Midwestern-State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, commonly known as SARA, provide a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. When states join SARA -- and membership is voluntary -- they agree to follow uniform processes for approving their eligible  institutions' participation in SARA. They also agree to deal with other states' SARA institutions in a common way when those institutions carry out activities in SARA states other than their own. SARA's uniform standards and policies provide benefits to both states and institutions carrying out distance education in multiple states. As of June 2024, 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands all voluntarily participate in SARA. Over 2,400 institutions participate, of which 664 institutions are in MHEC states.

As of August 12, 2016, eleven states are participating in the Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA): Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. South Dakota, also a MHEC member state, joined SARA through the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

Participation in SARA
Institutions & counting
FY23 Savings
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Check out NC-SARA News & Events for the latest updates.

In collaboration with the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) and the National Council for State Authorization Agreements (NC-SARA), the M-SARA Regional Steering Committee establishes and disseminates criteria for state participation and amends such criteria, as appropriate, over time.

M-SARA Regional Steering Committee
Jennifer Armour Kansas Board of Regents Kansas
Brandie Elliott-Woodall University of Missouri System Missouri
Ahmad Ezzeddine Wayne State University Michigan
Jim Farhat Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Michigan
Kathleen Fimple Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education Nebraska
Joshua Fischer Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development Missouri
Chris Foley Indiana University Indiana
Lisa Johnson North Dakota University System North Dakota
Mary Kochlefl Xavier University Ohio
Jeff Newell Illinois Community College Board Illinois
Nkechi Onwuameze Illinois Board of Higher Education Illinois
Lisa Pundt Iowa College Aid Iowa
Ken Sauer Indiana Commission for Higher Education Indiana
Paige Smith Wisconsin Distance Learning Authorization Board Wisconsin
Tom Sudkamp Ohio Department of Higher Education Ohio
Betsy Talbot Minnesota Office of Higher Education Minnesota
Contact me for more information
MHEC-Sara Appel

Sara Appel

Director of M-SARA
Policy & Research