What is SARA?

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, or SARA, has been a vital instrument in facilitating easier state authorization in higher education. Prior to SARA, the process to obtain state authorization was too varied among the states to assure consistent consumer protection, too expensive for institutions, and too fragmented to support quality assurance in higher education. SARA fixes these issues. 

When states become members of SARA, they agree to follow uniform processes for approving eligible institutions to participate in SARA. The agreement’s uniform standards and policies provide benefits to both states and institutions carrying out distance education in multiple states by resolving the patchwork of authorization issues previously experienced.

As of October 2018, 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are members of SARA. Over 1,800 colleges and universities participate.



What is NC-SARA and how are they connected to NEBHE?


NC-SARA or the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements was created in order to help oversee SARA regulations and policies in collaboration with the four regional higher education compacts- one of these being NEBHE. 


NC-SARA promotes SARA policies and works with stakeholders in higher education including distance education providers, accrediting agencies, state officials, regulators and higher education executive officers while building support for SARa through regular communications. NC-SARA and NEBHE work together to maintain the integrity of the agreement and provide assistance to institutions, students and states. NEBHE facilitates this assistance and these conversations specifically with those in the higher education community in New England, New Jersey and New York.


NC-SARA Website

NC-SARA Manual

The most comprehensive list of SARA policies and regulations.
Click here for the Manual

State Authorization Guide

Click here for the Guide

2020 SARA Data Reporting Handbook

Click here for the Handbook