Any degree-granting institution based in the United States, holding proper authorization from Congress, a U.S. state or a federally recognized Indian tribe and holding accreditation from an accrediting association recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education is eligible to apply to its home state to participate in SARA if that state is a SARA member. To be eligible for operation under SARA, distance education must originate inside the United States or a U.S. territory. Ownership of an institution located outside the United States or its territories by a U.S. institution does not qualify the nondomestic institution to operate under SARA.
Fees for an institution to participate in SARA potentially consist of two parts. The first is a required SARA fee paid to the National Council for SARA.This annual fee is based on an institution’s total full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment as shown in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and is assessed as follows:
- $2,000/year for institutions with fewer than 2,500 FTE students
- $4,000/year for institutions between 2,500-9,999 FTE students
- $6,000/year for institutions with 10,000 or more FTE students
- SPECIAL PROVISION – Institutions that join prior to September 1, 2014 will receive 18 months membership for their initial fee then continue on a 12 month renewal basis
In addition, states may choose to charge fees to their in-state institutions that want to participate in SARA.