The University of Louisville holds itself and its university community to the highest standards of honesty and integrity and is committed to fostering a culture of compliance and ethics. The university expects its employees and others acting on its behalf to comply with external laws and regulations and follow the university’s Standards of Conduct and Cardinal Principles.
The U.S. Department of Education has regulations () regarding the prohibition of misrepresentation. The purpose of this statement is to educate our university community about the regulation and what it prohibits.
The University of Louisville is prohibited under federal regulations from making, directly or indirectly, any substantial misrepresentation or misleading statement (as outlined below) to a student, prospective student, member of the public, accrediting agency, state agency, or to the U.S. Department of Education.
Substantial misrepresentations and/or misleading statements may not be made about:
- The nature of an educational program
- The nature of any financial charges
- The employability of graduates
- The relationship with the U.S. Department of Education
Examples of statements about an institution’s educational programs, financial charges, employability of graduates, and omission of fact that apply to misrepresentation are provided in the regulation located at https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-34/subtitle-B/chapter-VI/part-668#subpart-F.
Misleading statement is any statement that has the likelihood or tendency to misinform under the circumstances. A misleading statement may be included in the institution’s marketing materials, website, or any other communication to students or prospective students.
Misrepresentation is any false, erroneous, or misleading statement an eligible institution, one of its representatives, or any ineligible institution, organization, or person with whom the eligible institution has an agreement to provide educational programs, or to provide marketing, advertising, recruiting or admissions services makes directly or indirectly to a student, prospective student or any member of the public, or to an accrediting agency, to a State agency, or to the Secretary. Misrepresentation includes any statement that omits information in such a way as to make the statement false, erroneous, or misleading. Misrepresentation includes the dissemination of a student endorsement or testimonial that a student gives either under duress or because the institution required the student to make such an endorsement or testimonial to participate in a program. Misrepresentation also includes the omission of facts as defined under §668.75.
An Omission of Fact is a misrepresentation under §668.71 if a reasonable person would have considered the omitted information in making a decision to enroll or continue attendance at the institution. An omission of fact includes, but is not limited to, the concealment, suppression, or absence of material information or statement concerning—
(a) The entity that is actually providing the educational instruction, or implementing the institution’s recruitment, admissions, or enrollment process;
(b) The availability of enrollment openings in the student’s desired program;
(c) The factors that would prevent an applicant from meeting the legal or other requirements to be employed in the field for which the training is provided, for reasons such as prior criminal record or preexisting medical conditions;
(d) The factors that would prevent an applicant from meeting the legal or other requirements to be employed, licensed, or certified in the field for which the training is provided because the academic, professional, or occupational degree or credential that the institution will confer upon completion of the course of study has not been authorized by the appropriate State educational or licensure agency, or requires specialized accreditation that the institution does not have; or,
(e) The nature of the institution’s educational programs, the institution’s financial charges, or the employability of the institution’s graduates as defined in §668.72–74.
Prospective student is any individual who has contacted an eligible institution for the purpose of requesting information about enrolling at the institution or who has been contacted directly by the institution or indirectly through advertising about enrolling at the institution.
Statement is any communication made in writing, visually, orally, or through other means.
Substantial misrepresentation is any misrepresentation, including omission of facts as defined under §668.75, on which the person to whom it was made could reasonably be expected to rely, or has reasonably relied, to that person’s detriment.
Reporting Concerns of Misrepresentation
Concerns regarding institutional misrepresentation should be brought to the attention of the University Integrity and Compliance Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, the University of Louisville provides an anonymous, toll-free compliance hotline to report concerns online or by calling 1-877-852-1167.
To learn more about misrepresentation, why it is important, and the UofL campus community expectations, please complete the Misrepresentation Awareness Module.