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Division of Extended Programs



State Authorization of Distance Programs



The United States Department of Education published regulations in the Federal Register (Chapter 34, ยง 600.9(c)) that require all institutions of higher education to seek authorization in every state (and territory) in which they operate, physically or virtually, in order to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid. Learn more by downloading this summary from WCET.


Student Complaint Process:

Western Oregon University aims to resolve all student complaints in a fair and expedient manner. Students wishing to file a formal complaint must first seek resolution through institutional grievance procedures. Details can be found on the grievance petition. Students may also contact Student Affairs for more information.

If a complaint cannot be resolved internally, students may also file a complaint with the Oregon State Board of Higher Education or with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, our accrediting body. Out-of-state distance students may follow this link for information about filing consumer complaints with their state authorizing agency.


How does this affect me?


Online students residing in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, and Minnesota:
Western Oregon University is unable to offer distance programs to residents of Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, and Minnesota at this time. We regret this restriction as it is our goal to offer a quality education to students everywhere and we are working to promote reciprocal agreements between state agencies in the future. These same restrictions may not apply to noncredit students.

Texas residents:
Western Oregon University is outside the jurisdiction of Chapter 132 of the Texas Education Code and therefore does not need to seek authorization in order to provide distance education in Texas.

Washington residents:
Western Oregon University is authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council and meets the requirements and minimum educational standards established for degree-granting institutions under the Degree-Granting Institutions Act. This authorization is subject to periodic review and authorizes Western Oregon University to offer specific degree programs. The Council may be contacted for a list of currently authorized programs. Authorization by the Council does not carry with it an endorsement by the Council of the institution or its programs. Any person desiring information about the requirements of the act or the applicability of those requirements to the institution may contact the Council at P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-3430.

Residents of all other states:
Western Oregon University has been granted authorizations, exemptions, waivers, and/or is not otherwise required to seek authorization for all other states and territories. However, distance students residing in certain states may be ineligible to apply for programs with required internship components and current distance students who wish to participate in internships may face restrictions. Prospective students should contact program coordinators with questions. If you are a current student, check with your faculty advisor before arranging an internship for credit in another state.


Need help? Call us at 503-838-8483.

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Center for Academic Innovation
Phone: 503-838-8483 or | e-mail:

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