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Office of the Secretary of Higher Education

Instructions for Filing a Complaint about an Institution of Higher Education

For all types of complaints concerning colleges and universities, the first course of action must be to try to resolve the complaint directly with the administration of the college or university involved. The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) will not review a complaint until all grievance procedures at the institution have been followed, all avenues of appeal exhausted, and documentation provided that such procedures have been exhausted.

Please do not send a complaint to OSHE until you have read all of the information below. This will assure that you are sending your complaint to the appropriate agency/office.

OSHE handles only those complaints that concern educational programs or practices of degree-granting institutions subject to the Regulations of OSHE, with the exceptions noted below.

  • OSHE does not handle anonymous complaints.
  • OSHE does not intervene in matters concerning an individual's grades or examination results as these are the prerogative of the college's faculty.
  • OSHE does not intervene in matters concerning tuition & fee refunds.
  • OSHE does not intervene in matters concerning student conduct violations.
  • OSHE does not intervene in human resources matters.
  • OSHE does not handle complaints concerning actions that occurred more than two years ago.
  • OSHE does not intervene in matters that are or have been in litigation.

Residents of other states and territories who are seeking information about filing a complaint about a New Jersey institution operating outside of New Jersey under the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), as well as New Jersey residents seeking information about filing a complaint about an out-of-state institution operating under SARA can find more information by viewing the SARA Agreement.

New Jersey residents who are seeking information about filing a complaint in regard to an out-of-state institution that is not operating under SARA, can file a complaint with New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Affairs (contact information below).

For complaints about:

New Jersey student financial aid matters (e.g. student loans, grants, scholarships, TAG, NJ STARS, etc.)
Programs in fields leading to teacher certification or for K-12 issues
Programs leading to nursing licensure
Programs leading to cosmetology and hairstyling licensure
Consumer fraud on the part of a NJ institution
Civil rights complaints involving discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, disability and sex, including sexual harassment
  • Office for Civil Rights (OCR) – Enforcement Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    32 Old Slip, 26th floor
    New York, NY 10005 – 2500
    Telephone: 646-428-3900
    FAX: 646-428-3843
    TDD: 877-521-2172
    Email -

Complainants should be aware that OSHE does not conduct a judicial investigation and, with the exception of complaints brought by non-New Jersey residents under SARA, has no legal authority to require a college or university to comply with a complainant's request. If you have reviewed these instructions and still feel your issue falls under the purview of the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, then complete and submit the OSHE Complaint Form

Last Updated: Thursday, 09/28/23