SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement)

What is SARA?

SARA is an agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. SARA is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.

SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. Iowa participates in SARA through the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC).   

See the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements web page for a list of out-of-state institutions that are authorized to offer distance education programs to Iowans under the terms of SARA and that are not required to apply for Iowa registration.


Who do I contact?

Contact Iowa College Aid (Lisa Pundt at 515-725-3426 or lisa.pundt@iowa.gov) if you are:

  • A student who has questions about SARA   
  • An out-of-state-school that has questions about whether its distance education activities in Iowa are covered under SARA