Out of State Residents

Grand Valley State University is obligated to comply with other states’ laws regarding the delivery of distance education to residents of other states. Distance education includes 100% online programs, online programs that require some on-the-ground experience, certificate programs, and non-credit programs and/or courses that will be delivered to students residing outside the state of Michigan. State laws regarding distance education vary state-by-state, and program-by-program within a state. Compliance with State Authorization requirements requires input and cooperation from Grand Valley’s colleges and units.

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.

Grand Valley State University is a SARA participating 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.

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.

Licensure Issues

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. Grand Valley State University programs that are subject to professional licensure are available on the Office of the Provost website.