Distance Education - State Authorization

If a student will be located outside the state of Iowa while enrolled and taking classes at Mercy College, the College must be authorized to deliver the education by the state in which the student will be located.  Mercy College complies with the authorization requirement as a participant under the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), an agreement among member states that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs.  SARA is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions located in another member state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by regional education compacts. The regional compact of which the state of Iowa is a member is the Midwest Higher Education Compact.  The state of Iowa became a member of SARA on June 1, 2015 and assigned administrative responsibility for the program to the Iowa College Student Aid Commission which may be contacted at:

Iowa College Student Aid Commission
430 E. Grand Avenue, Floor 3
Des Moines, IA 50309

Students may contact the Commission to make an inquiry about Mercy College or to file a complaint. Not all states are members of SARA; membership and school participation may change.  If you are located in a state other than Iowa and wish to enroll in one of our online offerings, please contact us before enrolling to determine if we are able to offer online courses in your state. Email your inquiry to admissions@mchs.edu or call (515) 643-6715.

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