The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) helps expand students’ access to educational opportunities and ensures more efficient, consistent, and effective regulation of distance learning programs.
- What is SARA and Why Does It Matter?
- What is NC-SARA?
- How Does SARA Support & Protect Student Consumers?
- As of October 2021, more than 2,300 institutions in 49 member states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands participate in SARA.
- In Fall 2020 (the latest-available data), almost six million students were enrolled exclusively in distance education programs at SARA-participating institutions.
- State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements are voluntary agreements among member states, districts, and territories; entities that no longer wish to participate in such an agreement may simply withdraw.
- All accredited degree-granting institutions in SARA member states – public, private, independent, non-profit, and for-profit – have the opportunity to participate in SARA. Institutions pay between $2,000-$6,000 annually to NC-SARA, based on enrollment – a starkly more affordable investment when compared to paying fees to states individually that could total upwards of 13 times this amount.
- Participating colleges and universities must adhere to stringent requirements set and imposed by states and NC-SARA, including maintaining their accreditation and remaining in good financial standing.
- NC-SARA helps raise the bar on student consumer protections, requiring all SARA-participating institutions and member states to adhere to a set of common standards designed to enhance quality and strengthen oversight of distance learning programs.