As used in this part, the term:
(1) “Agent” means any natural person owning any interest in, employed by, or representing for remuneration a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution within or outside this state and who, by solicitation in any form made in this state, enrolls or seeks to enroll a resident of this state for education offered by such institution, or who offers to award educational credentials, for remuneration, on behalf of any such institution, or who holds himself or herself out to residents of this state as representing a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution for any such purpose.
(3) “Authorization to operate,” or like term, means authorization by the commission to operate or to contract to operate a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution in this state or to conduct nonpublic postsecondary activities.
(3.1) “Board of trustees” or “board” means the Board of Trustees of the Tuition Guaranty Trust Fund provided for in Code Section 20-3-250.27.
(4) “Certificate” means a diploma or similar document indicating satisfactory completion of training in a course or program of study, not leading to a postsecondary degree, which is offered by a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution.
(5) “Commission” means the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission provided for in Code Section 20-3-250.4.
(6) “Course” means any plan or program of instruction or study, whether conducted in person, by mail, or by any other method.
(7) “Date of notice” means the date the notice is mailed by the executive director.
(8) “Education” or “educational services,” or like term, means, but is not limited to, any class, course, or program of training, instruction, study, or testing.
(9) “Educational credentials” means certificates, degrees, transcripts, reports, documents or letters of designation, marks, appellations, series of letters, numbers, or words which signify, purport, or are generally taken to signify enrollment, attendance, progress, or satisfactory completion of the requirements or prerequisites for education at a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution.
(10) “Entity” means, but is not limited to, any company, firm, society, association, partnership, corporation, or trust.
(11) “Executive director” means the executive director of the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission.
(11.1) “Gross tuition” means the total amount collected by a postsecondary educational institution during the most recently completed 12 month fiscal year, reduced only by the amount of refunds paid during the fiscal year, for tuition, application fees, registration fees, and those other fees deemed appropriate by rule or regulation of the commission; provided, however, that for a postsecondary educational institution located outside of this state which is authorized only for the purpose of advertising and recruiting in this state, or is authorized only for the purpose of offering instruction by correspondence or any telecommunications or electronic media technology, or a combination of these purposes, “gross tuition” means only the amount of such tuition and fees collected from residents of this state while such residents reside in this state.
(12) “Nonpublic” means a private postsecondary educational institution not established, operated, or governed by the State of Georgia, or any public or private postsecondary educational institution legally operating in another state or nation that conducts postsecondary activities in Georgia or offers postsecondary instruction leading to a postsecondary degree or certificate granted to Georgia residents from a location outside Georgia.
(13) “Notice to the postsecondary educational institutions” means written correspondence sent to the address of record for legal service contained in the application for a certificate of authorization as provided for in this part.
(14) “Owner” of a postsecondary educational institution means:
(A) In the case of a postsecondary educational institution owned by an individual, that individual;
(B) In the case of a postsecondary educational institution owned by a partnership, all full, silent, and limited partners; and
(C) In the case of a postsecondary educational institution owned by a corporation, the corporation and each shareholder owning shares of issued and outstanding stock aggregating at least 10 percent of the total of the issued and outstanding shares.
(15) “Person” means any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, or other private entity.
(16) “Postsecondary degree” means a credential conferring on the recipient thereof the title of “Associate,” “Bachelor,” “Master,” “Specialist,” or “Doctor,” or an equivalent title, signifying educational attainment based on:
(B) A substitute for study in the form of equivalent experience or achievement testing; or
(C) A combination of the foregoing, provided that “postsecondary degree” shall not include any honorary degree or other so-called “unearned” degree.
(17) “Postsecondary activity” means:
(B) Conducting or offering study, experience, or testing for an individual related to a field or profession associated with public health, public welfare, or public safety, as determined by the commission in its sole discretion.
(18) “Postsecondary educational institution” means a postsecondary degree-granting or certificate-granting nonpublic college or university or a proprietary school, offering instruction or educational services primarily to persons who have completed or terminated their secondary education or who are beyond the age of compulsory high school attendance, or any sole proprietorship, group, partnership, venture, society, company, corporation, school, or consortium of colleges, universities, or other institutions that engages in, purports to engage in, or intends to engage in any type of postsecondary activity.
(19) “Proprietary school” or “school” means any business enterprise operated for a profit or on a nonprofit basis which maintains a place of business within this state or solicits business within this state, which is not specifically exempted by Code Section 20-3-250.3, and which offers a course or courses of instruction or study available through classroom instruction, correspondence, or any telecommunications or electronic media technology, or any combination thereof, to a person or persons for the purpose of:
(A) Training such person or persons for work in a business, trade, or technical or industrial occupation; or
(B) Preparing such person or persons for taking and passing certification exams for work in a business, trade, or technical or industrial occupation.
(20) “School employee” means any person, other than any “owner” as defined in paragraph (14) of this Code section, who directly or indirectly receives compensation from a postsecondary educational institution for services rendered.
(21) “Student” means any person who contracts to pay for and be the recipient of any course defined in paragraph (6) of this Code section.
(22) “Support” or “supported” means the primary source or having as the primary source from which a postsecondary educational institution derives revenue to perform its operation.
(23) “Telecommunications or electronic media technology” means a delivery mode which utilizes but is not limited to television, video cassette or disc, film, radio, computer, or other supportive devices which build upon the audio-video format.
(24) “To grant” means awarding, selling, conferring, bestowing, or giving.
(25) “To offer” means, in addition to its usual meanings, advertising, publicizing, soliciting, or encouraging any person, directly or indirectly, in any form, to perform the act described.
(26) “To operate” an educational institution, or like term, means to establish, keep, or maintain any facility or location in this state where, from which, or through which education is offered or given or educational credentials are offered or granted and includes contracting with any person, group, or entity to perform any such act and to conduct postsecondary activities within this state or from a location outside of this state by correspondence or by any telecommunications or electronic media technology, provided that such educational institution specifically recruits persons located within this state or has a physical presence within this state.
(27) “Tuition guaranty fund” or “fund” means the Tuition Guaranty Trust Fund provided for in Code Section 20-3-250.27.
HISTORY: Code 1981, § 20-3-250.2, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1166, § 3; Ga. L. 1991, p. 687, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 20; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2615, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 91, § 20; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1282, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 728, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1414, § 1; Ga. L. 2015, p. 83, § 1/HB 353; Ga. L. 2022, p. 378, § 1/SB 333.
NOTES: THE 2015 AMENDMENT, effective July 1, 2015, added “while such residents reside in this state” at the end of paragraph (11.1); inserted “‘Specialist,'” in the introductory language of paragraph (16); and added “, provided that such educational institution specifically recruits persons located within this state or has a physical presence within this state” at the end of paragraph (26).
THE 2022 AMENDMENT, effective July 1, 2022, repealed and reserved paragraph (2), which read: “‘Agent’s permit’ means a nontransferable written authorization issued to a natural person by the executive director which allows that person to solicit or enroll any resident of this state for education in a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution.”, and rewrote paragraph (17).