Student Complaint Process
In accordance with § VAC 40-31-100 of the Virginia Administrative Code, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is responsible for investigating all written and signed student complaints against postsecondary educational institutions operating in Virginia.
In order for SCHEV to initiate an investigation, the following must be true:
- The student has exhausted all available grievance procedures established by the institution.
- The student did not receive a satisfactory resolution and is contacting SCHEV as a last resort in the grievance process.
- The student has submitted the complaint to SCHEV electronically using the “Student Complaint Form” (below). The student’s complaint must contain a detailed description of the claim, including dates, times, and full names of all involved, as well as the actions taken by both the student and the school to resolve the matter.
- The student has electronically signed the form attesting to the truth and accuracy of the complaint.
- The student recognizes that SCHEV will not investigate anonymous complaints. By signing the form, the student acknowledges that SCHEV may share the information provided with the school or other relevant organizations, in order to help resolve the dispute. SCHEV does not guarantee a resolution resulting from this submission or its investigation into the allegation.
Upon receiving a student complaint, SCHEV will open an investigation if the matter being disputed falls within its jurisdiction. If preliminary findings indicate a violation of SCHEV regulations by the institution, SCHEV shall attempt to resolve the complaint through mediation. All parties will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation. If the complaint is outside of SCHEV’s jurisdiction, it may be directed to the institution’s Board of Visitors, accrediting body, or to another agency that is authorized to address the concerns, if appropriate.
The student may be contacted during the investigation to submit documented evidence of the allegations against the institution, which may include copies of enrollment agreement, contracts, syllabi, receipts, financial aid notices, promissory notes, or relevant correspondences from the institution related to the complaint. Students should not submit original documents, as they may not be returned.
Students are reminded that they always have the right to seek advice from a private attorney. Students should be aware that submission of a complaint will be recorded and may be used for statistical reporting or other purposes.
Please contact SCHEV at (804) 371-2285 if you have any questions about the student complaint procedure. To file a formal complaint, fill out the "Student Complaint Form" in its entirety and submit it electronically to SCHEV.