SARA - Student Complaints

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, in its capacity as the SARA portal entity for Massachusetts, reviews and evaluates student complaints regarding distance learning programs offered by Massachusetts-based institutions that are members of SARA in accordance with 610 CMR 12.07. Complaints that should be filed as a SARA Complaint are those that pertain to distance (online) education provided by Massachusetts-based SARA institutions to students residing in other states pursuant to SARA only. Complaints about a SARA institution’s operations or activities in Massachusetts can be filed here and will be resolved pursuant to 610 CMR 2.00 or otherwise in accordance with the institution's policies.

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.

More information about the BHE’s complaint process can be found here.

Within 30 days of the date the Department received the institution’s response, or if the Department receives no response, the Commissioner or his or her designee shall issue a notice to the institution containing the Commissioner’s findings regarding the complaint; any corrective actions that the institution shall take; and that, should the institution fail to take those corrective actions, the complaint shall be referred to the Office of the Attorney General for review and, if the Office of the Attorney General deems it appropriate, enforcement action.

Your Contact Information


You must agree to both sets of conditions below before submitting a complaint/inquiry to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education:

  • Confidentiality Statement — Under most circumstances, the text of your complaint/inquiry and the institution’s response will be considered public records, copies of which are available to any member of the public upon request. However, your name, address, phone number, and any other information that identifies you will not be disclosed. Furthermore, no part of your complaint/inquiry or the institution’s response will be provided in response to a request that asks specifically for a complaint/inquiry submitted by you.
  • Authorization & Waiver — By signing and submitting this form, I hereby acknowledge that I am authorizing the Department of Higher Education to transmit this complaint to the institution for its response and that I am giving the Department of Higher Education the authority to review any of my student or personnel records or other relevant documents that may constitute the institution’s response to this complaint. I hereby request and authorize representatives of the institution to disclose fully to the Board and Department of Higher Education, and their authorized representatives, all information and records relating to me that are relevant to my complaint/inquiry, including any personally-identifiable student education records which may pertain to the subject of the complaint. I waive any and all personal privileges which may attach to such information only to the extent necessary for the proper review of my complaint and the institution’s response by the Department of Higher Education and, if necessary after consultation with me and as required by 610 CMR 2.11(1), the Office of the Attorney General; otherwise, any such information shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed.

Do you agree to the Confidentiality Statement and the Authorization & Waiver above? If you do not agree, close your browser window, and your form data will be discarded.

Institution of Complaint

Complaint/Inquiry Detail

Have you discussed the matter directly with the institution?*
If yes, how did you contact the institution? (Check all that apply)
Have you contacted another agency about your complaint?*
Have you contacted an attorney about your complaint?*
Do you have documents you wish to submit to support the facts set forth in any of your responses in this form?


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