State Authorization

A Brief History

In October 2010, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released its regulation requiring institutions to document that they have the proper approval to provide distance education to students in other states. This regulation was challenged in the U.S. District Court and was vacated. In July 2012, the USDOE announced that "it will not enforce the requirements but institutions continue to be responsible for complying with all State laws as they relate to distance education." Many states have implemented new or existing legislation to enforce the regulations set forth by their state.  As a gesture of "good faith" institutions have continued to request authorization by state.

The University of Illinois began this process with the creation of the State Authorization Working Group with representatives from the three campuses as well as University administration. This group continues to work diligently on behalf of the University to obtain the necessary authorizations in all 50 states and 2 territories.

In 2015, Illinois became a SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) state. SARA is a voluntary agreement among its member states and U.S. territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance-education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.


Completed and SARA States

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • Virgin Islands


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