As an advocate for Kentucky’s students and their families, the Council works toward developing a fair marketplace for those pursuing higher education in Kentucky.
Why consumer protection in higher education is needed
Going to college, or back to college, can be one of the most important decisions in a Kentuckian’s life. However, not all colleges offering degrees are legitimate organizations. From poor academic quality to inflated tuition rates to phony loan programs, scams are prevalent. The Council is dedicated to protecting consumers from these types of deceptive and predatory business practices, whether the school is physically located in Kentucky or offering online programs to residents.
How the Council protects students
By state law, the Council cannot act as a private attorney or provide legal advice to citizens. However, Council staff mediates and investigates consumer complaints against higher education institutions that violate either Council policies or Kentucky law.
The Council is also committed to helping students and their families make wise choices when selecting a school. The office provides a number of online resources designed to help Kentuckians become savvy higher education consumers.
- Diploma and Degree Mills
- Accreditation and Licensure
- Certificates, Certificate Programs and Certification
- How to Get a GED
- How to Identify a Reputable College
- How to File a Consumer Complaint
- What to Expect if a College Loses Its License and Must Close
- How to Get a Copy of your GED or College Transcript
- Contacts for Closed Institutions
Other ways the Council helps students
In addition to mediating disputes, the Council licenses private colleges and universities to advertise and operate in Kentucky. Licensure is a vigorous process conducted by staff to ensure institutions providing education opportunities to Kentuckians meet certain academic, financial and procedural requirements. Once an institution is licensed, it undergoes a yearly review to ensure that it still complies with state requirements.
When an institution loses its license, the Council helps facilitate the closure by:
- Approving a receiver for records, as designated by the closing campus.
- Providing access to resources to help with successful transfers to another campus or institution.
The Council also evaluates the academic quality of the degree programs offered by Kentucky’s public institutions. The process ensures that academic programs offered by the Commonwealth’s state universities and KCTCS are consistent with state and institutional strategic priorities, academic quality measures, market demand and cost.
How consumer protection benefits Kentuckians
It is important that everyone – colleges and consumers alike – has the opportunity to operate in a marketplace that is free of fraud, deception, misrepresentations, false promises, unfair practices and unfair competition. The Council’s efforts to facilitate a fair and efficient higher education marketplace help ensure that students will have a positive higher education experience.
Learn more about Kentucky's education goals by viewing Stronger By Degrees, the Council's strategic agenda for postsecondary and adult education.