SARA – State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements – provides a voluntary, regional approach to state authorization of postsecondary distance education. SARA member states assume the principal responsibility of ensuring that SARA policies are followed by the institutions they approve to participate in SARA – policies designed to result in high-quality distance education offerings being available to students around the country. SARA-eligible institutions in SARA member states may apply to participate in SARA. (Institutional participation, like state membership, is voluntary.)
Institutions that meet SARA requirements and are approved by their SARA member state may, with some limitations, offer their distance education programs to students in other SARA member states without going through those states’ normal, non-SARA procedures and paying the states’ normal fees related to the state authorization process, to obtain authorization/approval to provide such offerings.
SARA’s Benefits to Institutions
Institutions approved to participate in SARA generally enjoy a streamlined and cost-effective approach to securing approval to offer distance education/online programming in SARA member states.
- SARA enables more efficient provision of distance education to a broader market of potential students.
- SARA reduces the number of individual state applications and requirements that must be filed and tracked.
- SARA reduces the amount of regulations from other states that institutions would need to continually monitor.
- SARA reduces costs to institutions.
Read our report Game Changer: The Value of SARA Participation to learn more about cost savings and other benefits for participating institutions and their students.