National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements

The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) is a national initiative which seeks to establish comparable national standards so that colleges and universities may offer distance-education courses and programs across state lines. NC-SARA is a voluntary agreement among regional compacts (SREB, NEBHE, MHEC, and WICHE) and member states. Each member state approves their in-state institutions for NC-SARA participation. Institutional membership is voluntary and open to accredited, degree-granting institutions from all sectors of postsecondary education (proprietary, public, private/independent). Once approved, NC-SARA member institutions may offer distance education programs in other NC-SARA member states without additional authorization. For more information on NC-SARA, and for the latest listing of participating states and institutions, see the NC-SARA website..

The District of Columbia became a member of NC-SARA on June 9, 2016 through the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) compact. The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) Higher Education Licensure Commission (HELC) has been designated the portal agency for SARA – the entity responsible for coordinating NC-SARA activities in District of Columbia.Please visit the HELC website for more details, including the process for institutions to apply for NC-SARA membership, fee structure, filing complaints regarding distance education programs, and additional resources. 

The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) handles NC-SARA matters in the state of Maryland. Information for institutions and students can be found at the MHEC NC-SARA website

The Commonwealth of Virginia joined NC-SARA on October 17, 2014. NC-SARA matters in the Commonwealth are handled through the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV). Informatoin regarding NC-SARA for colleges/universities in Virginia can be obtained at the Virginia SARA website