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Military Students

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Distance Education - Military Affiliated Students

With only a few exceptions, military students, dependents, and veterans, are subject to the same state oversight of institutional activity as other students in a state. 

Institutions must be aware of the location of the military affiliated student to determine if the student is located in a state that the institution is approved to offer activities. 

If the student is transferred, the institution must obtain the appropriate approvals, if required, to continue offering distance education to the student.

If the institution is a SARA participating institution and the student is located in a SARA state, the institution may continue to provide distance education to the student. Please review the SARA Manual

Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) - Student Teaching:  General Information

Review of the Talking Points paper, State Authorization and Military Students, may be helpful.

Department of Defense MOU for Offering Tuition Assistance

Voluntary Education Programs - 32 CFR 68.6 (c)(6)(ii)

The Department of Defense (DoD) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) requires participating institutions to comply with all state authorization requirements for providing distance education.

Institutions must sign the MOU to participate in the Tuition Assistance Program (TA Program) for active duty military students.

Military Installations in the United States

Most states do not provide an exemption for activities that occur on a military installation. 

The Talking Points paper, State Authorization and Military Students notes,"Currently only 16 states (Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia) expressly exempt institutions operating even exclusively on military bases".  However, it should be noted that the specific aspects of the exemption vary per state and should be monitored for any changes.

Military Students Outside of the United States

Generally speaking, military students located outside of the United States may be subject to the laws of the country for which they are located.

SARA does not address authorization outside of the United States as the reciprocity agreement is an agreement among states.

A Status of Forces Agreement may provide a few institutions the ability to offer programs at an out of country military facility.

For purposes of Title IV, HEA program funds, effective July 1, 2018, 34 CFR 600.9 (d) requires an additional location or branch campus of an institution that is located in a foreign country to be authorized  by the appropriate government authorization. Review of the Federal Register/Vol. 81, No. 243/ Monday, December 19, 2016/Rules and Regulations comments regarding 34 CFR 600.9(d) may provide guidance for an institutional exemption for some institutions on military bases for the purposes of authorization of an additional location or branch campus. Please note that this provision of the 2016 Federal Regulations became effective July 1, 2018 as scheduled.


Latest Resources

Coordinator Call

February 27, 2018 Coordinator Call

Federal Regulations
Military Students
Reciprocity (SARA)
Compliance Requirements (NonSARA)
Other Higher Education Issues