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Distance Education Approval

The Distance Education (non-SARA) website is for out-of-state institutions that are not participating in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)(link is external) and that seek to offer distance education to students in New York State. Degree-granting institutions must apply for, and obtain, approval from NYSED before enrolling any students. 

Out-of-state institutions that are participating in SARA are considered approved to offer distance education under the terms of SARA.


At minimum, non-SARA institutions seeking to offer distance education in New York State must:

  • be legally domiciled in a state other than New York and hold proper authorization from such state to offer degree-granting programs and confer degrees in such state;
  • be a U.S. degree-granting institution that holds institutional accreditation from an accrediting association recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education with distance education within its scope of recognition;
  • agree to abide by the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education; and
  • agree to fulfill the requirements identified in the Requirements and Terms of Approval Form.

In addition, institutions must possess a Financial Responsibility Index Score that is 1.5 or higher. If the applicant institution is a subsidiary, then, consistent with United States Department of Education methodology, its ultimate domestic parent organization (highest level of ownership) must have a score of 1.5 or higher.