Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 40. State Council Of Higher Education For Virginia
Chapter 31. Regulations Governing Certification of Certain Institutions to Confer Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates
5/6/2021

8VAC40-31-20. Prohibited acts.

A. Except as in accordance with this chapter, no person or other entity shall sell, barter, or exchange for any consideration, or attempt to sell, barter, or exchange for any consideration, any degree, degree credit, diploma, or certificate.

B. No person or other entity shall use or attempt to use in connection with any business, trade, profession, or occupation any degree or certification of degree or degree credit, including but not limited to a transcript of coursework that has knowingly been fraudulently issued, obtained, forged, or materially altered.

C. Unless exempted from the provisions of this chapter pursuant to § 23-276.2 of the Code of Virginia, no person, firm, or school may represent that credits earned at or granted by that person, firm, or school are applicable for credit toward a degree, except under such conditions and in a manner specified and approved by the council in accordance with this chapter.

D. Without prior certification, no person or other entity subject to the provisions of this chapter shall use in any manner within the Commonwealth of Virginia the term "college" or "university" or abbreviations or words of similar meaning in its name or in any manner in connection with its academic affairs or business or in any literature, catalog, pamphlet, or descriptive materials.

1. This subsection shall not apply to any person or other entity that (i) used the term "college" or "university" openly and conspicuously in its title within the Commonwealth prior to July 1, 1970; (ii) was granted authority to operate in Virginia by the council between July 1, 1970, and July 1, 2002, and maintains valid authority to so operate in Virginia after July 1, 2002; (iii) was exempted from the provisions of Chapter 21 (§ 23-265 et seq.) of Title 23 of the Code of Virginia as such law was in effect prior to July 1, 2002; or (iv) was authorized by the council to use a name prior to a request for certification.

2. For only as long as the provisions of Item 158 D of Chapter 912 of the 1996 Acts of Assembly shall be in effect, this subsection shall not apply to an individual proprietorship, association, co-partnership or corporation that uses the words "college" or "university" in its training programs solely for its employees or customers, that does not offer degree-granting programs, and whose name includes the word "college" or "university" in a context from which it is clear that such entity is not an educational school.

E. The council may refuse to certify school names and terms that have the potential to mislead the general public about the school's affiliation or association with any state-supported institution of higher education in Virginia. Terms such as, but not limited to, "public university," "public college," or "community college" may be protected from use by private institutions of higher education.

Statutory Authority

§ 23-276.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 23, eff. August 24, 2006.

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