NC-SARA

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements

What is the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement?

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement among U.S. member states, districts and 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 like you to enroll in distance education courses, including online programs, offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts.

The CT Office of Higher Education is approved by the New England Board of Higher Education to serve as the state Portal Entity under this agreement.

The University of New Haven is approved by the CT Office of Higher Education to participate as a SARA institution.

Are you a SARA student?

You are a SARA student if you enroll in distance education (including online programs) at a participating SARA institution of higher education in the State of Connecticut and reside in the United States but outside of Connecticut and California.

Student Complaints

Pursuant to federal regulations and the terms of SARA, the Connecticut Office of Higher Education is responsible for the investigation and resolution of SARA student complaints against institutions of higher education based in Connecticut and offering distance education via SARA. These can include complaints about discrimination, financial issues, program design and academic support structures. Note that issues regarding student life, such as discipline, grading, etc., fall solely within the purview of the institution and are not generally investigated. Additionally, the Office of Higher Education does not investigate anonymous complaints or provide legal advice.

How to File Your Student Complaints

Within two years of the incident complained of, out-of-state students enrolled in a Connecticut institution via NC-SARA may file a complaint in accordance with the following steps:

  1. The student must attempt to resolve the complaint by exhausting the institution's established internal grievance procedures. Absent extenuating circumstances, the Office of Higher Education will not investigate complaints filed by students who have not first sought a resolution with the institution.
  2. If all remedies at the institutional level have been exhausted and the complaint is not resolved, the student may file a complaint with the Office of Higher Education. To file a complaint, please follow these procedures. All documentation for review related to the complaint must be provided by the student as part of the filing.
  3. The Office of Higher Education will process the complaint and provide copies of all documents filed with the complaint to the institution. The institution has 20 days to respond. After receiving a response and conducting an investigation, the Office of Higher Education will issue a findings report to all parties. The findings report is final.

All student complaints should be sent via email to ctsara@ctohe.org or post to: SARA Coordinator, Office of Higher Education, 450 Columbus Blvd., Suite 707, Hartford, CT 06105