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.