Complaint Policy

To file a complaint against an Colorado institution (public or private) or report a possible diploma mill or illegal school, follow the steps below to determine your next step in reporting a complaint/grievance to the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

For additional information about diploma mills and illegal schools, including a list of all accredited institutions and programs recognized in the U.S., view this Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website. Click Here

Read through the process completely before continuing with the process.

If you are filing a complaint...

STEP 1: Have you filed a complaint/grievance at your institution? Before submitting a complaint with the Department of Higher Education, you must exhaust opportunities for resolution at your institution. If the institutional procedure has been utilized with no resolution, proceed to STEP 2.

NOTE: There is no similar filing requirement that a student must first exhaust a private occupational school’s internal grievance procedure before filing a complaint with the Division of Private Occupational Schools, although attempting a resolution before filing is strongly encouraged.
STEP 2: If the issue is with a Colorado public higher education institution, review the Department of Higher Education's policy.

If the issue is with a Colorado private or occupational institution, be aware that Colorado Law, Rules and Regulations concerning the regulation of private occupational schools (12-59-118), Complaints of Deceptive Trade or Sales Practices, states in part that, “A complaint filed under this section is a public record subject to the provisions of article 72 of title 24, C.R.S., and shall be filed within two years after the student discontinues his/her training at the school.”
STEP 3: Once an understanding has been established between the student/complainant and the Department of Higher Education. Complete and submit the online complaint form.
STEP 4: Division personnel will review the information provided, and where appropriate an investigation will be initiated. On all matters, this agency will either investigate the complaint or will send it directly to another agency that is authorized to address the concerns. If academic or personal records from the institution are required to investigate the complaint, you will be required to submit signed authorization permitting the school/institution to release records to us.
If you are reporting a diploma mill...

STEP 1: Read the definition of a diploma mill or illegal school at the Department of Education. Click Here Once you have confirmed that this definition fits your scenario, proceed to Step 2...
STEP 2: Submit a comment here to report a diploma mill or illegal school.
STEP 3: Division personnel will review the information provided, and where appropriate an investigation will be initiated. On all matters, this agency will either investigate the complaint or will send it directly to another agency that is authorized to address the concerns. If academic or personal records from the institution are required to investigate the complaint, you will be required to submit signed authorization permiting the school/institution to release records to us.