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We want you to have all the information necessary when making the decision to take online courses at VCU. Take a moment to review the information below.

If you have any questions, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

STATE AUTHORIZATION

If you plan to be in a state other than Virginia while taking courses at VCU, please note that state regulations in each state determine whether VCU may enroll you in a course or program.

NC-SARA MEMBER STATES

VCU participates in the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), which allows students from NC-SARA member states to enroll in VCU’s programs. If you have any questions about our NC-SARA status, please contact online@vcu.edu. All, but the following U.S. states and territories are part of NC-SARA.

NON-SARA STATES & TERRITORIES

California

Currently, the only U.S. state that is not participating in NC-SARA is California. The California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education does not regulate out-of-state public institutions; therefore, approval for VCU to offer educational activities is not required.

U.S. Territories

The following U.S. territories are not participating in NC-SARA: American Samoa, Guam, Marshall Islands, Federal States of Micronesia, Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau. If the territory you will reside in while taking online courses at VCU is not participating in NC-SARA, please contact online@vcu.edu. We will assist you and determine if the regulations where you are located permit your enrollment at VCU.

Note: If your location of residence changes to a state or territory where VCU does not meet state requirements, then you may be ineligible for certain financial aid, including from title IV and HEA funds. 

COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCESS

VCU’s Student Code of Conduct Policy stipulates that the term “student” includes all persons taking courses through VCU, either full-time or part-time, online or in-person, single or dual enrolled, pursuing undergraduate, graduate or professional studies.

Students who have a complaint related to an online course or online program should take the following steps.

  1. Follow the student complaint resolution processes located in the VCU Policy Library and on the policies page of the Division of Student Affairs.
  2. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) retains oversight to coordinate the resolution of complaints from students enrolled under the auspices of NC-SARA. For complaints against the university or its officials that remain unresolved after following all applicable university processes, students may contact the SCHEV at (804) 371-2285 or complete the student complaint form. Please note that complaints about grades or conduct may not be appealed to SCHEV.

Note: If you live outside of Virginia, please follow the complaint resolution process detailed in step 1 and step 2 above. Additionally, you may file a complaint by using the out-of-state complaint information.

NON-SARA STATE COMPLAINTS

Students residing outside of Virginia in non-SARA member states or territories may file a formal complaint with their home state authorizing agency after exhausting internal avenues by using the information below:

California:

The California complaint procedures are available on the Department of Consumer Affairs website. Students may contact them at (833) 942-1120 or dca@dca.ca.gov.

Territories:

The following U.S. territories are not participating in NC-SARA: American Samoa, Guam, Marshall Islands, Federal States of Micronesia, Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau. If you are located in one of these U.S. territories, you may use the out-of-state complaint information to file a complaint.

ACCREDITATION

Virginia Commonwealth University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Virginia Commonwealth University.

For additional information, please visit the Accreditation webpage on the Office of the Provost website.

DISCLOSURES

ADVERSE ACTION BY ACCREDITING AGENCY

VCU distance education programs have not been subject to any adverse actions from any accrediting agency in the past five calendar years.

ADVERSE ACTION BY STATE AGENCY

VCU distance education programs have not been subject to any adverse actions from any state agency in the past five calendar years.

REFUND POLICIES

VCU’s refund policies are located in the policy library and Student Accounting website. If you have questions, please contact student accounting at (804) 828-2228 or stuacctg@vcu.edu.

COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

Information on how to file a complaint is located on the complaint procedures section above.

AUTHORIZATION

VCU’s authorization to operate distance education programs outside of Virginia are detailed in the State Authorization section above.

PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE

Requirements for licensure vary from one profession to another and from state to state. Faculty and administrators in VCU’s academic programs leading to professional licensure help students learn about licensure in a variety of ways. Advisors and clinical coordinators, for example, typically engage students in written and verbal explorations of the professional licensure requirements throughout the program. Some programs include academic units designed to teach students how to comply with professional licensure requirements. To determine whether or not the program you’re interested in meets the licensing requirements in the state in which you’re located, please contact the program directly.  

One resource that may prove helpful to students considering applying to VCU is the following directory of licensing bodies. Consulting this chart may be a helpful step in a process that continues throughout the education and career of a licensed professional.