NC-SARA helps expand students’ access to educational opportunities and ensures more efficient, consistent, and effective regulation of distance learning programs. Here are a few fast facts about NC-SARA:
- As of January 2021, more than 2,200 institutions in 49 member states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands participate in SARA.
- In Fall 2019 (the latest-available data), more than three million students were enrolled exclusively in distance education programs at NC-SARA-participating institutions – a 7.5 percent increase over fall 2018 enrollments.
- 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.