Licensing and Accreditation
What should you know about Licensed Private Schools
The School is complex in its organization, consisting of many departments and individuals. It is realistic, therefore, that certain problems will be more difficult to resolve than others.
- Students are encouraged to bring their complaints to the attention of the Director, either by telephone, e-mail, or in writing. Many potential problems can be resolved by early discussion with the School’s staff.
- Students not satisfied with this informal resolution should formally notify the Director, in writing, with appropriate documentation, of any unresolved problem or complaint. The Director will research the problem and will respond to the student in writing.
- The School is accredited by the nationally recognized and internationally certified Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) as meeting and maintaining certain standards of quality. It is the mutual goal of the school and ACCET to ensure that educational training programs of quality are provided. When problems arise, students should make every attempt through the formal complaint procedure within the School to find a fair and reasonable solution.
However, in the event that a student has exercised the channels available within the School to resolve the problem(s) by way of the School’s formal complaint procedure, and the problem(s) have not been resolved, the student has the right and is encouraged to take the following steps:
- The student should contact the ACCET in writing by mail, fax, or e-mail. Complaints received by phone will be logged, along with a request for a written follow-up; an initial letter speeds up this process.
The letter of complaint must contain the following:
a. The nature of the problem(s);
b. The approximate dates the problem(s) occurred;
c. The name(s) of the individual(s) involved in the problem(s), including both institutional staff and/or other students who were involved;
d. Copies of important information regarding the problem(s) (facts, not rumors, lead to solutions);e. Evidence demonstrating the institution’s complaint procedure was followed prior to contacting ACCET;
f. All complaints should be signed. Complaints will receive acknowledgement of receipt within 15 days.
- Send to: ACCET Chair, Complaint Review Committee 1722 N Street NW Washington, DC 20036 Tel: 202.955.1113 Fax: 202.955.1118 or 202.955.5306 Web site: www.accet.org
- The student may also file a complaint to the state licensing agency, the N.Y. State Education Department’s Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision, in writing at 116 West 32nd Street, 5th Floor, NY, NY 10001, or via telephone at 212.643.4760. The Bureau cannot investigate any complaint made more than two (2) years after the date of occurrence.
Tuition Reimbursement Fund
The Tuition Reimbursement Fund is designed to protect the financial interest of students attending proprietary schools. If a school closes while you are in attendance, prior to the completion of your educational program, then you may be eligible for a refund of all the tuition expenses you have paid. If you drop out of school prior to completion and you file a complaint against the school with the N.Y. State Education Department, you may be eligible to receive a tuition refund if the State Education Department is able to provide factual support that your complaint is valid and determine that there was a violation of Educational Law or the Commissioner’s Regulations as specified in Section 126.17 of the Commissioner’s Regulations. To file a claim to the Tuition Reimbursement Fund you must first file a complaint with the State Education Department's Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision at the address indicated above.
Tuition Refund and Cancellation Policy
All schools must have a tuition refund and cancellation policy for each program included in the catalog and in the student enrollment agreement. Read and understand the school's policy regarding tuition refund and cancellation before you sign an enrollment agreement. If you do not understand it, or are confused by the school's explanation, get help before you sign.
A. The School retains a $100 administrative fee associated with the withdrawal or termination.
B. During the first week of classes, tuition charges withheld will not exceed ten percent (10%) of the tuition up to a maximum of $500. When determining the number of weeks completed by the student, the School considers a partial week the same as if a whole week was completed, provided the student was present at least one day during the scheduled week.
C. After the first week and through fifty percent (50%) of the period of financial obligation of six months, tuition charges retrained will not exceed a pro rata portion of tuition for the training period completed, plus ten percent (10%) of the unearned tuition for the period not completed. After fifty percent (50%) of the period of financial obligation is completed, the School may retain the full tuition paid.
D. Thereafter, a student will be liable for the non-refundable application and registration fees, plus the cost of any textbooks or supplies or materials accepted.
E. The refund due will be calculated using the last date of attendance and be paid within thirty (30) calendar days from the documented date of determination. The date of determination is the date the student gives written or verbal notice of withdrawal to the School or the date the School terminates the student, by applying the School's attendance, conduct, or Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
F. If an applicant accepted by the School cancels prior to the start of scheduled classes or never attends class, the School will refund all monies paid, less the non-refundable application fee ($75) and registration fee ($100). The School retains an additional $150 when a student is recruited from outside the United States or its territories and possesses a visa to enter the country for study.
G. If the School cancels or discontinues its program, the School will make a full refund of all tuition paid for that period.
Return of Title IV Funds Policy
This policy governs the return of Title IV (Federal financial aid) funds disbursed for a student who completely withdraws from a term, payment period, or period of enrollment. The School of Professional Horticulture (The School) at The New York Botanical Garden adheres to Federal policy regarding Return of Title IV funds. Return of funds policies are fair and equitable and applied uniformly. The School will use the forms and software developed by the U.S. Department of Education in determining the refund due to the financial aid program and in determining any repayment due from the student.
Withdrawal information is obtained from the Director’s office in line with the School’s withdrawal policies. The date of withdrawal used to calculate the last date of attendance will be the effective date of withdrawal noted in the School’s records. Students who withdraw during the add/drop period will undergo a Return of Title IV funds calculation even though no institutional
charges may have been assessed. Their official date of withdrawal will be noted on the administrative computer system and will be used in the refund calculation process, as follows: 1.) An otherwise eligible student who began attendance at the School and was disbursed or could have been disbursed Title IV grant or loan funds prior to a withdrawal has earned a portion of those Title IV funds and must
undergo a return of Title IV fund calculation, or 2.) If the student began attendance but was not and could not have been disbursed Title IV grant or loan funds, the student is not considered to have been a Title IV recipient and a return of Title IV funds calculation is not required.
The last date of attendance will be the date submitted or the date of the last documented academically related activity, whichever is earlier. Students who leave without completing an official withdrawal form or for whom an official withdrawal form is not completed will have their last date of attendance be the date of the last documented academically related activity.
Students who withdraw before 60% of the term is completed will have their Federal financial aid eligibility calculated in direct proportion to the length of the enrollment. The percentage of time the student remained enrolled is the percentage of disbursable aid for that period that the student earned. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60% point earns all aid for the period. The responsibility to repay unearned aid is shared by the School and the student in proportion to the aid each is assumed to possess. The School’s share is the lesser of the total amount of nearned aid or institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of aid that was unearned. The student’s share is the difference between the total unearned amount and the institution’s share. The return of Title IV funds will be in the following order:
• Unsubsidized Stafford loan
• Subsidized Stafford loan
• Pell grant
Other Title IV Programs
After the student’s share is fully allocated among the Title IV programs, any amount owed to a grant program is reduced by half. Return of Federal (Title IV) funds calculation is performed independently of the School’s costs incurred for the period of enrollment. The School will return its share of unearned Title IV funds no later than 45 days after determination of withdrawal. The student may be entitled to a post-withdrawal disbursement of Federal financial aid if the return of funds calculation indicates that the student earned more aid than was disbursed prior to withdrawal. Post-withdrawal disbursements will be credited first toward unpaid institutional charges. Any portion of a post-withdrawal disbursement that exceeds unpaid institutional charges will be offered as a disbursement to the student. Students must accept this disbursement within 14 days of the offer. If a response is not received or if the offer is declined, these excess funds will be returned to the appropriate Title IV program.
Non-Title IV Funds
The School will calculate return of non-Title IV funds in accordance with the appropriate institutional and state refund policy. Refunds (after Title IV aid has been included in the formula) will be made to programs in the following order: state, institutional, private. Institutional funds will be returned on a case-by-case basis upon appropriate administrator review of financial assistance awarded and balance due.