Student Complaint and Resolution Process – Online
Merrimack College is a member of NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement). Initial responsibility for the investigation and resolution of complaints resides with Merrimack College. Further consideration and resolution, if necessary, is the responsibility of the SARA Portal Entity, and other responsible agencies for Higher Education in Massachusetts. Student complaints may be resolved utilizing the following two-step process.
Step 1 – All Students:
Merrimack College makes every effort to resolve student complaints internally using policies and procedures outlined in the current College Catalog and Student Handbook. The institutional complaint process for distance learning students is the same for all students regardless of physical location. It is expected that students will fully utilize all such administrative procedures to address concerns and/or complaints in a timely manner. Resources include, but are not limited to:
Academic Grade Appeal:
Academic Honesty Violations:
Non-academic Complaints (Office of Community Standards):
Criminal Activity (Merrimack College Police Department):
http://www.merrimack.edu/about/offices_services/police_department/ or the following emergency telephone number: 978-837-5911
Complaints must be submitted in writing (email is acceptable), but there is no specific form to complete.
For questions about the student complaint and grievance process for online programs at Merrimack College, please contact Monica Cowart, Office of the Provost by mail (315 Turnpike Street, North Andover, MA 01845), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or phone (978-837-5265).
Step 2 – Your Residency Determines Your Next Step:
Out-of-State Students: If your complaint is not resolved at the institutional level (Step 1), then out-of- state students residing in NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) states, which includes all states except California, may submit complaints to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education through the SARA Student Complaint form. Access the Complaint Form available at:
Further information can be obtained through the following contact information: Alex Nally
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
One Ashburton Place, Room 1401 Boston, MA 02108
State SARA Website: www.mass.edu/sara
Massachusetts Residents: If your complaint is not resolved at the institutional level (Step 1), then you may refer your complaint to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education through the complaint form located at: http://www.mass.edu/forstufam/complaints/complaintform.asp
Further information can be obtained through the following contact information: Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s legal office: (617) 994-6963.
Should an issue need further support, it will be referred to the Consumer Protection Division of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Division and/or the Public Charities Division of the Attorney General’s Office. The Consumer Hotline for the Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy & Response Division can be reached at 617-727-8400.
State Portal Entity Contacts. NC-SARA provides a complete list of relevant agencies with contact information for each NC-SARA state.
National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity
3005 Center Green Drive, Suite 130
Boulder, Colorado 80301