When submitting complaints, there are different avenues for students completing their education in the state of New York and those completing their education outside of New York State 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 residence):
New York Resident Student Complaint Contact Information
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 New York, have the right to file a complaint with the NYS Office of College and University Evaluation. The contact information can be found on the New York State Education Department website.
NC-SARA Member Out-Of-State Student Complaint Contact Information
Columbia University operates under the approval of “NC-SARA” (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements). Students based outside of New York State who have a consumer-protection-based complaints regarding a distance education program should first seek to resolve such a complaint within the school in which the student is registered.
*Note that complaints regarding grades and general student conduct issues are not governed by this distance education complaint process.
For those 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 New York, pursuant to the SARA Complaint Process, please contact the New York SARA State Portal Agency.
NC-SARA State Portal Contact: Emily Sutherland Supervisor of Higher Education Programs New York State Education Department 89 Washington Avenue Albany, NY 12234 518.474.1551 IHEauthorize@nysed.gov
Non-SARA Member Out-Of-State Student Complaint Contact Information
For those student complaints not resolved at the institutional level who have followed all grievance procedures and protocols defined by the University, and do not reside in a SARA member state, they may seek advisement from the appropriate office in the student’s state of residence (see list of agencies below). However, students residing in the state of New York or in a SARA member state 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.
North Carolina Department of Justice Consumer Protection Division Attorney General’s Office Mail Service Center 9001 Raleigh, NC 27699-9001 Phone: 877-566-7226 or 919-716-6000 (En Español 919-716-0058)