Complaint Process for Out of State Distance Learners
Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act includes regulations regarding the delivery of distance education to out-of-state residents. With the reauthorization, the United States Department of Education requires that institutions not only comply with any applicable state approval or licensure requirements in each state, but also that students are provided with appropriate information regarding the complaint process.
Students have the right to file a complaint against an institution when federal and state requirements are not followed or when there is a loss of tuition and fees as a result of unfair business practices. Institutions are required to provide both current and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting body and the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in a student's resident state.
How does this apply to Distance Learners at Mercer?
If you have a complaint about the University's distance education programs, you may contact the appropriate authority in your state of residence. A complete list of all state agencies can be found here. Note that in states where the University is exempt or waived from seeking authorization, student grievances are sometimes not addressed by an agency of that State.
In most cases, a state's complaint procedure requires that the student exhaust all avenues internal to the institution before a complaint can be filed at the state or accrediting agency level. Mercer students are therefore advised to first attempt to address complaints through the Grievance Policies and Procedures outlined in the Student Handbook.
You may also file a complaint with the University's regional accrediting agency. Mercer University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. In order to file a complaint with SACSCOC, complete the Commission's Complaint Form (PDF) and send two (2) print copies to:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
1866 Southern Lane