State Authorization of Distance Programs

NC-SARA Approved Institution Logo

Pacific University has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

The United States Department of Education published regulations in the Federal Register (Chapter 34, § 600.9(c)) that require all institutions of higher education to seek authorization in every state (and territory) in which they operate, physically or virtually, in order to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid. Learn more by downloading a summary from WCET (pdf).

How does this affect me?

Student Complaint Process:

Pacific University aims to resolve all student complaints in a fair and expedient manner. Students wishing to file a formal complaint should first seek resolution through institutional grievance procedures. Students may contact Student Affairs for more information. Students may also file a complaint with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The State of Oregon has established a complaint process through the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). If the student has exhausted all institutional resources available through their complaint process, then the student may contact the HECC at 503.378.5690 to file a complaint. Pacific University has been approved by the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. Out-of-state distance students from non-member states may follow this link for information about filing consumer complaints with their state authorizing agency. Not sure if your state is a member? Check out the map at

Out-of-state residents:

Pacific University has been granted authorizations, exemptions, waivers, and/or has applications in process and/or is not otherwise required to seek authorization for all states and territories. However, distance students residing in certain states may be ineligible to apply for programs with required internship components and current distance students who wish to participate in internships may face restrictions. Prospective students should contact program directors with questions. If you are a current student, check with your faculty advisor before arranging an internship for credit in another state.

Hawaii State Authorization:

Pacific University is authorized by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Hawaii Post-Secondary Education Authorization Program (HPEAP) to operate as a post-secondary degree-granting educational institution in the State of Hawaii.