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Summary of Program Integrity Rules

United States Department of Education Regulation 34 CFR 600.9, the “Program Integrity Rule,” was adopted to ensure that students have the opportunity to voice concerns relating to programs offered by postsecondary educational institutions authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as amended. The regulations require states to provide the opportunity for students to lodge the following types of complaints:

  • Allegations of state consumer protection violations, including, but not limited to fraud and false advertising.
  • Allegations that state laws or rules addressing the licensure of postsecondary institutions have been violated.
  • Allegations regarding the quality of education or other accreditation requirements.

In compliance with Federal Program Integrity Rule, the University of Vermont (UVM) has listed multiple alternatives for individuals who wish to submit complaints regarding the above. UVM expects that any student complaint will be filed in accordance with any procedures currently in place at the institution before resolution is sought from a state agency or the university’s accreditation body. In the absence of a procedure, the complaint should be filed with the Office of the President for appropriate referral.

Recommended Content of Complaint

In order to facilitate effective response, initial complaints should include the complainant’s full name, address, and contact information, including email and telephone number. Complaints should specify enrollment status, i.e. whether the complainant is a current, former, or prospective student. The description of the complaint should include dates and college officials who were involved or have been contacted. Any supporting documentation, such as emails or other correspondence, should be included in order to help others understand the events leading to the complaint. Last, the complainant should state what, if any, remedy is sought.

For Complaints Alleging Consumer Fraud

Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Assistance Program

109 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05609-1001
Phone: (800) 649-2424
Email: ago.cap@vermont.gov

The Consumer Protection Unit of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office investigates and prosecutes violations of Vermont’s consumer laws, which prohibit businesses from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The Consumer Protection staff represents the State of Vermont, and through the State, the public. If you have a consumer question or would like to file a complaint, please contact the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP).

For Complaints Regarding State Licensing of Postsecondary Institutions

Vermont Department of Education
120 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05620
Phone: 802-828-3136

The University of Vermont is exempt from the Vermont State Board of Education requirement to apply for a certificate of approval under 16 V.S.A. §176. For certain educational programs, such as teacher preparation programs, specific standards and guidelines exist. If you have questions about state licensing of colleges and programs, please contact the Department of Education.

Please note that the Vermont Department of Education does not intervene in the internal procedures of colleges and universities, and encourages you to work directly with the University of Vermont to resolve complaints. However, if you believe you have exhausted the avenues listed above and have a valid complaint about a violation, you may submit it in writing to the Vermont Department of Education for direction.

For Complaints Regarding Quality or Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
301 Edgewater Place, Suite 210
Wakefield, MA 01880
Phone: 781-425-7785

The Commission has two means of hearing from students, faculty, staff, and members of the public about its member institutions: (1) Public Comments and (2) Complaints. Both offer important opportunities for the Commission to hear from individuals about the quality of affiliated institutions. For guidance on filing either a Public Comment or Complaint, please contact NECHE.

For Complaints Arising Outside of Vermont

For students participating in a UVM educational program outside the State of Vermont, such as through distance learning, you may choose to avail yourself of state processes for complaints related to institutional licensure and consumer protection in that state. Please note, however, that many states require a showing that an attempt was made to resolve the complaint with the institution directly.

Review the complete listing of the state entities charged with reviewing complaints about the licensure of out-of-state institutions (PDF) and consumer protection issues outside the State of Vermont.

Where to file your complaint:

Kerry Castano, Assistant Provost
Office of the Provost

85 South Prospect Street
350 Waterman Bldg
Burlington, VT 05405
Email: Kerry.Castano@uvm.edu
Phone: 802-656-1299