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Student Complaint Procedure

Northwestern University students may file a complaint with the University by following the complaint procedures outlined in the student handbook.

Online students residing in a SARA state* should attempt to resolve grievances through Northwestern's institutional process for filing a complaint. If a student is not satisfied with the outcome of Northwestern's process, the complaint (except for those involving grades or student conduct violations) may be brought to the Illinois Board of Higher Education. For more information regarding the complaint process for students residing in SARA states, please visit the SARA website.

Students may also file a complaint with Northwestern University's accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) by following the HLC complaint procedure

state authorization reciprocity agreement logo

*Northwestern University is an institutional participant in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). SARA is a voluntary agreement among member states and U.S. territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of distance-education courses and programs. SARA membership includes all states (and the District of Columbia), except California. Click here to learn more about SARA.

Online students residing in California may direct unresolved complaints to:

California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education
PO Box 980818
W. Sacramento, CA 95798-0818  

For more information please contact Mearah Quinn-Brauner, Senior Director for Strategy and Policy, at