DCA IS HERE TO HELP
Most students receive a quality education and have a generally positive experience. However, in the event a California resident enrolled in an online program at public or private nonprofit colleges or universities that are physically located in other states believes the institution's administrative processes or educational programs are compromised, DCA should be notified. A complaint may be filed by writing to DCA or calling DCA’s Consumer Information Center (CIC) at:
California Department of Consumer Affairs
Consumer Information Center
1625 North Market Blvd., Suite N-112
Sacramento, California 95834
Telephone: (833) 942-1120
Students may also:
WHAT TO EXPECT
On behalf of California student residents, DCA will evaluate complaints, identify the appropriate accrediting agency or governmental entity to handle the complaint, and request a response from the entity regarding the final disposition of the complaint.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2019
Contact: Veronica Harms – (916) 574-8170
California Department of Consumer Affairs Develops Complaint Process for Out-of-State Online College Programs to Comply with New Federal Regulations
SACRAMENTO – Following the U.S. Department of Education announcement on new federal regulations regarding financial aid, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) today announced the development of a complaint process for Californian students who are enrolled in online programs at public or private nonprofit colleges and universities that are physically located in other states. This will bring California into compliance with the new rule change.
DCA is also working closely with colleges around the country to encourage the U.S. Department of Education to come to a speedy resolution that does not block students from accessing their financial aid.
“As the state’s consumer protection agency, we are committed to ensuring students are protected and that we are both in full compliance and responsive,” stated DCA’s Chief Deputy Director Chris Shultz.
DCA oversees the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education which will assist DCA in handling complaints.
Affected students enrolled in out-of-state online college programs can file complaints beginning today online at www.dca.ca.gov, or call the Department’s Consumer Information Center at (833) 942-1120. The complaint process applies to any and all complaints, including complaints about actions or events that occurred prior to today’s announcement.
DCA will evaluate complaints, identify the appropriate accrediting agency or governmental entity to handle the complaint, and request a response from the entity regarding the final disposition of the complaint. If no response is received, DCA will follow up with the agency to which the complaint was referred to determine the resolution and, if necessary, determine whether additional referrals are warranted.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently announced that Californians who are enrolled in online programs at out-of-state colleges and universities will be ineligible for federal financial aid because California did not have a complaint process in place for students. DCA expects that the ED will find the proposed process satisfactory, so that California is in compliance with federal rules, affected colleges can inform their students of the process, and students will not lose Title IV federal financial aid funding.
ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS: The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) promotes and protects the interests of California consumers while ensuring a competent and fair marketplace. DCA helps consumers learn how to protect themselves from unscrupulous and unqualified individuals. The department also protects professionals (licensees) from unfair competition by unlicensed practitioners. Consumers can file complaints against licensees by contacting DCA at (800) 952-5210. Consumers can also file a complaint online at dca.ca.gov.