Financial Aid Problem Resolution

If you have issues concerning financial aid that could not be resolved by Southeast New Mexico College, you have the option of filing a complaint with one of these departments.

HED Complaint Process

NOTE: The New Mexico Higher Education Department is currently updating their website. Some forms are unavailable at this time. Please contact HED for more information.

In accordance with Federal Program Integrity rules the New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) will now review complaints regarding public and private post-secondary institutions in New Mexico, as well as New Mexico resident students attending out-of-state institutions.

NMHED will receive complaints that were unable to be resolved through the institution’s internal complaint process.  Generally, in order to file a complaint with NMHED, you must have already filed with and received a response from the institution which you are complaining against.  If you have legitimate reasons preventing you from filing a complaint with the institution, you must provide supporting documentation to that regard.

All submitted complaints must include:

  • Complaint Form
  • FERPA Release Form
  • A copy of the complaint that was filed with the institution and
  • A copy of the response/ruling received from the institution or
  • Supporting documentation why a complaint could not be filed with the institution.

The following form is only to be submitted if the complaint is medical in nature (i. e. it involves disability, injury, illness, etc):

  • HIPAA Release Form

NOTE: All Forms must be notarized.

FSA Complaint Process

Customer Service

Do you have a question about Federal Student Aid or one of the other services FSA and the United States Department of Education offers? Feel free to contact the Customer Service Center.  Please note that you should also contact the Customer Service Center before entering dispute resolution with the Ombudsman Group.

Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC): 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)

TTY (for the hearing impaired): 1-800-730-8913

Locations without access to 800 numbers: 319-337-5665

You may email FSA at or you may contact FSA online at

If you need FAFSA help, please visit

FSA Call Center hours are as follows:

Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Eastern time (ET)
Federal Holidays We will be closed on federal holidays except Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday. When January 1 falls on a weekday, we will be open from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. ET.
Additional Closings We will be closed on the day after Thanksgiving and on December 24th when it falls on a weekday.


The Office of the Ombudsman

If you’re in a dispute about your federal student loan, contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group as a last resort. The Office of the Ombudsman is the final resource after borrowers seek resolution through other customer service avenues. Borrowers concerned about student loans should call the toll-free number or visit the Ombudsman section of for more information.

The Ombudsman Group is dedicated to helping resolve disputes related to Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, and Guaranteed Student Loans.

When contacting the Ombudsman Group, be ready to:

  • Identify the problem and the reason behind it
  • Define your expectations
  • Describe the actions you have already taken to resolve the problem
  • Supply documentation to support your position

To contact the Office of the Ombudsman, please use the following information.

Postal Mail U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
830 First Street, N.E., Mail Stop 5144
Washington, DC 20202-5144
Phone 1-877-557-2575
Fax 202-275-0549

You may also obtain information about dispute resolution online.

SARA Complaints

If you live outside New Mexico and are currently enrolled in or are planning to enroll in an online degree or certificate program at Southeast New Mexico College, the following State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) information applies to you.  If a Southeast New Mexico College student has a complaint the student must first go through the standard procedure for resolution of student grievances, detailed above.  If the complaint persists after using the Southeast New Mexico College complaint procedures, an issue involving allegations of fraudulent activity may be brought to the New Mexico SARA portal agency, the New Mexico Higher Education Department.  The SARA portal agency in the state where the student is located will be notified that a complaint has been received and may assist as needed.
 Southeast New Mexico College is a SARA Recognized Institution and a member of the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). Southeast New Mexico College abides by the national standards for the interstate offering of distance education (DE) courses and programs. Being a SARA Recognized Institution increases access to Southeast New Mexico College distance education for students from other states and territories.  Visit this link to view other approved SARA institutions in the state of New Mexico.
Before you can enroll in a Southeast New Mexico College distance education program or course, check to see if Southeast New Mexico College  is authorized in your state to offer distance education. Click here to view current SARA States and Institutions. Please note for distance education programs with internships, clinicals, and practicums additional state restrictions may apply for which Southeast New Mexico College might not be authorized. It is important to note that it is the student’s responsibility to understand the situation and requirements in their state of residence for taking Distance Education offerings from out-of-state providers.
For additional information, you may also refer to the SENMC Administrative Rules and Procedures (NOTE: procedure pending approval of the Board of Trustees)