FAQs

 

Can you verify the graduation date and degree conferred for a former student of Heald College for a prospective employer?

We cannot do this education verification over the phone. You must submit a request form complete with signed authorization by the former student that provides permission to release the information to you. Employment companies should mail these forms to us along with payment by check or money order (a $10 fee per request will apply). Checks or money orders should be made payable to DCCA. Our mailing address is:
HPEAP
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
P.O. Box 541
Honolulu, HI 96809

If an organization submits an education verification request through the online ordering system, it also needs to supply a release form showing a copy of the student’s signature authorizing the release of information before the request is processed. This can be sent via fax at (808) 586-2856. Please contact HPEAP for further assistance at (808) 586-7327 or hpeap@dcca.hawaii.gov.

Former Heald students can now submit a transcript request form and pay with credit card online here: https://hpeap.ehawaii.gov/hpeap/home.html
**Please note that this online payment option is run by a third-party and they charge an additional service fee.

Do you have records for any other closed schools, such as Hawaii Business College?

No, we do not have any records, except for Heald College Honolulu transcripts.

What types of schools must seek authorization?

  • A private college or university having a physical presence in the State that offers degrees or diplomas.
  • An out-of-state public institution having a physical presence in the State that offers degrees or diplomas.
  • A seminary or religious training institution having a physical presence in the State that is exempt from property taxation in the State and that offers degrees or diplomas.

What does “physical presence in the State” mean?

(1)  Having a physical location in the State where students receive synchronous or asynchronous instruction, or

(2)  Having an administrative office in the State to:

  • Provide information about the institution or to enroll students
  • Provide services to enrolled students
  • Provide office space for instructional or non-instructional staff, and
  • Maintain an institutional mailing address, street address, or telephone number in the State.

See also Hawaii Administrative Rules §16-255-2 [available here] for further clarification on physical presence (non-triggers).

Does HPEAP only authorize accredited degree-granting institutions?

Yes, and “accredited” means holding an institutional accreditation by name to offer post-secondary education as a United States-based institution from a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Unaccredited degree-granting institutions should contact the Office of Consumer Protection at ocp@dcca.hawaii.gov for information.

Vocational or technical schools should contact the Hawaii Department of Education at ptvt@hawaiidoe.k12.hi.us for licensure information.

What types of schools do not need to apply for HPEAP authorization?

  • Unaccredited post-secondary educational institutions governed by HRS chapter 446E.
  • Schools that offer courses exclusively through online and distance education.
  • Non-degree granting post-secondary educational institutions licensed by any entity of the State (such as the Department of Education) or governed by any other chapter of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (such as cosmetology and pre-license real estate schools).
  • Schools conducted by religious entities that are owned by a religious organization lawfully operating as a nonprofit religious corporation and that award only religious degrees or certificates.
  • Schools that offer courses conducted by public school complex areas.
  • Schools that offer seminars or refresher courses sponsored by professional, business, or farming organizations for their members.
  • Schools that provide courses that do not lead to degrees.
  • Apprenticeship or training programs provided by labor unions to their members.
  • Schools or programs conducted by firms or persons for training their employees.
  • Schools that are a part of the University of Hawaii system.

If my accredited, degree-granting institution wants to provide a short course in Hawaii, does that trigger physical presence so that we must apply for authorization?

Please see Hawaii Administrative Rules §16-255-2(7) [available here] and complete the following questionnaire if you are claiming that your program does not trigger physical presence:

Short Course/Physical Presence Questionnaire Form

You may email your completed questionnaire to hpeap@dcca.hawaii.gov.

How does a college or university obtain authorization?

Email hpeap@dcca.hawaii.gov for a consultation regarding eligibility. Then:

  • Complete the prescribed form.
  • Provide information showing you are currently accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Provide evidence of financial integrity.
  • Pay the required fees.

How does a seminary or religious training institution obtain authorization?

Email hpeap@dcca.hawaii.gov for a consultation regarding eligibility. Then:

  • Complete the prescribed form.
  • Provide information showing you qualify as a bona fide religious training institution exempt from property taxation under the laws of the State.
  • Provide information showing you qualify as an institution of post-secondary education offering associate, baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees or diplomas.

How does a college or university demonstrate financial integrity?  First option:

  • Show you have been accredited for at least 10 years
  • Show you have operated continuously in the State for at least 10 years
  • Affirm you have not filed for bankruptcy protection pursuant to title 11 of the U.S. Code.
  • Show you maintain a composite score of at least 1.5 on your equity, primary reserve, and net income ratios.
  • Show you meet or exceed the pro rata refund policies required by the U.S. Dept. of Education in title 34 CFR part 668; provided that if you do not participate in federal financial aid programs, your refund and termination policies shall comply with requirements of your accrediting body.
  • If you show that your school is part of a group of private colleges or universities that is owned and operated by a common owner and the other private colleges and universities have been accredited for at least 10 years and been in operation continuously for at least 10 years, you do not have to meet the 10-year criteria.

How does a college or university demonstrate financial integrity?  Second option:

  • Show that your accrediting body requires you to maintain a surety bond or escrow account or has affirmatively waived or removed that requirement.
  • Show you operate an instructional facility in the State.
  • Provide (annually) audited financial statements for the most recent year that demonstrate you maintain positive equity.
  • Show you maintain a composite score of at least 1.5 on your equity, primary reserve, and net income ratios.
  • Show you meet or exceed pro rata refund policies required by the U.S. Dept. of Education in title 34 CFR part 668; provided that if you do not participate in federal financial aid programs, your refund and termination policies shall comply with requirements of your accrediting body.

How does a college or university demonstrate financial integrity?  Third option:

  • Submit a surety bond in favor of the State executed by the college or university as the principal by a surety company authorized to do business in the State.
  • The bond shall run concurrently with the authorization period.
  • The bond shall be conditioned to provide indemnification to any student or enrollee, or to any parent or legal guardian of a student or enrollee, whom the director finds to have suffered a loss of tuition or fees as a result of any violation of the chapter and to provide alternative enrollment for students enrolled in a college or university that ceases operation.
  • The amount of the bond shall be the greater of $50,000 or an amount equal to a reasonable estimate of the maximum prepaid, unearned tuition and fees of the school, excluding prepaid tuition revenue that consists of government grants or federal student loans authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 for the period or term during the applicable academic year for which programs of instruction are offered, including but not limited to programs offered on a semester, quarter, monthly, or class basis.  The school shall use the period or term of greatest duration and expense if the academic year consists of one or more periods or terms.

Can a student file a complaint against an authorized post-secondary educational institution?

  • Yes, however, a student must exhaust all administrative remedies available at the institution first; provided that if the complaint involves a violation of state or federal criminal law, this requirement shall not apply.
  • A student or former student of the University of Hawaii system, a private college or university, seminary, or religious training institution may file a complaint concerning the institution at which the student is or was enrolled. The HPEAP may investigate complaints based on possible violations of this chapter or rules.  HPEAP cannot consider complaints that infringe on the academic or religious freedom of, or question the curriculum content of an educational institution.

Can a student file a claim against a private college or university for cessation of operations?

  • A student or enrollee, or a parent or legal guardian of the student or enrollee, who claims loss of tuition or fees as a result of cessation of operations may file a claim if the claim results from an act or practice that violates a provision of this chapter.
  • This shall apply only to those students enrolled in the private college or university at the time it ceases operation.
  • A seminary or religious training institution shall not be subject to these requirements.

Are there State or public grants or scholarships for college?

Any State or public grants would only apply to the University of Hawaii System campuses.  Information on grants or scholarships for the University of Hawaii campuses can be found here:

http://www.hawaii.edu/tuition/scholarships
http://uhcc.hawaii.edu/financial/grants.php

The Hawaii Community Foundation provides post-secondary scholarships for students in the State:
https://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/students

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs may provide scholarships to Native Hawaiian students:
https://www.oha.org/scholarships

Alu Like, Inc. may provide scholarships to Native Hawaiian students pursuing vocational or technical careers:
https://www.alulike.org/category/scholarships/

Federal grants can be found by filing the FAFSA.  More information is here:
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships