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Massachusetts SARA Institutional Initial Application

This online application is for Massachusetts institutions that are not current members of SARA but would like to join.


APPLICATION AND APPROVAL FORM FOR INSTITUTIONAL PARTICIPATION IN SARA

Please note: The below online application is to be used by Massachusetts institutions in lieu of the paper-based NC-SARA institutional application. Paper-based applications to participate in Massachusetts SARA will not be accepted. For questions regarding the Massachusetts SARA application process, please visit the application instructions web page.

The chief executive officer (CEO) or chief academic officer (CAO) of the institution completes and submits the below application, mails the Massachusetts SARA fee payment to the appropriate address as outlined on the Massachusetts SARA fee schedule web page, and commits to any special requirements permitted by SARA to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.



An institution seeking approval to operate under the terms and standards of SARA must meet the following requirements:

1.

The main campus or central administrative unit is domiciled in a State or district that has joined the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) initiative and is authorized to operate in that State.* Only distance education content originating in the United States, a U.S. territory, or district and provided from within a SARA State is eligible to be offered under SARA.** (Attach documentation)

CEO or CAO initial here

 


2.

The Institution is a U.S. degree-granting Institution that is accredited by an Accrediting Agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and whose scope of authority, as specified by the Department, includes distance education. (Attach documentation)

CEO or CAO initial here

 


3.

For non-public Institutions, the Institution's most recent financial responsibility index score from the U.S. Department of Education is 1.5 or above, or, if the score is between 1.0 and 1.49, the State Portal Entity can affirm that documentation has been provided to demonstrate financial stability sufficient to justify Institutional participation in SARA. If an Institution is owned by a "corporate parent," the composite score of its "parent" must meet these requirements. NOTE: Public Institutions leave this blank.

CEO or CAO initial here


4.

The Institution agrees to abide by the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education and policies of the SARA Manual.

CEO or CAO initial here


5.

The Institution agrees to be responsible for the actions of any third-party providers used by the Institution to engage in operations under SARA.

CEO or CAO initial here


6.

The Institution agrees to notify its Home State’s SARA Portal Entity of any negative changes to its accreditation status.

CEO or CAO initial here


7.

The Institution agrees to provide data necessary to monitor SARA activities, including annual reporting of distance education enrollments and out-of-state learning placements by State, in accordance with NC-SARA policies.

CEO or CAO initial here


8.

The Institution agrees to work with its Home State’s SARA Portal Entity to resolve any complaints arising from its students in SARA States, and to abide by decisions of that entity regarding resolution of such complaints.***

CEO or CAO initial here


9.

The Institution agrees to apply to its Home State’s Portal Entity over the signature of the Institution’s chief executive officer or chief academic officer.

CEO or CAO initial here


10.

The Institution agrees to notify in writing all students in a course or program that customarily leads to professional licensure, or which a student could reasonably believe leads to such licensure, whether or not the course or program meets educational requirements for licensure in the State where the student is located. After making all reasonable efforts to make such a determination, the Institution may notify the applicant or student in writing that the Institution cannot confirm whether the course or program meets educational requirements for professional licensure in the student's State provide the student with current contact information for any applicable licensing boards, and advise the student to determine whether the program meets educational requirements for licensure in the State where the student lives. An email dedicated solely to this purpose and sent to the student's best known email address meets this requirement.

The Institution should use other additional means to notify the student, if needed.

CEO or CAO initial here


11.

The Institution agrees that in cases where the Institution cannot fully deliver the instruction for which a student has contracted, to provide a reasonable alternative for delivering the instruction or reasonable financial compensation for the education the student did not receive.

CEO or CAO initial here


12.

The Institution agrees to pay to its Home State any State fees for SARA participation required by the Home State for administering SARA.

CEO or CAO initial here


13.

The Institution agrees to pay its annual SARA participation fee to the National Council for SARA (NC-SARA).

CEO or CAO initial here


14.

The Institution agrees to abide by conditions of provisional approval, if necessary.

CEO or CAO initial here


*SARA considers the Home campus to be where an Institution has its legal domicile. Any disputes about which State is the Home State will be resolved for SARA purposes by the affected regional compacts or the National Council (NC-SARA), as needed.

**The fact that a foreign Institution is owned by a U.S. entity does not qualify distance education originating from the non-U.S. Institution to be offered under SARA. Only distance education offerings under the oversight of the U.S. State or territory can be offered through SARA.

***Complaints must follow the Institution’s customary resolution procedure prior to being referred to the State under SARA procedures. Grade appeals and student conduct appeals are not allowed under SARA.


Institutional Designation and Affirmation

I, the undersigned representative of the aforementioned institution, having the authority to commit the Institution to operate under the SARA interstate agreement, hereby certify that this Institution meets all of the policies stated herein required for operation by the SARA Manual.

Institutional Signatory Officer Information

Type of Institution

   Public
   Private
   For-Profit
   Tribal
   Other (please describe)

Principal SARA Contact


Secondary SARA Contact


Corporate Parent (if applicable)

If yes, please list the following:

Student Complaint System URLs


SARA Complaints Contact

Please provide contact information for the institution's President or designee in the event that a SARA Complaint is filed with DHE against the institution.


Federal Financial Responsibility Composite Score (FRCS) or Equivalent

Please provide the most recent financial responsibility composite score provided in writing by the U.S. Department of Education, either published online or provided in letter form to the institution by the responsible Department of Education official. If your institution does not have an FRCS Score calculated by US-DOE, please contact us. Note: Public institutions leave this field blank, as they are presumed to be financially stable for the purpose of eligibility to participate in Massachusetts SARA.


Additional Campus Information


Electronic Signature of Institutional Signatory Officer (please attach an image file):

MASSACHUSETTS SARA APPLICATION ADDENDUM


I. Affirmations and Assurances


1.

The institution has an appropriate student complaint resolution process, which meets the requirements set forth in 610 CMR 12.07.

CEO or CAO initial here


2.

The institution has an adequate disaster recovery plan, particularly with respect to the protection of student records and, in the event of closure, will follow the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)'s Considerations When Closing an Institution of Higher Education or the best practices of its national accrediting agency for addressing catastrophic events.

CEO or CAO initial here


3.

The institution understands and accepts the scope of authorization provided under SARA according to the NC-SARA document State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement Manual and the terms of said Manual.

CEO or CAO initial here


4.

The institution has reviewed and agrees to fully comply with the requirements and agreements set forth in 610 CMR 12.00 of the Massachusetts Code of Regulations.

CEO or CAO initial here


5.

The institution accepts oversight from the Department of Higher Education (DHE) in all matters related to SARA.

CEO or CAO initial here


II. Institutional Eligibility


1.

Is the institution on probationary status or the equivalent with its institutional accrediting association?


2.

Is the institution currently using a letter of credit or under a cash management agreement with the U.S. Department of Education?


3.

Is the institution the subject of a publicly announced investigation by a government agency that is related to the institution's academic quality, financial stability or student consumer protection?


4.

Is the institution the subject of a current investigation by an entity in the Commonwealth related to the institution's academic quality, financial stability or student consumer protection?


Note: If you have answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, please attach a written explanation:

III. Additional Documentation


1.

Copy of the institution's student complaint procedure.

 
 

2.

Copy of the notice that will be sent to enrolling students regarding the institution's student complaint procedure in accordance with 610 CMR 12.03(1)(h).

 
 

3.

Copy of the notice that will be sent to enrolling students regarding the institution's authorization to offer courses and programs that customarily lead to professional licensure in states outside of Massachusetts in accordance with 610 CMR 12.03(2). The notice should include, at a minimum, contact information at the institution of a representative capable of answering questions regarding professional licensure. (Leave this blank if the institution does not offer courses or programs that customarily lead to professional licensure, e.g. education and medical programs that require licensure post-graduation.)

 
 

4.

Copy of the institution's disaster recovery plan, which shall include the institution's procedures for safeguarding student records in the event of institutional closure.

 
 

5.

List of institution's academic offerings (programs of study/degree programs) that the institution intends to offer pursuant to SARA. (Please use this template.)

 
 

6.

Documentation of the institution's tuition refund policy.

 
 

7.

Documentation of the institution's FRCS Score calculated within the past year, e.g. a copy of a letter from US-DOE or an online published score from US-DOE.

 
 

For institutions with a financial responsibility score between 1.0 and 1.49 only:

1.

A written explanation from institutional management as to why the institution's score is below 1.5 and the requirements imposed on the institution by the U.S. Department of Education for continued participation in Title IV.

 
 

2.

A written statement in the most recent fiscal year audited financial statement confirming that the institution is financially stable. The audited financial statement must show that the institution has adequate revenue to meet its financial obligations, including payment of unearned tuition.

 
 

3.

The institution's financial responsibility score for the five (5) most recently available years. If an official financial responsibility score has not been received from the U.S. Department of Education but is ascertainable from the institution's financial records, the institution should calculate the score independently and provide it to the DHE.

 
 

4.

A corrective action plan and timeline.

 
 

IV. Certification & Signature

Principal SARA Contact Information


Electronic Signature of Institution's Principal SARA Contact (please upload an image file):

 

Prior to clicking the "Submit" button below, please verify that all necessary application fields have been sufficiently completed and that all accompanying documentation as required has been uploaded in the appropriate fields.

 

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