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Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

On November 2, 2015, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) approved Mississippi as a member state to participate in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), effective January 1, 2016. The Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation (MCCA) has been designated the state portal agency for SARA.

What is SARA?
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts, and U.S. territories that establishes comparable nation-wide standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. The reciprocity allows participating Mississippi colleges and universities to offer distance programs and courses to residents of member states without seeking state-by-state approval, and 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 (NC-SARA), and is administered by four regional education compacts.

States and institutions participating in SARA

Eligibility Requirements for Mississippi institutions:

  • be authorized to operate in Mississippi as an in-state postsecondary institution;
  • be a degree-granting institution, awarding associate degrees or higher, accredited as a single entity by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and whose scope of recognition, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education, includes distance education;
  • if not a public institution, document a federal financial responsibility composite score of at least 1.5 out of 3.0 on the USDE financial stability scale;
  • agree that, in cases where the institution cannot fully deliver the instruction for which a student has contracted, it will provide a reasonable alternative for delivering the instruction or reasonable financial compensation for the education the student did not receive.

SARA Application Cover Sheet
SARA Application Form
Deadline to submit Initial or Renewal application to MCCA: February 28, April 28, June 28, as applicable.

Fees
Institutions approved to participate in SARA must renew annually by submitting a renewal application to MCCA along with the MCCA fee.
If approved, the institution will also submit a fee to NC-SARA.

State Fee Schedule
Student complaint form