Grievance Options for Online Students

Online and Off-Campus State Complaint Process

If an online or off campus student does not feel the complaint has been resolved through the USF process, he or she may take the complaint a step further to his or her state’s higher education department. The State Complaint Process (below) is a compilation of all the complaint process web links and/or explanation of the process for the 68 agencies within the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.).

Most states belong to the Sate Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). USF students who live in these states will register their complaint through the Illinois Board of Higher Education. More information is available where your state is listed below.

What if a student has exhausted all USF and state options?

If an online student has exhausted all of the University of St. Francis’s options and their state’s options for handling complaints, the student may contact our accreditation organization, the Higher Learning Commission, at 30 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504; Toll-Free: 800-621-7440; 312-263-0456; Fax: 312-263-7462.

The following states are SARA states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming,

For online students who live in SARA states: the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) has the responsibility and authority to resolve complaints against Illinois institutions including the University of St. Francis. Institutions approved to participate in SARA must provide the online complaint link for the Illinois Board of Higher Education ( Online Complaint System.


To file a complaint against a private postsecondary institution subject to the laws of the Postsecondary Education Act:

To file a complaint against a nonpublic postsecondary institution in Florida, please write a letter or send an e-mail containing the following information:

  1. Name of Student (or Complainant)
  2. Complainant Address
  3. Phone Number
  4. Name of Institution
  5. Location of the Institution (City)
  6. Dates of Attendance
  7. A full description of the problem and any other documentation that will support your claim such as enrollment agreements, correspondence, etc.

Send Letter To:

Commission for Independent Education
325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 1414
Tallahassee, FL. 32399-0400

Or E-mail:
Or Fax: 850-245-3238   Note: Documents received in this office are considered public record. Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. This office cannot give legal advice to any individual or take any legal action on behalf of any individual. We will investigate your complaint to see what assistance, if any, we may be able to offer.

The Board of Higher Education receives and refers complaints/inquiries to the specific college for clarification and response. It is the college’s Board of Trustees which has responsibilities for establishing and enforcing policies necessary for the management of the institution under its authority. To submit a complaint, complete the complaint form.

Mrs. Carmen L. Berrios Rivera
Executive Director
Puerto Rico Council on Education