2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

Complaints for External Agencies

Several external agencies are available to students who have exhausted all other opportunities for resolution within the University.

Colorado Department of Higher Education

The Colorado Department of Higher Education regulates Colorado institutions of higher education. Their complaint policy may be found on the Colorado Department of Higher Education website.

U.S. State Education Regulatory Agencies

Through distance learning and other programs, the University of Denver provides instruction throughout the world. Students may direct concerns or complaints to regulatory agencies in their state. A list of U.S. state education regulatory agencies can be found on the State Contacts page.

Higher Learning Commission

Complaints regarding the institution's ongoing ability to meet the criteria of institutional accreditation may be directed to the Higher Learning Commission. Individuals interested in bringing an appropriate complaint to the attention of the Commission should take some time to compile a complete submission, as outlined below. The official complaint must be submitted through the on-line form

  1. Write a letter directed to the Commission containing a brief narrative of the facts of the complaint. In most cases, such a narrative need be no longer than a few pages.
  2. Indicate in your complaint why you believe the issues raised in your complaint are accrediting issues. If possible, please review the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation on the Commission's website prior to writing this section.
    You should also indicate how you believe the Commission can assist you with this matter. Remember that the Commission cannot assist you in understanding your tuition bill, arranging for a refund of tuition, obtaining a higher grade for a course, seeking reinstatement to an academic program, etc.
  3. Attach documentation to support your narrative wherever possible. (For example, if you make reference in your complaint to an institutional policy, include a copy of the policy with your complaint.) Helpful documentation might include relevant portions of the catalog, letters or email exchanged between you and the institution, learning agreements, etc.
  4. A few reminders:
    • Please do not use abbreviations or nicknames (e.g., NMS or USC or U of N).
    • Include contact information for future correspondence.  
    • If you are writing on behalf of someone else (son/daughter or client), be sure to provide that person’s consent in writing to allow you to communicate with the Commission on the student's behalf.

Please note that the Commission will not consider those complaints that are not in writing and do not contain the elements noted here. The Commission’s complaint policy precludes it from considering matters more than 5 years old.

The Commission will acknowledge your complaint within thirty days of receiving it and let you know whether your complaint is complete and whether it raises issues that are related to accrediting requirements or whether it is an individual dispute outside the jurisdiction of the Commission’s complaint policy.

Email questions to complaints@hlcommission.org

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