SARA and the physical presence standard

How does SARA define physical presence?

Generally, an institution has physical presence when it operates a campus, branch instructional facility whether leased or owned, or administrative office within the boundaries of a state. However, because the specific definition currently varies greatly from state to state, especially with regard to out-of-state institutions that seek to conduct any activity within another state, SARA has established its own uniform standard for physical presence vs. distance education.

This standard supersedes all conflicting state laws for purposes of SARA, but does not affect the application of existing state laws to colleges that choose to operate outside of SARA or which are based in states that are not SARA members.

The detailed standards for physical presence under SARA are set forth at NCS 5(1) and (2).

Is one-on-one in-person tutoring by a faculty member living in one SARA state on behalf of an institution operating under SARA from another SARA state considered a physical presence or is it covered by SARA?

It is covered by SARA unless more than one student is present in the same physical space at the same time. It does not constitute a physical presence if both states are SARA members. This scenario may be reviewed by SARA staff and the National Council in the future, but SARA staff consider this to be sufficiently similar to a supervised field experience to be covered by SARA.