Federal regulations require that each state have a process to review and appropriately act upon three types of student complaints: consumer protection, approval/licensure, and quality of education. If an individual has an allegation against any college, university, or postsecondary career school (higher education institution) operating within the state, s/he should file a complaint using the NH Department of Education, Division of Higher Education – Higher Education Commission (Division) website. (See the complaint-form link below.) The Division will acknowledge receipt of the complaint, and if the matter is within defined statutory authority, take appropriate action. If the nature of the matter is not within Division authority, the complainant will be advised to contact the proper authority.
The Division, under New Hampshire statues and Administrative Rules, is responsible for allegations relating to consumer protection for all higher education institutions maintaining a physical presence in the state, and for all allegations relating to approval/licensure and quality review with the exceptions of Dartmouth College, the Community College System of New Hampshire, and the University System of New Hampshire. (See details below.)
The Division does not intervene in the internal procedures of higher-education institutions, but does, however, respond to allegations that raise significant questions about the institution’s compliance with the NH Code of Administrative Rules, Chapter Hedc 400 (Degree-Granting Higher Education Institutions With A Physical Presence In New Hampshire) and Chapter Hedc 300 (Office of Career School Licensing). If the allegation is applicable to a program that is approved for veterans’ educational benefits, then compliance with the applicable Federal statutes and regulations (Title 38) shall be reviewed.
Before students submit a complaint to this Division, they must first contact the appropriate official(s) at the institution they are attending (or attended), and follow the grievance procedures outlined in that institution’s catalog and Web site.
Complete the complaint form at bottom of this page if you have:
- A complaint regarding a NH degree-granting private institution.
- A complaint regarding a NH non-degree granting career school (Learn more about the Division’s career school policies).
- A complaint regarding Dartmouth College, a NH public community college or a NH public university or college (all complaints against these institutions will be reviewed and referred to the proper authorities). Note: these institutions are typically exempt from regulatory oversight of the Division, and as a result complaints received by the Division regarding these institutions will almost always be referred directly to the governing board of the subject institution. Exceptions include complaints from online, out-of-state students and complaints from students that have served, or are serving, in the U.S. Armed Forces.
- A complaint regarding a distance or online education program offered by a NH-based, degree-granting institution and you are an out-of-state student: Note: These complaints fall under NH’s participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).
- A complaint regarding a NH-based institution and you have served, or are serving, in the U.S. Armed Forces (Learn more about the Division’s Veterans Education Services).
Note: You should receive a confirmation e-mail upon successful submission of the form. If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail, contact Jan Fiderio at Janet.Fiderio@doe.nh.gov