For Immediate Release
September 11, 2023
Michael S. Garrity, Director of Communications
firstname.lastname@example.org | (603) 931-9375
Concord, NH – The Attorney General’s Office releases the following statement:
“The Attorney General’s Office (“AGO”) has reviewed the concerns raised about “Prager U” relating to the requirements of RSA 292:8-g and has determined that no further action is warranted at this time.
Prager University Foundation d/b/a “Prager U” is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that appears to have no physical presence in New Hampshire. It provides free video content via its website that it self-describes as “edutainment” (“an intersection of education and entertainment.”) The AGO’s understanding is that the State Board of Education (“SBOE”) is currently considering whether to make one of Prager U’s free online video programs an approved method of receiving credit for the state’s mandated high school-level financial literacy requirement.
RSA 292:8-g states, in relevant part: “[N]o person, school, association or corporation shall use in any way the term ‘junior college’ or ‘college’ or ‘university’ in connection with an institution, or use any other name, title or descriptive matter tending to designate that it is an institution of higher learning unless it has been incorporated under the provisions of this chapter [“Higher Education Corporations].”
After reviewing the statute, the AGO does not read RSA 292:8-g to require nondomestic entities that merely have a presence in New Hampshire through the existence of a website to incorporate under the provisions of RSA 292:8. In any event, the statute has clearly not been applied in such a manner to similarly situated entities in the past and thus it would not be in the interest of justice to take action against Prager U for failing to incorporate under the provisions of Chapter 292:8 given its present activities. This conclusion is further supported by the AGO’s review of the factual circumstances of Prager U’s activities in New Hampshire, which do not invoke the consumer protection rationale on which the statute is based. Specifically, Prager U makes very clear that it does not hold itself out to be an institute of higher learning. On the Prager U website’s landing page, the first use of the word “university” is in the following sentence: “PragerU is not an accredited university, nor do we claim to be. We don’t offer degrees, but we do provide educations, entertaining, pro-American videos for every age.” (The only other use of the word “university” on the Prager U website landing page is the “© 2023 Prager University” on the bottom of the page). Nor did the AGO find any indication that Prager U charges for its services, much less that it suggests that consumers could pay for courses and ultimately receive a degree. To the extent that RSA 292:8 was designed to protect consumers from such predatory activity by a “fake” university, such concerns are not present here where (i) the entity itself has clearly disclaimed being an accredited university and (ii) this entity’s ability to offer any K-12 educational service of any kind in New Hampshire is directly regulated by the SBOE.”
New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301