Student Complaint

The United States Department of Education Regulation 34 CFR 600.9, the “Program Integrity Rule,” as part of its state authorization provisions, requires states to provide a process for students to file complaints relating to programs offered by postsecondary educational institutions authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The specific types of complaints covered by these regulations are: 

  • Allegations of state consumer protection violations, including, but not limited to fraud and false advertising;
  • Allegations that state laws or rules addressing the licensure of postsecondary institutions have been violated; and
  • Allegations regarding the quality of education or other accreditation requirements.

If your complaint regards other matters, you are encouraged to seek resolution from that institution first through the institution's internal complaint procedure. In accordance with the Council on Postsecondary Education's Student Complaint Procedure (S-16, section I), if the institution's internal procedure fails to resolve the complaint, the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner will then refer the student and/or third-party individuals with complaints related to federal or state laws or regulations to the appropriate federal or state agency. In addition, students or other individuals with complaints involving an allegation of criminal and/or illegal activity will be referred to their campus police department, their local police department, or the Rhode Island State Police. Complaints involving allegations of discrimination will be referred to the institution’s Affirmative Action Office and/or Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights (or the applicable federal EEOC office).

If your complaint deals with an online course or program, the Office can help you seek resolution pursuant to the Council on Postsecondary Education's Student Complaint Procedure (S-16, section II).


File a complaint