In “Game Changer” Report, NC-SARA and NCHEMS Highlight Significant Cost Savings for Institutions

The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), with support from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), released a new report that illustrates the cost savings associated with SARA participation for colleges and universities.

SARA establishes comparable national standards for interstate distance education program offerings. These reciprocity agreements help streamline distance education regulations, improve coordination between states and higher education institutions, reduce costly application fees and staff time, and help ensure member states and participating institutions adhere to a set of basic consumer protections for students.

The report estimates that SARA helps roughly 2,250 participating institutions save a total of $402 million for initial authorization and approximately $133 million annually on renewals. On average, regardless of institution enrollment, initial authorization to offer interstate distance education nationally will cost an institution over $100,000, compared with less than $12,000 for SARA participation.

Overall, the average institution would spend more than 38 times as much for initial authorization and 13 times as much annually on renewals if it did not participate in SARA.

To date, 49 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are members of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA). More than 2,000 colleges and universities participate nationally.

To learn more, view “Game Changer: The Value of SARA Participation” at SARA Cost Savings.


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