13B.05.01.06

.06 Registration Procedure.

A. An institution seeking registration with the Commission as required in Regulation .04 of this chapter shall submit to the Commission:

(1) An application for registration in the form required by the Secretary;

(2) An application fee in the amount of:

(a) For an institution having an enrollment of no more than 20 Maryland students, $500; and

(b) For an institution having an enrollment of more than 20 Maryland students, $1,000;

(3) Information on the ownership of the institution;

(4) A list of all online programs that will be offered to Maryland students, including program tuition and fee costs for those programs;

(5) Documentation that the institution is:

(a) Accredited by and in good standing with an accrediting body recognized and approved by the U.S. Department of Education;

(b) In good business standing in the state in which the central administration of the institution is incorporated;

(c) If the state in which the central administration of the institution is located has a state authority, in good academic standing with that state authority;

(d) In compliance with the principles of good practice for distance education established by the Commission in COMAR 13B.02.03; and

(e) In compliance with the refund policies in Regulation .10 of this chapter;

(6) Documentation that the institution has a process for the filing and resolution of complaints by Maryland students, including informing students that the institution is subject to investigation of complaints by the Office of the Attorney General or the Commission;

(7) An affidavit from the President or Chief Executive Officer of the institution affirming that:

(a) The institution has not filed for bankruptcy protection under Title 11 of the U.S. Code during its existence; and

(b) The President or Chief Executive Officer shall:

(i) Abide by the requirements of Education Article, §11-202.2, Annotated Code of Maryland, and this chapter; and

(ii) Notify the Commission in reference to the matters set forth in Regulation .11 of this chapter;

(8) If the institution is or will be enrolling Maryland students before registration is issued, within 30 days of submitting the complete application, a pre-registration financial guarantee as provided for in Regulation .07 of this chapter; and

(9) If the institution is a for-profit institution, a continuous financial guarantee pursuant to Education Article, §§11-203, Annotated Code of Maryland, and as provided for in Regulation .12 of this chapter.

B. In addition to the requirements of §A of this regulation, an institution shall submit a copy of the institution's most recent financial statement reviewed by an independent accountant retained by the institution with its first application for registration and with each annual renewal application.

C. An application is complete as of the day on which an institution submits all documentation required in §§A(1)(7) and A(9) of this regulation for the registration process as determined by the Secretary.

D. If the Secretary finds that the institution is in compliance with the applicable requirements of Education Article, Title 11, Annotated Code of Maryland, and this chapter, the Secretary shall issue registration to the institution.

E. Secretary's Denial of Registration.

(1) If the Secretary is not satisfied that an institution is in compliance with applicable requirements of Education Article, Title 11, Annotated Code of Maryland, and this chapter, the Secretary shall issue a notice of deficiencies and preliminarily deny registration to the institution.

(2) Within 20 days of receipt of a notice of deficiencies, the institution denied registration may request a hearing before the Commission.

(3) If the institution does not file a timely request for a hearing on the notice of deficiencies, the Secretary's decision becomes final.

F. Secretary's Failure to Issue or Deny Registration.

(1) If the Secretary fails to issue a registration or a written notice of deficiencies within 6 months of the completed application, the institution may request a hearing before the Commission to determine whether the registration should be issued.

(2) The request shall be made within 20 days of the expiration of the 6-month period.

G. Hearing by Commission.

(1) The Commission may refer a request for hearing under §E or F of this regulation to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

(2) A hearing before the Commission shall be held within 60 days after receipt of the request for hearing.

(3) The hearing before the Commission shall be conducted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, State Government Article, Title 10, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland, and COMAR 13B.04.01.

(4) Within 30 days of the hearing, the Commission shall render a decision.

(5) The Commission may take the following action:

(a) Issue registration;

(b) Deny registration; or

(c) Remand the case to the Secretary for further action as directed by the Commission.

H. Judicial Review.

(1) An institution that is denied registration by the Commission after a hearing under §G of this regulation has the right to judicial review provided by State Government Article, Title 10, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) The decision of the Commission is presumed correct and the institution has the burden of proving otherwise.

(3) The Commission shall be a party to the proceeding.