HPEAP SARA Complaint Process

A SARA complaint is a complaint by an out-of-state distance education student* enrolled in a post-secondary institution in Hawaii, which is an approved SARA institution (see list of SARA-approved institutions). Complainants must first go through the institution’s complaints process before the complaint is brought to HPEAP.

Complaints regarding student grades or student conduct violations are governed entirely by institutional policy.

Complaints that can be resolved under this process include:
• Allegations of dishonest or fraudulent activity by an institution, including the provision of false or misleading information.
• Allegations that an institution has failed to comply with the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education https://www.nc-sara.org/files/docs/C-RAC%20Guidelines.pdf.

Upon receipt of your complaint, HPEAP will determine whether your complaint was properly filed and whether it warrants investigation. If a complaint warrants investigation, HPEAP forwards the complaint to the institution. The institution has 30 days to respond in writing. During the 30-day period, the institution, with HPEAP’s assistance, may attempt to resolve the complaint with you. If HPEAP determines at any time that the complaint no longer warrants investigation, HPEAP will dismiss the complaint. If a complaint is not resolved, HPEAP may 1) dismiss the complaint based on the response of the institution or 2) investigate and where appropriate, take disciplinary action in a manner consistent with Hawaii Revised Statutes chapter 91.

Here is the link to our complaint form:

*A current or former student may file a complaint; provided that if a former student files a complaint, the complaint shall be filed within two years after the former student discontinued enrollment at the institution.