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State Authorization

What is State Authorization?

NCSARA Approved InstitutionMost U.S. states have regulations pertaining to post-secondary online instruction. These laws and regulations apply to online, distance, and correspondence educational instruction offered to permanent state residents. WKU aims to expand access and deliver our online programs in every state.

Kentucky is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and WKU is an approved SARA institution. SARA allows institutions to offer distance education courses and programs to other SARA participating institutions and ensures adherence to national standards for postsecondary distance education. We work through the SARA process and with states to ensure that when authorization or licensure of online programs is necessary, required approvals are secured.

WKU is currently authorized, licensed, registered, exempt or not subject to approval in all states, with the exceptions noted below.

  • California – exempt without conditions

It is the student’s responsibility to understand the current status or special requirements related to the authorization of distance education in their state of residence. For more information about SARA, please visit nc-sara.org.

Professional Licensure

There are some academic programs at WKU that lead to professional licensure. Professional licensure is a way to ensure a professional meets certain industry requirements and acknowledges their expertise and abilities. It is strongly suggested students refer to the university’s professional licensure website to check the information for their state or territory and contact the appropriate licensing entity for additional guidance prior to beginning an academic program outside of their home state.


Students who have complaints against the school regarding their online program can learn more about the Complaint Resolution Process here.

Data Reporting Requirements

As a SARA member, WKU is required to report data annually to NC-SARA. Each spring, NC-SARA requires institutions to report the number of online students for each state and the number of students participating in out-of-state learning placements for all academic programs.

OPD works with Institutional Research to collect the online student enrollment data. Out-of-state student placement information is collected from the academic departments. Data for learning placements can be submitted by visiting the Student Learning Placements reporting form.

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 9/6/22