State Authorizations and Individual State Disclosure Statements
States have long had the authority to regulate institutions offering education within each state’s boundaries, regardless of the educational modality (face-to-face, distance, other) being used.
Maine is now the 36th state to join the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), an initiative that will make distance-education courses more accessible to students across state lines and make it easier for institutions to participate in interstate distance education. Participation in SARA was approved in the statute by the 127th Maine Legislature, allowing the State Board of Education to enter into the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) regional compact, designating Maine DOE as the portal agency for SARA.
What is SARA?
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It 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 and administered by four regional education compacts. For further information, please visit the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) website at http://nc-sara.org/content/basic-questions-about-sara.
Maine’s Acting Education Commissioner, Bill Beardsley says, “SARA facilitates Maine’s interface with education opportunities across the country while bypassing the old case-by-case burdensome course approval system. Maine students benefit and state red tape is minimized with no loss of accountability. It is a state consortium approach we value.”
It is important to note that NC-SARA does not deal with professional licensing board approval for any courses or programs leading to professional licensure. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine cannot know nor guarantee where our coursework will meet requirements for professional licensure, endorsements, or license renewal in states outside of Maine. If you are planning on using our coursework towards a license or credential in your state, we recommend that you consult with the appropriate licensing agency or board in the state for which you seek to obtain licensure.
Links to Professional Licensure Boards/Requirements
Consumer Grievance Information
The following are links to consumer information notices and disclosures provided in accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act with the reauthorized Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
Saint Joseph’s College is authorized or exempted from authorization in all 50 states. Please read state-specific disclosure language below.
Individual State Disclosure Statements
Non-SARA Participating State Specific Language
Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) You must pay the state-imposed assessment for the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF), if all of the following applies to you:
- You are a student in an educational program, who is a California resident, or are enrolled in a residency program and prepay all or part of your tuition either by cash, guaranteed student loans, or personal loans, and;
- Your total charges are not paid by any third-party payer such as an employer, government program or other payer unless you have a separate agreement to repay the third party.
You are not eligible for protection from the STRF and you are not required to pay the STRF assessment, if either of the following applies:
- You are not a California resident, or are not enrolled in a residency program, or
- Your total charges are paid by a third party, such as an employer, government program or other payer, and you have no separate agreement to repay the third party.
The State of California created the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) to relieve or mitigate economic losses suffered by students in educational programs who are California residents, or are enrolled in a residency programs attending certain schools regulated by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education.
You may be eligible for STRF, if you are a California resident or are enrolled in a residency program, prepaid tuition, paid the STRF assessment, and suffered an economic loss as a result of the following:
- The school closed before the course of instruction was completed.
- The school’s failure to pay refunds or charges on behalf of a student to a third party for license fees or any other purposes, or to provide equipment or materials for which a charge was collected within 180 days before the closure of the school.
- The school’s failure to pay or reimburse loan proceeds under a federally guaranteed student loan program as required by law or to pay or reimburse proceeds received by the school prior to closure in excess of tuition and other costs.
- There was a materials failure to comply with the Act or this Division within 30 days before the school closed or, if the material failure began earlier than 30 days prior to closure, the period determined by the Bureau.
- An inability after diligent efforts to prosecute, prove, and collect on a judgement against the institution for a violation of the Act.
However, no claim can be paid to any student without a Social Security Number or a taxpayer identification number.
For further information, contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education at www.bppe.ca.gov or (916) 431-6959.
SARA States & Institutions
View updated SARA States and Institutions.