Reciprocal agreements are the most promising way to ease the burdens of state institutional compliance.
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) establishes national standards for interstate offering of distance-education courses and programs plus standards for other activities including, but not limited to: experiential learning, recruiting, and marketing in a state other than the home state of the institution. SARA standards apply only in SARA states for institutions that “operate under” or “participate in” SARA.
SARA Manual - State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Policy and Operations Manual
Institutions must remember to update Institution SARA Contact Information to NC-SARA, Regional Director, and State Portal Entity when there is a change of staffing at the institution.
Key NC-SARA Webpages
Applications - Institutional approval and renewal, State application and renewal, C-RAC Guidelines, NC-SARA W-9 form.
Data Information - To find reporting dates, data sharing agreement, sample placement reporting matrix.
NC-SARA Manual - Location to find the most recent Manual plus other handbooks.
- SARA is an agreement among member states, districts, and territories.
- States join SARA through their respective regional compact (MHEC, NHEBE, SREB, WICHE).
- States must renew their membership to SARA every other year.
- State membership is voluntary – not all states are members.
- Oversight of the institution is by the “home state” of the institution offering the instruction. The host state (where the student is located) can also work to resolve problems.
- Institutions apply to their state to “operate under” or “participate in” SARA.
- Institutions must pay an annual fee to NC-SARA to participate. (Some states require an additional fee to the state)
- Institutions must renew their participation with their state on an annual basis.
- SARA provides reciprocity compliance for many out of state activities of the institution, but not all.
- SARA Manual is available to be downloaded.