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New York State Education Department Complaint Notice

Persons should note that Purchase College administers internal procedures to receive, investigate, and resolve student complaints. Informal and formal means by which students can seek redress of grievances are identified through this document. Students are assured of a reasonable and appropriate time frame for investigating and resolving a formal complaint, that final determination of each formal complaint will be made by a person or persons not directly involved in the alleged problem, and that assurances that no adverse action will be taken against a student filing a complaint and that notice to students about the state consumer complaint process has been made.

Informal and formal complaints should be initiated in the appropriate departments. In the absence of a timely response or resolution, a student should contact one of the following offices:

  • Office of Affirmative Action, Student Services Bldg., Third Floor, (914) 251-6086
  • Office of Human Resources, HR Bldg., (914) 251-6090
  • University Police Department, (914) 251-6900
  • Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Student Services Bldg., Third Floor, (914) 251-6030
  • Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Student Services Bldg., Third Floor. (914) 251-6020
  • Office of the Vice President for Admissions, Administration Bldg., Second Floor, (914) 251-6300
  • Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Administration Bldg., Second Floor (914) 251-6067

In addition, in New York State, a complaint may be filed by any person with reason to believe that an institution has acted contrary to its published standards or that conditions at the institution appear to jeopardize the quality of the institution's instructional programs or the general welfare of its students. Any person who believes he or she has been aggrieved by an institution may file a written complaint with the Office of College and University Evaluation.

How to File a Complaint

  1. The person should first try to resolve the complaint directly with the institution by following the internal complaint procedures provided by the institution. An institution of higher education is required to publish its internal complaint procedure in a primary information document such as the catalog or student handbook. (The department suggests that the complainant keep copies of all correspondence with the institution.)
  2. If a person is unable to resolve the complaint with the institution or believes that the institution has not properly addressed the concerns, he or she may send a letter to the Office of College and University Evaluation.

Persons should not send a complaint to the Office of College and University Evaluation until he/she has read all the information below. This will assure that he/she is sending the complaint to the appropriate agency/office.

The Office of College and University Evaluation handles only those complaints that concern educational programs or practices of degree-granting institutions subject to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, with the exceptions noted below:

  • The office does not handle anonymous complaints

  • Complaints concerning programs in fields leading to professional licensure (e.g., nursing) should be directed to: Office of the Professions Professional Education Program Review Education Building, 2 West Albany, NY 12234
  • A complaint against a college in the State University system should be sent to: State University of New York Central Administration State University Plaza Albany, NY 12246
  • A complaint against a college in the City University system should be sent to: The City University of New York Central Administration 535 East 80th St. New York, NY 10021
  • A complaint involving discrimination against enrolled students on the part of an institution or faculty, or involving sexual harassment, should be filed with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, 75 Park Place, New York, NY 10007. Complaints about two-year colleges concerning sexual harassment/discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender and disabilities may also be reported to the Office of Equity and Access, VATEA Program, 10th Floor, Education Building Addition, Hawk Street, Albany, NY 12234
  • A complaint of consumer fraud on the part of the institution should be directed to the Office of the New York State Attorney General, Justice Building, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223.
  • The Office of College and University Evaluation does not intervene in matters concerning an individual's grades or examination results, as these are the prerogative of the College's faculty.
  • The Office of College and University Evaluation does not handle complaints concerning actions that occurred more than five years ago.
  • The Office of College and University Evaluation does not intervene in matters that are or have been in litigation.
  • For a complaint about state student financial aid matters, persons should contact the Higher Education Services Corporation Center at 1-888-NYS-HESC.

Complainants should be aware that the Office of College and University Evaluation does not conduct a judicial investigation and has no legal authority to require a college or university to comply with a complainant's request.

If a complaint does not fall into one of the exceptions noted above, persons should contact the Office of College and University Evaluation at www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/home.html.