Students studying in computer lab

About NC-SARA

The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) is a nonprofit organization that helps expand students’ access to educational opportunities and ensure more efficient, consistent, and effective regulation of distance education programs.

Recognizing the growing demand for distance education opportunities, higher education stakeholders – including state regulators and education leaders, accreditors, the U.S. Department of Education, and institutions – joined together in 2013 to establish the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA), which streamline regulations around distance education programs.

In partnership with four regional compacts, NC-SARA helps states, institutions, policymakers, and students understand the purpose and benefits of participating in SARA. Today, more than 2,200 institutions in 49 member states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands all voluntarily participate in SARA.

Why NC-SARA Matters:

  • Improves distance education program quality nationwide.
  • Makes it easier for students to access distance education programs across state lines.
  • Reduces costs and bureaucracy for states and institutions.
  • Improves coordination between states on higher education opportunities.
  • Provides valuable oversight of distance education programs.
  • Shares out-of-state learning experience data like clinical hours and practice teaching.