State Authorization

State Authorization

Applicants or enrolled students should contact the appropriate school of the University with specific questions about eligibility to enroll in particular programs and/or courses impacted by state authorization.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, “state authorization is a longstanding requirement in the Higher Education Act that requires institutions to be authorized in the state in which they are located as a condition for eligibility to receive Title IV Federal student aid.” Depending on the individual state, such authorization can apply to multiple types of educational activities, including face-to-face instruction, clinical placements, distance education, marketing activities, and other regulated activities within a particular state. WCET maintains an excellent¬†web-based resource¬†on state authorization.

The University of Texas at Austin has its primary state authorization through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The University is also an institutional member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of distance education. As an NC-SARA member, the University is authorized to offer distance education programs in other member states without additional regulatory authorization from that state. All states within the United States are members of NC-SARA with the exception of Massachusetts, California and Puerto Rico.

Questions or concerns regarding state authorization regulations and NC-SARA can be directed to Ashleigh Moses at 512-232-3312.

Filing Complaints with UT Austin

The complaint and grievance procedures detailed in the University’s General Information Catalog are available to any enrolled student at the University, regardless of instructional mode, including those enrolled under the auspices of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). Students or prospective students who have complaints against the University, that are not resolved at the institutional level, may contact the following organizations:

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

For unresolved complaints concerning University compliance with accrediting standards, contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) at 404-679-4500. The SACSCOC ‚ÄúComplaint Procedures Against the Commission or its Accredited Institutions‚ÄĚ may be found¬†here.


Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

For unresolved complaints concerning a condition or incident involving the University, contact the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) at 512-427-6101. THECB retains oversight of unresolved complaints from students enrolled under the auspices of SARA. THECB’s student complaint process may be found here.


The Office for Civil Rights

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on age, color, disability, national or ethnic origin, race, or sex, in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance. For more information, refer to the OCR website.


SARA State Complaint Process

Students enrolled in a course that takes place outside of Texas in a SARA member state must first follow UT Austin’s procedures for the resolution of complaints. If a student is not satisfied with the outcomes of that a process, a complaint may be brought to the Texas SARA portal entity.


Non-SARA State Complaints

Students participating in a course that takes place in a non-SARA state may file a complaint with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), or may file a complaint in the state where the student is located.

List of states accepting online programs from UT Austin.

Alabama
Alabama Commission on Higher Education
334.242.2211
State Website: http://ache.edu/AlaPortal.aspx

Alaska
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
907.465.6471
State website: https://acpe.alaska.gov/ConsumerProtection

Arizona
Arizona SARA Council
480.517.8226
State website: https://azsara.arizona.edu/

Arkansas
Arkansas Department of Higher Education
501.371.2060
State website: https://www.adhe.edu/institutions/academic-affairs/sara/

California
California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
888.370.7589
State website: https://www.state.nj.us/highereducation/

Colorado
Department of Higher Education
303.862.3005
State website: https://highered.colorado.gov/

Connecticut
Office of Higher Education
860.947.1837
State Website: http://www.ctohe.org/SARA/Default.shtml

Delaware
Delaware Office of Higher Education
302.735.4193
State Website http://www.doe.k12.de.us/sara

District of Columbia
Higher Education Licensure Commission
202.724.2095
District Website http://osse.dc.gov/service/state-authorization-reciprocity-agreement-sara

Florida
Department of Education
850.245.3242
State Website http://www.flsara.org/

Georgia
Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (GNPEC)
770.414.3310
State Website: https://gnpec.georgia.gov/state-authorization-reciprocity-agreement-sara

Hawaii
Hawaii Post-Secondary Education Authorization Program (HPEAP)
808.586.7327
State Website http://cca.hawaii.gov/hpeap/sara/

Idaho
Idaho State Board of Education
208.332.1587
State website: https://boardofed.idaho.gov/

Illinois
Illinois Board of Higher Education
217.557.7382
State website: http://www.ibhe.org/sara.html

Indiana
Indiana Commission for Higher Education
317.232.1033
State Website: http://www.in.gov/bpe

Iowa
Iowa College Student Aid Commission
515.725.3426
State website: https://iowacollegeaid.gov/SchoolAuthorization

Kansas
Kansas Board of Regents
785.430.4288
State website: https://kansasregents.org/academic_affairs/sara

Kentucky
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
502.573.1555
State Website http://cpe.ky.gov/campuses/sararequest.html

Louisiana
Louisiana Board of Regents
225.342.4253
State Website http://www.regents.la.gov/subhome/institutional-licensure

Maine
Department of Higher Education
207.624.6846
State website: https://www.maine.gov/doe/learning/highered/sara

Maryland
Maryland Higher Education Commission
410.767.3388
State Website: http://mhec.maryland.gov/institutions_training/Pages/acadaff/sara.aspx

Massachusetts
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
617.994.6910
State website: www.mass.edu/sara

Michigan
Employment & Training, Postsecondary Schools
517.256.8670
State website: www.michigan.gov/pss

Minnesota
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
651.259.3965
State website: https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=2142

Mississippi
Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning
601.432.6372
State Website http://www.mississippi.edu/mcca/sara.asp

Missouri
Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development
573.751.2361
State website: https://dhewd.mo.gov/DistanceEducation.php

Montana
Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
406.422.8455
State website: https://www.mus.edu/che/arsa/StateAuthorization/

Nebraska
Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
402.471.0030
State website: https://ccpe.nebraska.gov/state-authorization-reciprocity-agreements-sara

Nevada
Nevada System of Higher Education
775.784.3447
State Website https://nshe.nevada.edu/administration/academics-student-affairs/sara/

New Hampshire
New Hampshire Department of Education
(603) 271-2408
State website: https://www.education.nh.gov/pathways-education/higher-education-new-hampshire

New Jersey
New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education
609.984.3738
State website: https://www.state.nj.us/highereducation/

New Mexico
New Mexico Higher Education Department
505.476.8411
State website: http://www.hed.state.nm.us/

New York
New York State Education Department
518.474.1551
State website: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/

North Carolina
North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority
919.248.4660
State Website www.saranc.org

North Dakota
North Dakota University System
701.239.6676
State website: http://www.ndus.edu/

Ohio
Ohio Department of Higher Education
614.728.3095
State website: https://www.ohiohighered.org/

Oklahoma
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
405.225.9163
State Website http://www.okhighered.org/admin-fac/sara/

Oregon
Higher Education Coordinating Commission
503.947.5925
State website: http://www.oregon.gov/highered/institutions-programs/private/Pages/office-degree-authorization.aspx

Pennsylvania
Department of Education
717.265.7723
State Website https://www.education.pa.gov/Postsecondary-Adult/CollegeCareer/Pages/State-Authorization-Reciprocity-Agreement-(SARA).aspx

Puerto Rico
Office of Registration and Licensing of Education Institutions
787.641.7100 ext. 2056
Website: http://www.ce.pr.gov/

Rhode Island
Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner
401.736.1118
State website: https://www.riopc.edu/

South Carolina
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
803.737.3476
State Website: https://tinyurl.com/y3nfsx5u

South Dakota
South Dakota Board of Regents
605.773.3455
State website: http://www.sdsos.gov/

Tennessee
Tennessee Higher Education Commission
615.253.8857
State website: https://www.tn.gov/thec/

Texas
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
512.427.6214
State Website http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/

Virgin Islands
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of the Virgin Islands
340.693.1200
Website: http://nc-sara.org/states/virgin-islands

Utah
Utah System of Higher Education
801.321.7152
State Website  https://ushe.edu/sara

Vermont
Vermont Agency of Education
802.595.5402
State website: http://education.vermont.gov/

Virginia
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
804.225.2621
State Website https://tinyurl.com/y5hgpyqe

Washington
Washington Student Achievement Council
360.753.7866
State website: http://www.wsac.wa.gov/

West Virginia
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
681.313.2290
State Website: https://tinyurl.com/yy9c7u76

Wisconsin
Wisconsin Technical College System Office
608.266.2449
State Website: http://www.heab.state.wi.us/dlab/

Wyoming
Wyoming Community College Commission
307.777.7013
Website: https://communitycolleges.wy.edu