The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) exists to coordinate the SARA work of the four regional compacts – the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, New England Board of Higher Education, Southern Regional Education Board, and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education –  to make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines, as well as making it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education.

Click to learn more about NC-SARA and the evolution of the SARA agreement.

National SARA Enrollment Data

The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) released its fourth annual enrollment report and dataset illustrating continued growing demand for postsecondary distance education opportunities. According to the report, nearly 1.3 million students were enrolled exclusively in distance education programs at NC-SARA participating institutions in 2019 – a 5 percent increase over 2018 numbers. Additionally, the NC-SARA report also includes new data on in-state distance education enrollments, which surpassed 1.5 million in 2019, bringing the total number of students enrolled in distance education at NC-SARA institutions nationwide to 2.8 million.

Note: 2020 NC-SARA Data Reporting instructions and materials for SARA institutions is available here.

News Release

New Data Confirms Growing Demand for Distance Education Programs

Full Report


NC-SARA Dataset


National SARA Manual and Policies

Version 20.1 published January 2020
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SARA Institutional Applications

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NC-SARA Contacts

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February 27, 2020
New online learning stats show growing demand for online programs across state lines and shed new light on in-state online enrollments.   More…

States require institutions to obtain approval for regulated activities that occur in their state.  These activities may include online learning, practical experiences, faculty teaching from another state, marketing, advertising, and more.

The Guide – a collection of state laws, regulation, and requirements for institutions serving out-of-state students – is a project of NC-SARA with contributions from WCET|SANThe State Authorization Guide outlines for each state, activities that require authorization, application processes, costs to comply, and more, as submitted by the agencies in each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.