SARA State Authorization

State Authorization for Distance Education

The U.S. Department of Education has released amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 that may impact online, distance, and print-based education providers. The State Authorization Regulation, Chapter 34 §600.9(c) states:

"If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State's approval upon request." 

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania joined the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) effective January 1, 2017, and Kutztown University is now a NC-SARA-participating institution. The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offerings of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.  Currently, 47 states plus the District of Columbia are members of NC-SARA. Three states - CA, FL, and MA - do not have state authorization rules.

Kutztown University's letter of introduction from NC-SARA

Please note that SARA does not cover professional licensure or certification (click here). For more information on SARA, please visit

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