PDFRCW 28B.85.095

Council's authority to enforce complianceViolations.

(1)(a) The council may deny, revoke, or suspend the authorization of any degree-granting institution authorized to operate under this chapter that is found to be in violation of this chapter.
(b) The council may not delegate to any other state its authority to oversee and enforce compliance with this chapter or its authority to respond to complaints by students in this state, regardless of whether the institution is authorized by, or has its home in, another state. Under RCW 28B.85.020(1)(c), participation in interstate reciprocity agreements consistent with the purposes of this chapter does not delegate authority for compliance with this chapter or authority to respond to student complaints.
(2) It is a violation of this chapter for a degree-granting institution authorized to operate under this chapter or an agent employed by such a degree-granting institution to:
(a) Provide prospective students with any testimonial, endorsement, or other information that a reasonable person would find was likely to mislead or deceive prospective students or the public regarding current practices of the school, current conditions for employment opportunities, postgraduation employment by industry, or probable earnings in the occupation for which the education was designed, the likelihood of obtaining financial aid or low-interest loans for tuition, or the ability of graduates to repay loans;
(b) Use any official United States military logo in advertising or promotional materials; or
(c) Violate the provision of RCW 28B.85.175(1)(b) regarding the sale of, or inducing of students to obtain, specific consumer student loan products.
[ 2018 c 203 § 4.]


FindingIntent2018 c 203: "(1) In 2016, the student achievement council contracted with the William D. Ruckelshaus center to conduct a two-part study analyzing the system of for-profit degree-granting institutions and private vocational schools in Washington. The Ruckelshaus center issued its first report in December 2016, followed by facilitated discussions amongst agencies and stakeholders that resulted in a second report issued in 2017. This act incorporates some of the findings and recommendations from the first phase of the report, including the benefits of ensuring that recruitment advertising and materials are consistent with state and federal verified data. In addition, this act incorporates findings regarding the need for a single student complaint portal and for agencies to have timely access to trust funds for tuition recovery and other methods of responding when schools close. This act also authorizes the second part of the study, as recommended by the center, that will include discussions of agency jurisdiction and consistency and how to improve the agencies' abilities to respond to school closures.
(2) The legislature finds that there are many private for-profit and nonprofit career colleges and degree-granting institutions providing Washington state residents with important postsecondary and career opportunities that contribute to the economic security of Washington residents and aid in meeting the needs of our state's growing economy. The legislature also recognizes that there have been high profile closures of, or federal and other state determinations regarding, some for-profit or formerly for-profit institutions that have damaged the reputation of the sector and impacted the expectations and financial stability of some students. It is the legislature's intent to provide a framework to ensure a level playing field exists for the many institutions that provide disclosures to prospective students based on verifiable metrics, which allow prospective students to be able to make the best decisions on school and career choices and on financial aid and loans to finance their educational goals. The legislature also intends to ensure that students are provided the information they need to make the best decisions for their educational future and careers in event of closure or potential closure of an institution. In addition, the legislature intends to protect the state's interest in the integrity of its grant and aid programs, from private decisions to close schools or programs under circumstances that may prevent students from obtaining the degree or certificate and career services that the students expected upon enrollment." [ 2018 c 203 § 1.]