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Virginia SARA


On October 17, 2014, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) approved Virginia as a member state to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). The reciprocity allows participating Virginia colleges and universities to offer distance-learning programs and courses to residents of member states without seeking state-by-state approval. The agreement further provides enhanced quality assurance and consumer protection to Virginia residents taking distance-learning programs from other member states’ institutions.

Virginia institutions seeking authorization to participate in SARA will apply directly to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). The parameters of SCHEV’s administration are contained in the Commonwealth of Virginia Policy on the Reciprocal Authorization of Distance Education.

SARA Institutions

American National University
Appalachian College of Pharmacy
Atlantic University
Averett University
Bethel College
Blue Ridge Community College
Bluefield College
Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing
Bridgewater College
College of William and Mary
Danville Community College
Divine Mercy University
Eastern Mennonite University
Eastern Virginia Career College
Eastern Virginia Medical School
ECPI University
Emory & Henry College
Ferrum College
George Mason University
Germanna Community College
Hampton University
IGlobal University
Ivy Christian College
J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
James Madison University
Jefferson College of Health Sciences
John Tyler Community College
Liberty University
Longwood University
Lord Fairfax Community College
Mary Baldwin University
Marymount University
Mountain Empire Community College
New River Community College
Norfolk State University
Northern Virginia Community College
Old Dominion University
Patrick Henry College
Patrick Henry Community College
Radford University
Rappahannock Community College
Regent University
Saint Michael College of Allied Health
Sentara College of Health Sciences
Shenandoah University
Southwest Virginia Community College
Stratford University
Tidewater Community College
University of Fairfax
University of Lynchburg
University of Management and Technology
University of Mary Washington
University of Virginia
University of Virginia's College at Wise
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Highlands Community College
Virginia State University
Virginia Tech
Virginia Union University
Virginia University of Lynchburg
Virginia Wesleyan University
Virginia Western Community College
Wytheville Community College

Click Here For a PDF of Approved Virginia SARA Institutions


Virginia institutions seeking approval to participate in SARA must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • be accredited as a degree-granting institution of higher education by an accreditor recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USED);
  • be authorized to operate in Virginia as an in-state institution;
  • if not a public institution, document a composite score of at least 1.5 out of 3.0 on the USED financial stability scale.

Any institution not satisfying all three of the above conditions shall be deemed ineligible to apply to SCHEV for SARA membership.


Note: NC-SARA Applications must be completed in its original form with required signatures of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or the Chief Academic Officer (CAO). All items must be initialed (not typed) by the CEO or CAO. Alterations or substitutions will not be accepted.

Institutional Approval will require the completion and submission of the following forms to SCHEV:

New Applicants:

  1. NC-SARA's Application and Approval Form for Institutional Participation in SARA
    • Attach documentation for items 1-3 as applicable
    • Attach copy of student complaint process
  2. Virginia-SARA (V-SARA) Supplemental Information Form (Form must be completed by principle SARA contact)
  3. Mail the NC-SARA application, V-SARA Supplemental Information Form, and documentation to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), Attention Virginia-SARA, 101 North 14th Street, James Monroe Building, 9th Floor, Richmond, Virginia 23219. An electronic copy should be emailed to Virginia-SARA@schev.edu.


  1. Renewal Application for Institutional Participation in SARA
    • Items 1-14 must be initialed (not typed) by the President or Chief Academic Officer
    • Attach documentation for items 1-3 as applicable:
      • Item 1 - Include the most recent documentation of the institution’s state authorization to operate and offer degree programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia [Examples: Council approved minutes, Code of Virginia legislation and SCHEV’s Exempt from Certification and/or authorization letters]
      • Item 2 - Include the most recent documentation of accreditation by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education [Examples: Signed letter(s) from accreditor reaffirming accreditation, 5th year interim report, approved degree offerings, etc. Screenshots or print-outs from the accreditor’s website are NOT acceptable.]
      • Item 3 - (Applicable to Private Institutions Only) Include the institution's most recent audited financial statement (in its entirety) AND a completed SCHEV Financial Composite Score Calculation Worksheet. Private Non-Profit Calculation Worksheet / Private For-Profit Calculation Worksheet 
    • Attach copy of institutions’ student complaint policy and/or process (see Item 8)
  2. Submit electronically to Virginia-SARA@schev.edu.


SCHEV has established the following fee structure for participating Virginia institutions, according to annual FTE enrollment. Listed fees correspond to 50% of the correlative NC-SARA fee. Colleges and universities must use student enrollment data as reported to IPEDS. *Please use the most current data available when determining your fee.

Once SCHEV approves an institution, the institution is notified and invoiced for the Virginia SARA fee. The institution will have 30 business days to submit its Virginia-SARA fee. The check should be made payable to the “State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Reference: V-SARA” and mailed to Virginia-SARA, 101 North 14th Street, 9th Floor, James Monroe Building, Richmond, VA 23219.

*Note - Fees for Virginia SARA and NC-SARA are separate. Institutions will receive an electronic link directly from NC-SARA to complete the registration process. Once your institutional contact completes the registration, he/she will receive NC-SARA's invoice for the national fee amount. Payment must be made to NC-SARA before your institution is recognized as a participating SARA institution.


 Annual Virginia Fees for Participating in SARA
 FTE Students  Fee
 Fewer than 2,500  $1,000
 2,500 to 9,999  $2,000
 10,000 or more  $3,000

© 2019 State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
101 N. 14th Street, 10th Floor  |  James Monroe Building   |  Richmond, VA 23219

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