Colleges can get help in offering online classes to out-of-state students

Kylie Lacey's picture

Getting licensed to enroll just one out-of-state student in an online college course can cost a Nebraska school thousands of dollars and an exhaustive program review.

That’s because there are 50 states and about as many different laws for institutions to operate there, even virtually. Those requirements range from a quick email to a thorough program review and up to $50,000 in fees.

But a solution in the works could ease the process for colleges nationwide, and Nebraska is poised to be one of the first states to get on board.

The plan is called the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, or SARA, and it will provide an alternate path for colleges that want to enroll online, out-of-state students for less money and with less bureaucracy. Institutions that join SARA will have to seek approval only once, from their own states, under the plan.

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