Protecting Students and Demanding Quality

The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) was established to help expand students’ access to educational opportunities and ensure more efficient, consistent, and effective regulation of distance education programs.

Two critical components of our mission are:

  1. to assure students are well-served in a rapidly-changing education landscape, and
  2. to increase the quality and value of higher education credentials earned through distance education programs.

To do so, SARA participating institutions must meet certain requirements – many of which are focused on ensuring appropriate consumer protections for students.

Protecting Students & Demanding Quality

Read more about how the NC-SARA mission and policies support consumer protections in distance education in this 2-page overview.


NC-SARA Improves Student Consumer Protection
Key NC-SARA Student Consumer Protections include:
  • All SARA institutions must be accredited.
  • SARA institutions must have U.S. oversight.
  • SARA institutions must demonstrate healthy finances.
  • SARA institutions are accountable for third-party providers.
  • SARA institutions must adhere to high standards.
  • SARA institutions must uphold stringent reporting and accountability requirements.
  • SARA institutions are required to have transparency around professional licensure.
  • SARA institutions must find ways to meet obligations to students.
  • Student complaints are taken seriously.
  • Compliance is non-negotiable.

To learn more about each of these protections, click here.

Looking Forward: Maintaining NC-SARA's Commitment to Students

We always welcome feedback for how we can continue to enhance our policies and processes to better serve institutions, states, and – most importantly – students nationwide. To share your thoughts, email: