What is SARA?

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is the interstate agreement that allows institutions in one SARA member state to offer online courses and learning placements in other SARA member states without obtaining state authorization in more than one state. Under the agreement, states recognize each other’s authorization and the institution's home state assumes responsibility for institutional activity in all SARA states.

How does an institution benefit from SARA?
  • Enables more efficient provision of distance education to a broader market
  • Reduces the number of other-state regulations to continually monitor and track
  • Reduces the number of applications and individual state requirements
  • Reduces costs: Applications, surety bonds, staff time, etc.
What activities are covered by SARA membership?

Standard definitions and practices help SARA member institutions engage in a number of approved activities outside of their home state in SARA member states. Examples of activities include, but are not limited to, distance education, marketing, recruiting, internships, etc. Additional information regarding coverage and limitations is available in the SARA Policies and Standards Manual. It is also important to remember that SARA has no effect on state professional licensing requirements and does not excuse or exempt institutions that participate in federally funded programs from compliance with federal rules.

How does my institution become a SARA member?

Once the state in which your institution is legally domiciled (called the Home State) becomes a SARA member through their regional compact, your institution may apply through what's called a "State Portal Entity." The entity is a contact responsible for SARA oversight in your state's education agency. New England State Portal Entity contacts can be found by clicking here. The SARA membership application is the same regardless of your institution's home state or sector (public, private, etc.).

Ready to prepare your application?

NEBHE SARA Introduction and Application Overview


2018 Data Collection & Reporting for SARA Member Institutions: NC-SARA Webinar and Resources

Co-Hosted by WCET’s State Authorization Network (SAN) and NC-SARA

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