Filing a Complaint About a College or University

For all types of complaints concerning colleges and universities in New York State, 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 College and University Evaluation will not review a complaint until all grievance procedures at the institution have been followed and all avenues of appeal exhausted and documentation provided that such procedures have been exhausted. Please note:  Every New York State college and university is required to establish, publish, and enforce explicit policies related to redress of grievances.

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

The Office of College and University Evaluation handles only those complaints that concern educational programs or practices of degree-granting institutions subject to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, with the exceptions noted below.

  • The Office does not handle anonymous complaints.
  • The Office does not intervene in matters concerning an individual’s grades or examination results, as these are the prerogative of the college’s faculty.
  • The Office does not handle complaints concerning actions that occurred more than five years ago.
  • The Office does not intervene in matters that are or have been in litigation.

  • Complaints concerning programs in fields leading to professional licensure (e.g., nursing) should be directed to:

    Office of the Professions
    Professional Education Program Review
    Education Building , 2 West
    Albany, NY 12234

  • A complaint against a college in the State University system should be sent to:

    State University of New York
    Central Administration
    State University Plaza
    Albany, NY 12246

  • A complaint against a college in the City University system should be sent to:

    The City University of New York
    Central Administration
    535 East 80th Street
    New York, NY 10021

  • A complaint involving discrimination against enrolled students on the part of an institution or faculty, or involving sexual harassment , should be filed with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights:

    Office for Civil Rights--New York 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: OCR.NewYork@ed.gov


    Complaints about two-year colleges concerning sexual harassment/discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender and disabilities may also be reported to the Office of Equity and Access, VATEA Program, 10th Floor, Education Building Addition, Hawk Street, Albany, NY 12234.

  • A complaint of consumer fraud on the part of the institution should be directed to the Office of the New York State Attorney General, Justice Building, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223.

  • For a complaint about state student financial aid matters, contact the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) Customer Communications Center at 1-888-NYS-HESC.
Complainants should be aware that the Office of College and University Evaluation does not conduct a judicial investigation and has no legal authority to require a college or university to comply with a complainant’s request.

If your complaint does not fall into one of the exceptions noted above, click here for the Office of College and University Evaluation Complaint Form PDF Image Icon (71KB) .

Last Updated: June 19, 2014