What is SARA?
Marymount University participates in federal financial aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. As a participant in these programs, Marymount is required to comply with federal rules published in 2010 and state authorization regulations (which vary from state to state) with respect to online/distance education programs. The regulations require Marymount to obtain approval from the states in which it provides academic programs — to ensure that all legislative requirements are met in all states with Marymount students are located. The regulations allow authorization to come directly from a state or through a “state authorization reciprocity agreement”.
Marymount University is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which is an agreement among states that establishes national standards for the interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. This agreement between states allows an institution authorized in its home state to be authorized in all other states that are members of the agreement, a huge step forward in reducing costs and duplication of efforts for institutions while at the same time protecting students from fraudulent practices. Participation in SARA expands educational opportunities for Marymount students, reduces institutional risk, and also reduces costs associated with offering Marymount programs throughout the country.
Currently, 49 states (all but California), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have joined SARA. Participating SARA States
Online Programs Leading to Licensure or Certification
As advantageous as SARA is, it does not substitute for the requirement that institutions ascertain whether their programs that prepare students for licensure or certification meet the requirements of state professional licensing boards, which vary from state to state. Each professional licensing board in every state is autonomous and establishes and governs the standards a program or a graduate must meet in order to earn a license or certification in a professional field. Information on whether or not Marymount’s programs meet licensing requirements in each state is available here.
If you are a prospective or currently enrolled student thinking of enrolling in a Marymount online program, you are responsible for checking program authorization and licensure requirements in your state of residence. Once again, those rules vary by state. If you move to a new state, you are also responsible for providing written notification to your program of your new location and ensuring that your program is approved in your new state.