The Defense Department maintains the Postsecondary Education Complaint System, or PECS, in order to provide military students the opportunity to file education complaints against their schools. The PECS electronic system tracks, manages and processes student complaints.
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Who should submit a complaint?
If you or your family member receives tuition assistance or is a Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts Scholarship recipient, you are encouraged to submit feedback through the Postsecondary Education Complaint System.
If you are not using TA or My Career Advancement Account Scholarship education benefits, please submit your complaint to the appropriate agency:
- Montgomery or Post 9/11 GI Bill® — Department of Veterans Affairs
- Federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants and federal loans — Department of Education (email complaint)
- Private student loans — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
When to submit an education complaint through PECS
If your school is failing to comply with the Principles of Excellence, you may submit a complaint through PECS. You and your family members are encouraged to report misleading or unfair actions by education institutions, including:
- Misrepresentation or deceptive actions concerning multiple unsolicited phone calls or emails used as a high-pressure recruitment tactic
- False representation about degree programs
- Misleading statements regarding accreditation
- Promoting costly private or institutional loans
Examples of specific complaints reviewed by the DOD:
How to submit an education complaintSubmit a Complaint
- Quality of education
- Grade policy
- Tuition and other fee charges
- Release of transcripts
- Student loans
- Transfer of credits
- Post-graduation job opportunities
- Refund or collection issues
- Change in degree plan and requirements
If you are using TA or MyCAA education benefits and are experiencing issues at your education institution, file your complaint through the PECS website.
After the complaint is submitted, you will receive status updates via the email address you provided when you submitted the complaint.
What to expect for education complaint reviews and status updates
DOD and the military service review the school complaint.
Complaints will be sent to your Department of Defense military service education representative for review. The education representative will work with your school and provide you with a response to your complaint. If they determine another government agency would be better able to assist, we will forward your complaint to them and provide you with an update. Please note that all verified complaints will be submitted for the record to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network.
The DOD, military service and school will respond to your issue.
- The DOD and/or military service education representative will communicate with you as needed while your complaint is reviewed.
- Your school will also prepare a response to your complaint.
- Once your school responds, you will receive a case closure notification via the email address you provided when you submitted the complaint.
Complaint data is shared with state and federal law enforcement agencies as necessary so they may monitor institutional practices that may pose risks to you and other students. To better protect student rights, you may be contacted for additional information about your experience.
Additional education support
For issues specific to your TA or MyCAA education benefit, such as eligibility, application or payment, contact your Defense Department military service education representative.
Military OneSource education consultants
Whether you’re looking into your own education options or want information for someone in your family, the professional education consultants at Military OneSource can help connect you to a wide variety of resources.