Student Complaints Process

When submitting complaints, there are different avenues for students completing their education in the state of Massachusetts and those completing their education outside of Massachusetts through distance education (e.g. online courses or programs).

As required by the NC-SARA student complaint process, a student must first attempt to resolve and file their complaint at the institution. For complaints not resolved at the institutional level, a student may file an appeal in one of the following ways (dependent on their state of residence):

*Note that complaints regarding grades and general student conduct issues are not governed by this distance education complaint process.

For Massachusetts Residents and Online Students in Non-SARA Member States and Territories

Student complaints not resolved at the institutional level who have followed all grievance procedures and protocols defined by the University and reside in the state of Massachusetts or non-SARA Member States/Territories have the right to file a consumer complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) by using the consumer complaint form. The Massachusetts DHE consumer complaint form should be used by students who are located in:

  • Massachusetts
  • Non-SARA Member States or Territories (e.g., California, Guam, etc.)

More information about Massachusetts’ DHE complaint processes can be found here.

For Online Students Located in SARA Member States and Territories

Simmons University operates under the approval of “NC-SARA” (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements).  Students based outside of Massachusetts (in a SARA member state/territory) who have a consumer-protection-based complaint regarding a distance education program should first seek to resolve such a complaint within the school in which the student is registered.

Student complaints not resolved at the institutional level who have followed all grievance procedures and protocols defined by the University, and reside in a SARA member state outside of Massachusetts, pursuant to the SARA Complaint Process, have the right to file a consumer complaint with the Department of Higher Education (DHE) by using the SARA complaint form.  The DHE SARA complaint form should be used by students who are located in SARA member states and territories. This includes all students who are located in SARA member states and territories for the purposes of completing out-of-state learning placements, such as internships, practica, clinical experiences, etc. in SARA member states and territories outside of Massachusetts. 

Additional information from the DHE’s SARA complaint website is below.

The SARA complaint process is as follows:

  1. Students must first attempt to resolve their complaint using internal administrative procedures offered by the SARA institution.
  2. After all administrative remedies have been exhausted with the MA-SARA institution, the student may submit a SARA Complaint via the URL below.
  3. The Department shall send a copy of the complaint to the institution that is the subject of the complaint;
  4. Within 30 days of the date that the Department sends a copy of the complaint to the institution, the institution must provide a written response to the student and the Department.

As an additional resource, you may find a list below including contact information for consumer complaints to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories.  However, students should follow the complaint procedures outlined above. 

Note: This list includes contact information for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories and should not be construed as informative of what agencies regulate the institution or in what states the institution is authorized to operate. States, through the relevant agencies or Attorneys General Offices will accept complaints regardless of whether an institution is authorized to operate in that state.  Also, the University does not maintain the state and territory websites, and information may change without the University’s knowledge.

ALABAMA

In writing:

Alabama Community College System
Attn: Division of Academic and Student Affairs
PO Box 302130
Montgomery, AL 36130-2130

ALASKA

In writing:

Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
PO Box 110505,
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0505

ARIZONA

In writing:

Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education
1400 W. Washington, Room 260
Phoenix, AZ 85007

ARKANSAS

In writing:

Arkansas Division of Higher Education
114 East Capitol
Little Rock, AR 72201-3818

CALIFORNIA

In writing:

California Department of Consumer Affairs
Consumer Information Center
1625 North Market Blvd., Suite N-112
Sacramento, California 95834

COLORADO

In writing:

Colorado Department of Higher Education
Commission on Higher Education
1300 Broadway Rd., Second Floor
Denver, CO 80203

CONNECTICUT

In writing:

Connecticut Office of Higher Education
450 Columbus Blvd., Suite 707
Hartford, CT 06103-1841

DELAWARE

In writing:

Delaware Department of Education
The Townsend Building
401 Federal St., Suite 2
Dover, DE 19901-3639

FLORIDA

In writing:

Commission for Independent Education
325 W. Gaines St., Suite 1414
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400

GEORGIA

In writing:

Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
2082 E. Exchange Pl., Suite 220
Tucker, GA 30084

HAWAII

In writing:

Business Registration Division of the Hawaii Department
of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
PO Box 40
Honolulu, HI 96810

IDAHO

In writing:

Idaho State Board of Education
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0037

ILLINOIS

In writing:

Illinois Board of Higher Education
1 N. Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 333
Springfield, IL 62701-1377

INDIANA

In writing:

Board for Proprietary Education Indiana Commission for Higher Education
101 W. Ohio St., Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46204

IOWA

In writing:

Iowa College Student Aid Commission
475 SW fifth St., Suite D
Des Moines, IA 50319

On the Internet:

KANSAS

On the Internet:

KENTUCKY

In writing:

Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
1024 Capital Center Dr., Suite 320
Frankfort, KY 40601-8204

LOUISIANA

In writing:

State of Louisiana Board of Regents
1201 N. Third St., Suite 6-200
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Alternate contact:

In writing:

Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Section
P.O. Box 94005
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9005

MAINE

In writing:

Maine State Board of Education (MSBE)
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023

MARYLAND

In writing:

Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC)
6 N. Liberty St., 10th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201

Alternative contact:

In writing:

Maryland Office of the Attorney General
200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202

MASSACHUSETTS

In writing:

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
One Ashburton Place, Suite 1401
Boston, MA 02108-1696

MICHIGAN

In writing:

Michigan Department of Education
PO Box 30008
Lansing, MI 48909

MINNESOTA

In writing:

Minnesota Office of Higher Education
1450 Energy Park Dr., Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108

MISSISSIPPI

In writing:

Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation
3825 Ridgewood Rd.
Jackson, MS 39211

MISSOURI

In writing:

Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development
205 Jefferson St.
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1469

MONTANA

In writing:

Montana Board of Regents
Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education - Montana University System
560 N. Park Ave.
PO Box 203201
Helena, MT 59620-3201

NEBRASKA

In writing:

Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
PO Box 95005
Lincoln, NE 68509-5005

NEVADA

In writing:

Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education
3663 E. Sunset Road, Suite 202
Las Vegas, NV 89120

NEW HAMPSHIRE

In writing:

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301-3494

NEW JERSEY

In writing:

New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education
1 John Fitch Plaza, 10th Floor
PO Box 542
Trenton, NJ 08625-0542

NEW MEXICO

In writing:

New Mexico Higher Education Department
2044 Galisteo St., Suite 4
Santa Fe, NM 87505-2100

NEW YORK

In writing:

New York State Education Department
Office of College & University Evaluation Education Bldg.
5 North Mezzanine, 89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234

NORTH CAROLINA

In writing:

North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints
c/o Student Complaints
910 Raleigh Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688

Alternative contact:

In writing:

Consumer Protection Division
Attorney General’s Office
Mail Service Center 9001
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001

NORTH DAKOTA

In writing:

North Dakota University System
Core Technology Services
2000 44th St. SW, Suite 301
Fargo, ND 58103

By phone:

unknown

OHIO

In writing:

Ohio Department of Higher Education
25 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215

OKLAHOMA

In writing:

Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education
655 Research Pkwy, Suite 200
Oklahoma City, OK 73104-3603

OREGON

In writing:

Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission
Office of Private Postsecondary Education
225 Capitol St. NE
Salem, OR 97301

PENNSYLVANIA

In writing:

Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St., 12th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

PUERTO RICO

In writing:

Consejo de Educacion Superior de Puerto Rico/Puerto Rico Council on Higher Ed.
PO Box 19900
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00910-1900

By phone:

Phone Number: 787.724.7100 ext. 2022 or ext. 2016

RHODE ISLAND

In writing:

Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner
560 Jefferson Blvd.
Warwick, RI 02886-1304

SOUTH CAROLINA

In writing:

Nonpublic Postsecondary Institution Licensing
1333 Main St., Suite 200
Columbia, SC 29201

SOUTH DAKOTA

In writing:

South Dakota Secretary of State
Capitol Building
500 E. Capitol Ave, Suite 204
Pierre, SD 51501-5070

TENNESSEE

In writing:

Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Parkway Towers, Suite 1900
404 James Robertson Pkwy
Nashville, TN 37243-0830

TEXAS

In writing:

Texas Workforce Commission
Career Schools and Colleges-Rm 226-T
101 East 15th Street
Austin, TX 78778-0001

On the Internet:

Texas Alternate Contact #1:

In writing:

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Office of General Counsel
P.O. Box 12788
Austin, TX 78711-2788

Texas Alternate Contact #2:

In writing:

Texas Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548

UTAH

In writing:

Utah System of Higher Education State Board of Regents
60 South 400 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1284

VERMONT

In writing:

Vermont Agency of Education
219 North Main St., Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

On the Internet:

Vermont Alternate Contact:

In writing:

Vermont Attorney General’s Office
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1001

VIRGINIA

In writing:

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
James Monroe Building
101 N. 14th St., 10th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
219 North Main St., Suite 402

WASHINGTON

In writing:

Washington Student Achievement Council
PO Box 43430
Olympia, WA 98504-3430

WASHINGTON D.C.

In writing:

Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Higher Education Licensure Commission
1050 First St. NE
Washington, DC 20002

WEST VIRGINIA

In writing:

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
1018 Kanawha Boulevard East, Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25301

WISCONSIN

In writing:

State of Wisconsin
Educational Approval Program
P.O. Box 8366
Madison, WI 53708-8366

WYOMING

In writing:

Wyoming Department of Education
122 W. 25th St., Suite E200
Cheyenne, WY 82002

AMERICAN SAMOA

In writing:

Office of Protection and Advocacy
Attn: Dr. Peter Tinitali
Executive Office Building
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799

GUAM

In writing:

Office of Attorney General
287 W O’Brien Dr.
Hagatna, Guam 96910

NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS

In writing:

State Higher Education Agency, Northern Marianas College
POB 501250
Saipan MP 96950-1250

Northern Mariana Islands
Alternate Contact:

In writing:

Office of Attorney General
Juan A Sablan Memorial Bldg.
Capital Hill,
Caller Box 10007, Saipan, MP 96950

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

In writing:

Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands
Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs
Golden Rock Shopping Center,
3000 Estate Golden Rock, Suite 9, St. Croix, VI 00820