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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 association recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, and which has formal recognition to accredit distance education programs
  • if not a public institution, document a composite score of at least 1.5 out of 3.0 on the USDE financial stability scale.
Institutions not satisfying the above conditions are ineligible to apply to MCCA for SARA membership.

SARA Initial Application
SARA Renewal Application
SARA Application Supplemental Information Form
Deadline to submit Initial or Renewal application to MCCA, as applicable: February 28, April 28, June 30.

Institutions approved to participate in SARA must renew applications annually and pay an MCCA annual fee and an NC-SARA annual fee.

State Fee Schedule
Student complaint form