State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) Complaint Process
Boston University has been approved under the terms and provisions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) to operate its distance education programs in SARA-approved locations. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, in its capacity as the SARA portal entity for Massachusetts, reviews and evaluates student complaints regarding distance education activities offered by Boston University in accordance with 610 CMR 12.07.
Boston University makes every attempt to resolve student complaints within its academic and administrative departments. Students should first attempt to resolve any concerns by utilizing existing University procedures. The Academic Bulletin and the BU Compliance website provide information about ways that students and prospective students can report concerns and utilize University complaint procedures.
If an issue regarding distance education cannot be resolved internally, please see the process below.
For Online Students Located in SARA Member States and Territories
After you have exhausted the complaint procedures made available by Boston University, you may file a complaint with the DHE by using the SARA complaint form. The DHE SARA complaint form should be used by students who are located in SARA member states and territories. This includes all students who are located in SARA member states and territories for the purposes of completing out-of-state learning placements, such as internships, practica, and clinical experiences, in SARA member states and territories outside Massachusetts.
Additional information from the DHE’s SARA complaint website is below.
The SARA complaint process is as follows:
- Students must first attempt to resolve their complaint using internal administrative procedures offered by the SARA institution.
- After all administrative remedies have been exhausted with the MA-SARA institution, the student may submit a SARA complaint via the URL below.
- The department shall send a copy of the complaint to the institution that is the subject of the complaint.
- Within 30 days of the date that the department sends a copy of the complaint to the institution, the institution must provide a written response to the student and the department.
More information about DHE’s complaint processes can be found here.
For Massachusetts Residents and Online Students in Non-SARA Member States and Territories
After you have exhausted the complaint procedures made available by Boston University, you may file a consumer complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) by using the consumer complaint form. The AGO consumer complaint form should be used by students who are located in:
- Non-SARA member states or territories (e.g., California, Guam)
Students residing in California may also file a complaint about distance education as follows:
California Department of Consumer Affairs
Consumer Information Center
1625 North Market Blvd., Suite N-112
Sacramento, CA 95834