability company or other entity offering instruction in any form or manner
in any trade, industrial, commercial or service occupation for any
remuneration, consideration reward or promise of whatever nature. The
school is non-degree granting and does not offer collegiate credit or confer
What is the role of the Office
of Higher Education?
The Office of Higher
Education provides consumer protection for students and potential students.
The Office of Higher Education works with schools to assure compliance with state statutes and
What types of schools does the
Office of Higher Education
Office of Higher
a variety of schools that provide vocational training which can lead to
entry-level employment. These schools offer a wide range of programs
such as electronics, automotive training, dog grooming, bartending, certified nurses aid, and
What is the tuition refund and cancellation
policy? All schools must have a tuition
refund and cancellation policy for each program offered. Read and
understand the schools policy regarding tuition refund and cancellation
before you sign the enrollment agreement. If you do not understand it, or
are confused by the schools’ explanation, get help before you sign.
You may contact the
Office of Higher
Education for assistance.
What should I know about private occupational
school “recruiters”? Recruiters are
employed by the school for the purpose of enrolling students in the school;
they are not school counselors. A recruiter cannot require a student
to pay a placement or referral fee. Each recruiter must be provided to
the Office of Higher
Education on the school’s roster.
What should I know about grants and guaranteed
student loans? A grant is awarded to a
student based on income eligibility, and does not need to be repaid (for
example, Pell grants are provided by the federal government).
Guaranteed student loans are low interest loans provided under the Federal
Guaranteed Student Loan Program. The decision to apply for such a loan
is yours – the school cannot require you apply for a loan. You should
understand that if you pay school tuition with money loaned to you from a
lender you are responsible for repaying the loan in full, with interest, in
accordance with the terms of the loan agreement. A failure to repay
the loan can hurt your credit rating and result in legal action against you
and also prohibit you from qualifying for federal financial aid in the
future. It is your right to select a lender for a guaranteed student
loan. The school cannot require you to apply to a particular lender or
lending institution. However, the school can recommend a lender, but
if it does, the school must also provide you with a statement about your
right and ability to obtain a loan from another lender and the origination
fees charged on these loans. Read and understand all the information
and applications for federal aid grants and loans before signing.
Will my credits from a private occupational
school transfer to other schools? The
acceptance of credits from another institution is always at the discretion
of the receiving institution. For more information, contact the
institution you are considering attending.
At what intervals are school authorizations
renewed? All schools must receive one
initial authorization followed by three annual renewal visits.
Following the final annual visit, a school may be eligible for an extended
authorization of not more than 5 years.
What is the difference between authorization
and accreditation? A school receives
approval/authorization by the Executive Director of the
Office of Higher
to operate in the State of Connecticut. This is the first level of
approval. Once a school receives the Executive Director's approval, it may
voluntarily apply for accreditation by an independent accrediting council
that has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Accreditation is a separate approval process where the school meets an
independent accrediting council’s evaluation standards. A school that
has met the independent accrediting council’s evaluation standards and has
received accreditation, may apply to the federal government to participate
in Title IV financial aid.