Consumer Protection (Title IV) Complaint Process

The Higher Education Act (HEA) prohibits an institution of higher education from engaging in a substantial misrepresentation of the nature of its educational program, its financial charges, or the employability of its graduates. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) maintains a process to investigate complaints of this nature brought by community and technical college students in the state of Washington. For information, contact SBCTC Student Services, PO Box 42495, Olympia, WA 98504-2495, 360-704-4315. To file a complaint students should complete the Consumer Protection Title IV Student Complaint Form.

The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) formal complaint process is provided for the resolution of consumer protection complaints brought by students attending a Washington state community or technical college. The formal student complaint process is intended to provide a means for investigating and resolving student complaints against Washington community and technical colleges after all college appeal processes have been exhausted, for a limited category of complaints as described below.

Examples of complaints considered in this process include a) veracity of recruitment and marketing materials; b) accuracy of job placement data; c) accuracy of information about tuition, fees, and financial aid; d) accurate admission requirements for courses and programs; e) accuracy of information about the institution’s accreditation and/or any programmatic or specialized accreditation held by the institution’s programs; f) accuracy of information about whether course work meets any relevant professional licensing requirements or the requirements of specialized accrediting bodies; g) accuracy of information about whether the institution’s course work will transfer to other institutions; and h) operation of distance learning programs consistent with practices expected by institutional accreditors.

Examples of issues that are not considered in this complaint process (except in cases where the institution did not follow their published policy) are: a) grading disputes; b) academic integrity issues; c) student conduct issues; d) curriculum issues; and e) complaints against faculty.


Last updated 5-8-2018