Requesting the Use of “College” or “University”

The determination of the use of the words “college” or “university” is deferred to the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission by the Secretary of State’s office. If the request is made directly to the Secretary of State’s office, the requestor will receive a letter indicating that the request has not been approved and must be made to GNPEC using the following procedure:

1. The requestor, the owner of the institution or the registered agent, must make a formal request in writing to the Executive Director. The request must be provided on official letterhead and include the following components:

  • The nature of your business;
  • The services to be provided and if you intend to offer, now or in the future, any postsecondary training or programming;
  • The name and location of your business and a link to your internet site, if any. Be sure to include complete contact information for yourself and any other principals involved.

The letter may be mailed, faxed or emailed as pdf to:

Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
Attn: Name Reservation Review
2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220
Tucker, GA 30084
Fax: (770) 414-3309

2. If the requesting entity is educational, the following applies:

a. GNPEC will not permit the use of “college” or “university” in the name of any authorized or exempt institution or applicant seeking authorization or exemption that is not accredited by a U.S. DOE recognized accreditor unless otherwise approved by the Executive Director. Statutory authority comes from O.C.G.A. § 20-3-250.7(b) No person, agent, group, or entity of whatever kind shall use the term “college” or “university” without authorization to do so from the commission unless it was doing so prior to July 1, 1985, or is otherwise authorized to do so under this part. Nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions operating in this state which are otherwise exempted from this part pursuant to Code Section 20-3-250.3 shall be subject to the provision of this subsection.

b. The requested name must not misrepresent, conflict or potentially cause confusion with existing educational institution names.

3. If the requesting entity is not educational, consideration is given as to whether the nature of the entity at the specific location being requested will cause confusion for students at nearby educational institutions. Other existing educational institutions may be consulted in GNPEC’s making of the determination.

4. On receipt of this information, the request will be reviewed and notification will be provided in writing of the determination within five to ten business days.