Student Complaints

The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) is responsible for responding to formal complaints against public, independent non-profit and proprietary institutions of higher education in Ohio. While the ODHE has limited authority over colleges and universities, and cannot offer legal advice or initiate civil court cases, the Chancellor's staff will review submitted complaints and work with student complainants and institutions.

 

COMPLAINTS NOT UNDER THE CHANCELLOR’S JURISDICTION
  • Complaints filed more than two years after the incident
  • Grade disputes
  • Student conduct violations
  • Criminal misconduct*
  • Violations of federal law**
*Complaints concerning criminal misconduct should be filed with local law enforcement.
**Complaints relating to violations of federal law should be filed directly with the federal agency having jurisdiction over the matter.

 

How to Submit a Complaint

Please follow the steps outlined below to submit a complaint:

STEP 1

If a student has concerns related to classroom situations or administrative actions, he/she should contact the faculty or staff member(s) with whom there has been a conflict. It may be possible to resolve the concerns without the need for formal institutional action. However, if the student’s complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, or if the complaint cannot be resolved by contacting the faculty or staff member(s), the student should proceed to STEP 2.

STEP 2

The student should file a complaint through the institution of higher education’s established complaint process. Information on the process can usually be found in the institution’s academic catalog, student handbook or website. If the student is unable to resolve the complaint in this manner, the student should contact the Ohio Department of Higher Education using the online complaint form found below. Please note that the complaint must be received within two years of the completion of the institution’s complaint process.

STEP 3

After receiving a complaint through the ODHE complaint form, the Chancellor’s staff will review the submitted materials. If needed, the ODHE will contact the person submitting the complaint for any required additional information or clarifications. The Ohio Department of Higher Education will then send a copy of the complaint to the institution against which the complaint has been filed and ask for a response within three weeks. After receiving the college or university’s response, the Chancellor’s staff will determine whether the institution’s student complaint process has been followed and exhausted and what additional steps or follow-up, if any, will be taken. The Chancellor’s staff will inform both parties involved in the complaint of the outcome of our review in writing. Depending on the complexity of the complaint, most follow-up contact regarding the complaint will be completed within 4 to 6 weeks.

 

Questions?

If you have additional questions about the complaint process, or want to clarify that your individual complaint is reviewable by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, please feel free to contact Matt Exline at (614) 728-3095 or mexline@highered.ohio.gov.

 

Complaint Form

Please note that the Ohio Department of Higher Education cannot act on anonymous complaints. All fields must be completed.

By submitting this form, I affirm that I am a current or former student of the institution named above or the parent or guardian of a current or former student of that institution who is currently under the age eighteen (18) and is under my legal guardianship. So that this process is in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) I agree to allow the Ohio Department of Higher Education to submit a copy of my complaint and supporting materials to the above named institution and/or state portal agency for a response. I further authorize the institution to transmit records related to me or to the individual under my guardianship affected by the institution’s action to the Ohio Board of Regents for review. I understand that I may have to submit an information release form to the institution. Additionally, I recognize that my complaint may be subject to Ohio’s public records law as defined in Ohio Revised Code 149.43. I certify that the information I have provided to the Ohio Department of Higher Education is complete, true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief.