Consumer Protection (Title IV) Student 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.”  20 U.S.C. §1094(c)(3)(A). Further, each State must have “a process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning the institution including enforcing applicable State laws.”  34 C.F.R. § 600.9.  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 more information, contact the SBCTC Student Services Office at (360) 704-4315.  To file a complaint students should complete the Consumer Protection Title IV Student Complaint Form 


The Consumer Protection Student Complaint Process considers complaints regarding the following issues: 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.


This process does not consider complaints in the following areas: a) grading disputes; b) academic integrity issues; c) student conduct issues; d) curriculum issues; and e) complaints against faculty; except in cases where the institution did not follow their published policy. Please review the Clark College Student Complaint Process for additional information.