About State Authorization

Distance education is an important and growing part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Whether you're a busy professional looking to hone a new skill, make yourself more marketable, or complete an entire program, online courses can help you achieve your goals in an environment and schedule that fit your life. 

Why Authorization Matters

In order to offer distance education opportunities to students outside Alaska, the University of Alaska Fairbanks must comply with state and federal laws. Starting next year,  the U.S. Department of Education also will require institutions to be authorized in each state where students are enrolled in order to participate in federal student financial aid programs.

Requiring authorization of distance education programs also ensures that students are protected as consumers. Authorization laws help ensure that a student is not investing in a program that is not legitimate, or a program that does not lead to the license or a credential that the student was expecting.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

Each state has unique requirements for authorization. The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. SARA is aimed at making the effort to obtain state authorization more efficient for institutions and easier for students to enroll in distance education programs outside of the states in which they reside.  

On November 13, 2017, The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) approved institutional participation for the University of Alaska Fairbanks to join SARA. Current NC-SARA member states include 50 member states, districts, and territories. To learn more about NC-SARA, please visit: www.wcetsan.wiche.edu

Professional Licensure

Important Note for Students:  The NC-SARA does not provide reciprocity for state professional licensing requirements. If you are planning to seek a professional license or certificate in a state other than Alaska, please see the State Listing section on the Authorization by State page.

Updated as of December 2020