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Concerns & Complaint Process

The mission of the Equity and Civil Rights Compliance Team is to provide quality and efficient services and technical assistance to the Florida College system (FCS) to promote access, affordability, and success for all students.

Federal regulations, state statutes, and State Board of Education rules require that FCS institutions have processes for students, employees, and applicants to file complaints. In almost every situation, the college's process for resolving complaints must be followed first before escalating the issue to the Florida Department of Education, or Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.

College Complaint Procedures

To begin the process, you may contact the College Ombudsmen so they can assist you throughout the complaint procedures. Ombudsmen are an appointed, impartial, and independent party who help individuals resolve matters by offering informal and confidential exploration of options. Additionally, you may contact a variety of persons at the college level who can assist you, including, but not limited to:

  • Human Resource Directors
  • Vice-Presidents
  • Deans
  • Academic Advisors
  • Directors of various college offices and divisions
  • ADA Coordinators or Directors of Disability Student Services

Before contacting the Division of Florida Colleges, please read your college's policies and procedures for filing complaints. Examples of where these may be found include:

  • College websites
  • Student handbooks
  • Course catalogs
  • Employee handbooks
  • College policy and procedure manuals

All persons are encouraged to work through the internal complaint and appeal processes at their respective institutions as the first step in filing a complaint. Each college is governed by a Board of Trustees or District Board of Trustees who are responsible for ensuring lawful implementation of complaint procedures according to state statutes and federal regulations.

If you believe that your complaint has not been addressed satisfactorily at your local institution after exhausting the college's complaint or grievance procedures, and you believe your complaint warrants additional investigation, you may contact the following agencies:

Financial Aid

For complaints related to financial aid, please contact:

Office of Student Financial Assistance
Florida Department of Education
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1314
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400

Phone: 1-800-366-3475

Federal Student Aid Ombudsman U.S. Department of Education

830 NE First Street, Fourth Floor
Washington, DC 20202-5144

Phone: 1-877-557-2575
Fax: 202-275-0549


Pursuant to s. 1000.05, F.S., discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, or marital status against a student or an employee in the state system of public K-20 education is prohibited.

College Equity Officers are available at each college and are tasked with ensuring nondiscriminatory campuses and a bias-free learning environment. If you believe that your complaint has not been addressed satisfactorily at your local institution after working with the College Equity Officer and exhausting the college's complaint or grievance procedures, and believe your complaint warrants additional investigation, you may contact:

Office for Civil Rights, U. S. Department of Education

Atlanta Office
61 Forsyth St. S.W., Suite 19T70
Atlanta, GA 30303-3104

Phone: 1-800-421-3481
Fax: 404-562-6455
TDD: 877-521-2172


Florida Commission on Human Relations

2009 Apalachee Parkway, Oakland Building, Suite 100
Tallahassee, FL 32301-4857

Phone: 850-488-7082
Fax: 850-488-5291

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Miami District Office
One Biscayne Tower, Suite 2700
Miami, FL 33131

Phone: 1-800-669-4000
Fax: 305-808-1855
TTY: 1-800-669-6820

Disability/Accessibility Complaints

Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20530

Phone: 1-800-514-0301
Fax: 202-307-1198
TTY: 1-800-514-0383

Lastly, you also have the right to obtain services of an attorney at your expense.

Contact the Division of Florida Colleges