Cal. Code Regs. Tit. 5, § 18805 - Refund Policy

(a) Institutions approved or authorized pursuant to Education Code Sections 94310.2, 94310.3, and 94310.4, and 94311(d) shall, in the event of a student or applicant cancels enrollment prior to the completion of the course, promptly refund to each student the unused portions of paid tuition fees and other charges or reduce the amount due under the enrollment contract, as appropriate, in accordance with the following minimum standards:
(1) Cancellation of Contract or Enrollment. A student or applicant may cancel the contract or enrollment by notifying institution personnel of that intention. Such notice is effective when delivered or when postmarked. An institution may require a written notice of cancellation provided that such requirement is clearly detailed in the catalog and enrollment agreement.
(2) Instructional Materials. If there is to be any charge to a student or applicant for instructional materials under any circumstances whatever, the school must detail provisions, if any, for the return or recovery of the materials, and a specific price must be affixed to the items and clearly cited. Fees for instructional materials shall not be considered as "tuition fees" as used in this section.

Initial correspondence course materials shall be sent to the student within 7 working days following receipt of student enrollment, or the student may rescind the contract and shall be entitled to full refund of all monies paid.

At any time during the enrollment period, a correspondence institution shall upon written request send the balance of all course materials to any student who has paid in full under his contract. If the student has not paid in full but has paid in excess of the amount owed under paragraph (6) below, the institution shall upon written request send the student the materials paid for but not received, which will constitute full settlement of the institution's obligation to the student. In such event, the school shall remain obligated for all services to which the student is entitled.

(3) Registration Fees. An institution shall be entitled to a minimum registration fee of $25.00 with a maximum of 15 percent of the total tuition fees or $100.00, whichever is less.
(4) Three-Day Full Refund Period. Where the provisions of Education Code Section 94312(e) are not applicable, the student or applicant shall be given no less than 3 working days following the day on which enrollment was signed or effective to cancel enrollment and receive refund of all monies paid to institution or its representative, including the refund of registration and instructional materials fees, provided no classes have been attended, lessons completed, or materials used.
(5) Cancellation After Three-Day Period. Where the provisions of Education Code Section 94312(e) are not applicable, and should the student or applicant cancel enrollment more than 3 working days following the day on which enrollment was signed or effective, the institution may retain, as earned, the amount disclosed as a registration fee plus any disclosed and used instructional material costs not inconsistent with its stated policy, provided that:
(A) In resident institutions, the cancellation was made prior to the date upon which the institution is scheduled to start classes or instruction, or
(B) In correspondence institutions, the cancellation was made prior to the date on which the institution received the first completed lesson or prior to the 30th day following the date on which the student or applicant first received materials, whichever occurs first.
(6) Minimum Refund. Should a student cancel enrollment after the time period described in (a)(5)(A) of this section, whether or not he or she was in attendance, or after the time period described in (a)(5)(B) of this section, the student is entitled to a refund of fees and charges, except registration fees and costs of instructional materials consistent with the institution's stated policy, in accordance with the following refund formula:

Percent of attendance time or of

course length as related to the

Minimum Amount of

total course time or length:


Up to 10%.


10% and up to 25%.


25% and up to 50%.


50% and over.

No Refund

The requirements of this part do not apply to institutions operating under Education Code Section 94310. Those institutions shall develop and use a fair, equitable and positive policy of incremental refund of unused fees and other charges applicable to cancellations.

(7) Fees Which Shall be Refunded. Fees which shall be refunded are:
(A) Any fee or charge collected in error shall be repaid in full.
(B) Any charges collected from a student which the institution holds for the purpose of paying to any other public or private person, firm, organization, or agency, such as for a bond, license application or examination fees, or any similar fees or charges shall, where the student fails to enter the course or withdraws therefrom at any time prior to completion of the course, be refunded in full. Such charges are not subject to any refund if the institution has paid them prior to receipt of cancellation of a contract or enrollment.
(C) All prepaid but unearned fees and other charges paid by a student to the institution shall be refunded to the student if the institution discontinues the class or course for which the student has enrolled.
(8) Refunds to Veterans. A student enrolled under any federal or state veterans' education assistance plan may receive all the refunds of fees in accordance with the law or regulations under which the federal or state veterans' education assistance plan is operated, regardless of any limitation set forth in this section.
(9) Timely Refunds. Refunds must be made by the institution within 30 days of the cancellation.
(b) In addition to inclusion in the catalog or brochure, the institution's refund policy shall be fully, clearly and conspicuously included in each contract of enrollment.
(c) The superintendent may, at his discretion, permit exceptions to an institution's refund policy upon the institution making application to the superintendent for such exception and detailing the reasons. After consideration by the superintendent, he may deny such exception, grant the exception, or order a suitable refund policy.


Cal. Code Regs. Tit. 5, § 18805

Note: Authority cited: Section 94305(b), Education Code. Reference: Section 94312(d) and (e), Education Code.

1. Renumbering and amendment of former Section 18805 to Section 18803, and renumbering and amendment of Section 18809 to Section 18805 filed 1-15-85; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 85, No. 3).
2. Change without regulatory effect of subsection (a) filed 2-2-89; operative 2-2-89 (Register 89, No. 8).

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