The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) establishes a state-level reciprocity process that will support the nation in its efforts to increase the educational attainment of its people by making state authorization: more efficient, effective, and uniform in regard to necessary and reasonable standards of practice that could span states; more effective in dealing with quality and integrity issues that have arisen in some online/ distance education offerings; and less costly for states and institutions and, thereby, the students they serve.
- SARA is voluntary for states and institutions.
- SARA is administered by the four regional education compacts (Midwestern Higher Education Compact, New England Board of Higher Education, Southern Regional Education Board, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education), they are now accepting applications from states in their regions. Once states are approved, they can begin to enroll eligible institutions.
- Membership is open to degree-granting postsecondary institutions from all sectors (public colleges and universities; independent institutions, both non-profit and for-profit) accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
What are my benefits as a student?
- Expands access to educational offerings.
- Should lead to better resolution of complaints from students in SARA states.
- Reduces a rapidly growing institutional cost that is in one way or another passed along to students.
- Should enhance overall quality of distance education
States and programs not approved by SARA
- California - 100% online programs approved (physical presence not approved)
- Florida - 100% online programs approved (physical presence not approved)
- Massachusetts - 100% online programs approved (physical presence not approved)