Considering a Private College? Do Your Homework

higher-educationWhen choosing a postsecondary school, basic factors such as location, areas of study, and cost are all important to consider. However, in light of last week’s nationwide shutdown of ITT Technical Institute schools, as well as the high-profile collapse of Corinthian Colleges in 2014, other crucial factors should be considered before making a commitment.

If you’re considering a private college, know what category it falls under—nonprofit or for-profit. According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), nonprofit institutions receive funding primarily from student tuition and endowments and, in general, follow the leadership of a board of trustees. Nonprofits may receive some governmental support but operate mostly on private support. For-profit colleges, however, are run by companies that operate based on the guidance of investors and stockholders, and are run, at least partially, to earn money for their owners. For-profit colleges can receive up to 90 percent of their revenue from federal student aid.

Prospective students of private institutions, especially for-profit entities, need to do thorough research before enrolling. The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) provides tips to consider, such as:

  • Investigate a school by interviewing students already in the program.
  • Thoroughly review the enrollment agreement to understand all binding terms, conditions, costs, and student disclosures.
  • Contact the agency that the school claims to have accreditation from and verify the claims.
  • Check to make sure the school’s program qualifies you for the state licensing exam or degree you’re seeking.
  • Check BPPE’s website for a list of California-approved schools.
  • Request to see the school’s student completion and job placement rates.
  • Carefully review and verify advertising claims.
  • Know the amount and types of financial aid you’ll need.

In addition, NCAC encourages students to ask about the school’s loan default rate and whether credits can be transferred to a public institution. Also, be on high alert if a school recruiter is using high-pressure sales tactics, rushing you to commit and enroll.

Despite recent closure news, don’t be discouraged from achieving your higher education goals—instead, use them as cautionary tales. Not all private colleges are “diploma mills,” but before signing on the dotted line, take the time to know exactly what you’re getting into.

“Achieving your educational goals is an investment of your mind, time, energy, and money,” said BPPE Bureau Chief Joanne Wenzel. “Make it worth your while.”


Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education:

U.S. Department of Education College Affordability and Transparency Center:

U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard:

Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education Orders ITT to Stop Accepting New Students in California

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SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) has issued an Emergency Decision requiring ITT Educational Services, Inc. (ITT) to stop accepting new students at its 15 California locations.

To read the full release, click here.

Students Counseled After Beauty School Owner Arrested

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Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education advises attendees of San Diego Area cosmetology school of their student rights.

SACRAMENTO – Tramy Van, 41, owner of Tramy Beauty School with facilities in Escondido and San Diego, was arrested Thursday, August 11, 2016, for felony grand theft and theft under false pretenses.

To read the full release, click here.


Effective July: CA New Laws 2016

vaccinesGovernor Brown signed 807 new State laws for 2016. Many laws—including the increase in the minimum wage from $9 to $10 per hour, the mandate that 50 percent of the State’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030, and the prohibition of the sale of e-cigarettes to minors—went into effect on January 1.

Some laws, however, begin with the new fiscal year. Below are a few of the new laws that went into effect on July 1.

Vaccination requirements: One of the most controversial bills this year, Senate Bill 277 (Pan) requires that, unless there is an underlying medical reason, parents must vaccinate their children in order for the children to be able to attend school.

Ivory ban/rhinoceros horn ban: Assembly Bill 96 (Atkins) bans the import, selling, and possession of ivory. The prohibition is enforceable by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is authorized to impose a penalty of up to $10,000 for the violation.

DMV proof of residency requirement: AB 1465 (Gordon) requires applicants for an original California driver’s license or identification card to submit proof of California residency to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

BPPE exam reviews: Under SB 752 (Salas), the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) will review the list of exams prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education. BPPE must approve an alternative exam for those with limited English proficiency or without a high school diploma or equivalent if it determines there is no appropriate exam for these students.

Disability payment change: SB 667 (Jackson) extends the disability benefit period from 14 to 60 days. Under this new law, fewer claimants with ongoing or recurring conditions will have to complete a new waiting period for each absence at work.

Wage garnishment protection: Under SB 501 (Wieckowski), the garnishment rate goes from a flat 25 percent of one’s wages to a sliding scale that depends on your income. The law does not apply to child support and government debt.

For more information about these laws or to find out about other new laws that took just effect, go to



DCA Complaint Resolution Program Comes to an End

DCALogo_small 2007After processing more than 201,395 complaints and recovering $32.4 million for consumers, DCA’s Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) will close its doors on
June 30, 2016.

Established in 1994 and originally called the Complaint Mediation Division, CRP was created to consolidate and streamline consumer complaint processing. CRP staff review complaints and act as a neutral third party between the complainant and the licensee/
business to settle disputes. The CRP representative can propose terms to settle disputes but does not decide how they should be resolved.

CRP processes all consumer complaints filed against California businesses that are regulated by these bureaus: Cemetery and Funeral; Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation; Security and Investigative Services; and Private Postsecondary Education.

Fewer incoming complaints than in years past and fewer bureaus participating in the program led to the closure.

After June 30, consumers who have complaints related to the bureaus that were previously under the CRP’s jurisdiction can contact the bureaus directly or call DCA’s Consumer Information Center at (800) 952-5210.

BPPE Participates in Webinar for Students Affected by Corinthian Colleges

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The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education participated in a webinar earlier this week for students affected by the Corinthian Colleges school closures. You can view the webinar here.

Please note you will need to register to view the archived webinar

Emergency Decision Halts New Student Enrollment at Corinthian Colleges’ WyoTech and Everest College Locations

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The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education has issued an Emergency Decision effective at the close of business April 23, 2015, ordering Corinthian Colleges’ Everest College and WyoTech locations in California to cease enrolling new students.

Read the news release here.

Financial Aid Questions? BPPE Takes Your Calls At KCRA 3’s Cash for College Day

Cash for College 2There is still time get your financial aid questions answered! The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education is answering calls at KCRA 3’s Call 3 – Cash for College Day until this evening.

If you’re in the greater Sacramento area, call (916) 447-2255 between now and 7:00pm to get your student financial aid questions answered.

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The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education has joined the California Student Aid Commission to answer questions about financial aid requirements, application deadlines and make other resources available to students.

BPPE will be on KCRA – Channel 3 answering your financial aid questions

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Need money for college?  On Monday, January 12th, the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education will be joining the California Student Aid Commission at KCRA 3’s Call 3 – Cash for College Day to answer questions about college requirements, application deadlines and available resources.

Call (916) 447-2255 between 4 a.m. and 7 p.m. to have your financial aid questions answered!

Right now is the perfect time for high school seniors and other students to learn about applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Cal Grant, California Dream Act (CADA), and the Middle Class Scholarship – all which have March 2nd deadlines.

Be sure to check our Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the day for updates.

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