State Authorization

Faculty and Staff: Information and Resources

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

Through reciprocity, an institution authorized under SARA criteria in its home state would be considered authorized in all other SARA states.  Ohio became a member in March 2015, and the University of Toledo became a SARA institution in August 2015. 

Currently, 47 states are members of SARA. See the state authorization website for current information.  If you have a question regarding UT’s status in a particular state, see the State Status page.

There are three necessary participants for SARA: The Home Institution; the Home State; and the Away State.

Three Necessary Participants for SARA. Source: AAMC Government Relations presentation, March 31, 2016

Without all three there is no reciprocity.

Steps to Ensure Compliance with State Authorization


Issues SARA Does Not Address

  • SARA has no effect on state professional licensing requirements. Academic programs in fields that require state licensure may need approval from the boards overseeing those professions in that state. Students attending an institution that is not approved by the appropriate boards in their state may be restricted from participating in clinical experiences or kept from sitting for the licensure exam.
  • The National Council for SARA and the four regional compacts that administer SARA require that any college offering courses or programs potentially leading to professional licensure keep all students informed as to whether such offerings actually meet state licensing requirements.
  • SARA also does not deal with offerings provided free and beyond the scope of current regulation of the degree programs of accredited academic institutions (free, non-credit MOOCs, etc.). Nor does it explicitly deal with non-credit instruction, although if an institution participates in SARA, its for-credit and non-credit activities in SARA states are covered by the agreement.
What kind of information does the Director of State Authorization need from my department?

Under the law, UT is required to know where their students are located.  Student location must be tracked and reported, at least on an annual basis.  We will need your department’s assistance in ensuring we have a complete picture of all educational activities taking place in other states. 

We also need to know of any targeted recruitment and marketing practices.  Every semester, reports on online enrollment with demographic information need to be submitted to the Director of State Authorization.

More Information

The Web site dedicated to state authorization is dynamic and kept current.  The university contact person is the Director of State Authorization.

Visit the FAQ page 

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA)

State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), State Authorization Survey and Reports

WCET — State Authorization of Institutions for Out-of-State Activities*
*Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) is a program unit of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)

Last Updated: 2/14/17