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Filing Complaints about a College or University

It may be that there is an Ombudsman at the institution who hears both sides of a dispute and attempts to resolve it. If there isn’t an Ombudsman, most colleges and universities have a Dean or Office of Student Affairs that assists students with a wide variety of services.

  • If the concern has to do with financial aid or tuition and fees, you should go directly to the financial aid or business office of the institution you attend.

  • If it is a grade dispute, you should try to resolve it with your professor, the chairperson of the department, the dean of the college where you are enrolled, or the vice president for academic affairs, in that order.

  • If the concern involves the behavior of an individual student or professor, you should address this concern with that person first. If this is not feasible, you may choose to discuss your concern confidentially with your academic advisor or with the office of student services.

  • If you attempted to file a complaint at the institutional level and were not successful you may contact IBHE at (217) 557-7359. Submit a complaint via email: complaints@ibhe.org

Conclusion

We hope that this information has been helpful to you. It is not possible for us to anticipate each and every question that you might have as you start or return to college. Fortunately, all colleges and universities welcome new students to their campuses each term, and there are few questions or concerns that they have not dealt with in the past. Please remember, there isn’t another place in the world where questions and answers can be matched as well as they can at institutions of higher education—they are there precisely to answer questions, big and small.

Glossary of Terms
As you plan your future in college, you may come across terms that you don’t fully understand. The following sites contain detailed glossaries of higher education terms: IPEDS Glossary and Glossary of US Educational Terminology.
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