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State Authorizations and Online Programs

State Authorization refers to the regulation of both distance education courses and programs offered to residents of a particular state by an institution based in another state, and various non-distance activities within a particular state by institutions outside of that state.

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a voluntary agreement among its member states and U.S. territories that establishes one set of national standards and regulations for offering postsecondary distance education courses and programs. SARA is administered by four regional educational compacts and overseen by NC-SARA

Ferris State University is a SARAparticipating member institution and is authorized under SARA to enroll students in online courses and field experiences (up to ten students per site) in the SARA states and territories listed below.

Programs leading to professional licensure may be subject to additional state professional licensing requirements, which are not covered by SARA. Students will need to check with the appropriate licensing board in their state to verify that the course meets the requirement for licensure.

The NC-SARA States and Territories

Membership in SARA now includes 49 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. California is the only state that has not joined SARA.

Complaint Process

Ferris State University makes every effort to provide high-quality education in our online programs.

Ferris has established policies and procedures to assist students in resolving concerns or issues they may encounter. A listing of specific policies for addressing various types of complaints and the escalation of complaints may be found at Student Complaint Processes.

Students are encouraged to pursue a resolution to complaints within Ferris State University before the escalation of the complaint to external agencies, as the University's personnel will be in the best position to remedy any concerns.

Online students outside of Michigan, who are unable to resolve complaints through the University's established procedures, may file a complaint with the state of Michigan Corporations, Securities and Commercial Licensing Bureau (CSCL). Please refer to this document for additional instructions: Post-Secondary Student Complaints.


If you have additional questions about Ferris online programs and/or how this might impact residents from your state, please email us at [email protected].

Updated June 20, 2018.