State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) Student Complaint and Grievance Process

Initial responsibility for the investigation and resolution of complaints resides with the institution against which the complaint is made. Further consideration and resolution, if necessary, is the responsibility of the SARA Portal Entity, and other responsible agencies of the institution’s home state. Examples of consumer protection complaints for SARA purposes include, but are not limited to:

  • Accuracy of recruitment and marketing materials;
  • Accuracy of job placement data;
  • Accuracy of information about tuition, fees and financial aid;
  • Complete and accurate admission requirements for courses and programs;
  • Accuracy of information about the institution’s accreditation and/or any programmatic/specialized accreditation held by the institution’s programs;
  • Accuracy of information about whether course work meets any relevant professional licensing requirements or the requirements of specialized accrediting bodies;
  • Accuracy of information about whether the institution’s course work will transfer to other institutions; and
  • Operation of distance education programs consistent with practices expected by institutional accreditors (and, if applicable, programmatic/specialized accreditors) and/or the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C‐RAC) Guidelines for distance education.

Student complaints, including claims that their rights under law or university policy have been violated, may be resolved by a two-step process.

Step 1 - All Students

All students, regardless of residency, are to follow The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Student Grievance and Appeals Policies and Procedures for all students.

UNC Greensboro provides several means by which a student may address complaints and grievances. Students are advised to put their concerns in writing and carefully document the events that led to the complaint or grievance. Because there may be a variety of reasons for which a student may have a grievance, and the forms required may vary depending on the student’s concern, students are advised to contact the Dean of Students Office for advice on which procedure to follow and/or Grievance form to complete.

With questions regarding student complaints related to Online or Distance Education courses or programs at UNC Greensboro, please contact the Associate Vice Chancellor & Dean of Students, Dr. Brett Carter by mail: 210 Elliott University Center/ PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 26170; email:; phone: 336.334.5099.

Step 2 - Determined by the Student's Location

Most Out-of-State Students:

If your complaint is not resolved at the institutional level (Step 1), then out-of-state students residing in National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) states, which includes all states except California, may submit complaints to State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements - North Carolina (SARA-NC). SARA-NC operates under the authority of NCSEAA (North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority). Access the Complaint Form at SARA-NC Student Complaint Process web page.

Students may access the student complaint process here
Students should access the student complaint form here

Contact Information for NCSEAA c/o SARA-NC:

SARA North Carolina
North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority
PO Box 41349
Raleigh, NC 27269
T: 855.SAR.A1NC (727-2162)
T: 919.549.8614, ext. 4667

North Carolina Residents:

If your complaint is not resolved at the institutional level (Step 1), then you may refer your complaint to the North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaint Process of the Licensure Division of the University of North Carolina System Office.

Access the Student Complaint Policy here
Access the Student Complaint Form here

Contact Information for North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints:
North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints
c/o Student Complaints
University of North Carolina System Office
910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688
Phone: 919.962.4558

Additional Resources for Student Complaints

Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice. To file a complaint with this agency, visit the State Attorney General’s web page. North Carolina residents may call 877.566.7226; if calling from outside of North Carolina, please dial 919.716.6000.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC expects individuals to attempt to resolve the complaint through all means available to the complainant, including the institution’s grievance procedures, before submitting a complaint to SACSCOC. Complete information about the SACSCOC process is at SACSCOC Procedures Complaint (pdf) (the actual complaint form is located on the last two pages of the document (ii, and iii).

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
Phone: 404.679.4500

State Portal Agency Contact Information:

NC-SARA provides a complete list of relevant agencies with contact information for each NC-SARA state.

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity
3005 Center Green Drive, Suite 130
Boulder, Colorado 80301
Phone: 303.848.3275

Listing of the State Contacts for Student Complaints