Our Work


State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) is an agreement amongst member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards and streamlines regulations, fees, and approvals for institutions offering interstate distance education programs. More than 2,400 institutions in 49 member states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands all voluntarily participate in SARA. 


The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) is a private nonprofit organization [501(c)(3)] that, in partnership with the four regional compacts, coordinates the implementation of SARA nationally. NC-SARA supports, facilitates, and serves the regional compacts, the regional steering committees, the State Portal Entities, and SARA participating institutions.

NC-SARA Annual Reports

  • NC-SARA's 2022-2023 Annual Report features the implementation of the new SARA Policy Modification Process and highlights the numerous leaders, stakeholders, and partners who are part of the national SARA community. 
  • NC-SARA's 2021-2022 Annual Report summarizes our organization's work toward meeting the second year goals of the three-year strategic plan, showcases our three supportive advisory committees, and previews what's on the horizon. 
  • NC-SARA's 2020-2021 Annual Report  - our first - shared a detailed look into NC-SARA’s efforts to strengthen our partnerships with the nation’s leading voices in higher education, offered a review and update on the first year of our three-year strategic plan, and showcased our priority initiatives to continue to enact our mission. 

A Few of NC-SARA's Current Projects

Consumer Protection


Promote Student Consumer Protections. Every student deserves access to a quality educational experience. In addition to a number of requirements for institutional participation that are designed to protect students, NC-SARA member states provide student protections against false or misleading information by SARA-participating institutions through investigation and resolution of allegations of dishonest or fraudulent activity. In addition, NC-SARA maintains a comprehensive public online listing of such student SARA complaints.
State Authorization Guide
Curate and Publish the State Authorization Guide. NC-SARA hosts a comprehensive State Authorization Guide, a compilation of surveys completed by states that serves as a valuable resource to colleges and universities about state authorization broadly.
Professional Licensure

Share Information about Professional Licensure Requirements. NC-SARA has collaborated with regional compacts and states to develop a resource for students and institutions to obtain contact information from professional licensure boards across state lines in five key professions, including counseling, psychology, social work, nursing, and teacher education.

Note: SARA does not include or apply to professional licensing board approval for programs leading to state licensing in fields such as nursing, teacher education, psychology, etc. SARA policy does, however, require that proper notification be given to students as to whether courses and programs will meet the professional licensure requirements in states where students are located. Please see the SARA Policy Manual, Section 5.2.

Access to Distance Education
Simplify Access to Distance Education Program Information. NC-SARA has developed a searchable catalog of verified distance education program information from SARA institutions nationwide in an effort to make it easier for current and prospective students to find the educational offerings that best fit their needs and career goals. This resource is called The SARA Source
Return on Investment
Clarify Return on Investment. States pay no fees to NC-SARA, and annual costs for institutions are as low as $2,000 – dramatically lower than institutions would pay for state-by-state authorization efforts. The low cost of the SARA model reduces expenses that could otherwise be passed down to students and taxpayers, promoting improved college affordability. In spring 2021, NC-SARA released a study to share more about these specific cost savings.