State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

The University of Colorado Boulder is part of and participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), a national initiative that supports student access to online courses and programs and assists the University in maintaining compliance with state regulations.  Part of the University’s participation requirement is to provide special notices and processes for distance students. 

Information on SARA and the SARA complaint process may be found at:

International Students: International Students are advised to understand and be apprised of the norms, rules, regulations, and requirements related to online distance education programs in their country of residence, particularly if the country will charge any additional taxes, withholdings or fees associated with online distance education programs.

Online and Distance Education Student Complaint Resolution

The University of Colorado Boulder encourages students initially to address complaints and grievances relating to academics, consumer protection, or other University policies with the specific individuals or units most directly connected with the issue at hand unless there are good reasons for not doing so such as a desire to maintain anonymity. Current University policies and procedures on Student Appeals, Complaints, and Grievances can be found in this guide.  As with all issues of complaint, the student should initiate any grievance matters with the course facilitators, who will attempt to resolve the grievance, in consultation with course facilitator supervisor, the program director, and the departmental graduate director.

The MS-EE follows graduate school policy for Grievances. Additionally, the University of Colorado Boulder has a guide for information related to appeals, complaints, and grievances, including those for distance and online students.

Students Located Outside of Colorado:  If a student located in a state outside of Colorado has a complaint that involves distance learning that student must first seek resolution with the University of Colorado Boulder by filing a complaint. If the student bringing the complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the university’s internal processes, the student may file a complaint with university’s SARA portal, here: Colorado Department of Higher Education.
Examples of types of student complaints that may be brought to the SARA portal entity include veracity of recruitment and marketing materials, job placement data, accuracy of information about tuition, fees, and financial aid, accuracy of course transfer information. Complaints and appeals involving grades or student conduct violations will not be reviewed by the SARA portal entity.

The University of Colorado Boulder also provides a list of all state contacts for filing complaints should the person wish to pursue these venues. 

Students located in California should direct complaints to: 

California Department of Consumer Affairs
Consumer Information Center
1625 North Market Blvd., Suite N-112
Sacramento, California 95834
Telephone: (833) 942-1120

If all other avenues provided have been exhausted, unresolved complaints may be filed with the Higher Learning Commission, the University’s regional accreditor.

Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604
Telephone: 800-621-7440