State Authorization for Distance Learning 

Every U.S. state has enacted laws and regulations governing activities by educational providers in their jurisdiction, and each individual state has its own standards of when an educational provider has crossed a statutory threshold into regulation. Many of these state laws and regulations also apply to online, distance and correspondence educational instruction offered in that state. 

UIU's Office of the Provost at Upper Iowa University is actively monitoring the status of federal and state regulations pertaining to the delivery of distance education and is coordinating UIU's efforts to work with state agencies where authorization is required to ensure compliance with relevant distance education regulations. Applicants who reside outside Iowa will only be admitted to online degree completion programs, certificate programs or individual online courses offered by Upper Iowa University if the university has secured authorization from the applicant's state of residence, when required.

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Approved Institution LogoIn September of 2016 Upper Iowa University was approved by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (ICSAC) 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; it allows UIU to offer programs and courses to residents of member states without seeking state-by-state approval, and is intended to make it easier for students to take distance education courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. A list of participating states and institutions can be found at National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Persons seeking to enroll in an Upper Iowa University distance education program residing outside the state of Iowa, but within the United States, District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories (excluding International locations), should check the University's authorization status below or contact Distance Education at or 1-800-553-4150 regarding enrollment.  UIU continues to serve out-of-state students while working with individual state agencies to meet and maintain institutional authorization requirements, unless otherwise indicated.

The table below indicates state authorization status for each state in relation to online and self-paced programs offered by UIU's Distance Education.  A = approved/authorized, E = exempt (authorization not required), IP = In Process (authorization or exemption is being sought; applications currently accepted), N = NOT approved/authorized (applications not accepted), S = NC-SARA member state

State Status State Regulating Agency(ies)
Alabama S Alabama Department of Education
Alabama Commission on Higher Education
Alaska S Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Arizona S Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education
Arkansas S Arkansas Department of Higher Education
California E California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
Colorado S State of Colorado Department of Higher Education
Connecticut S State of Connecticut Office of Higher Education
Delaware S Delaware Department of Education
District of Columbia S District of Columbia Education Licensure Commission
Florida E Florida Commission for Independent Education
Georgia S Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
Hawaii S Hawaii Postsecondary Education Authorization Program
Idaho S Idaho State Board of Education
Illinois S Illinois Board of Higher Education
Indiana S Indiana Commission for Higher Education
Iowa S Iowa College Student Aid Commission
Kansas S Kansas Board of Regents
Kentucky S Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
Louisiana S Louisiana Board of Regents
Maine S Maine Department of Higher Education
Maryland S Maryland Higher Education Commission
Massachusetts E Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
Michigan S Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Minnesota S Minnesota Office of Higher Education
Mississippi S Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation
Missouri S Missouri Department of Higher Education
Montana S Montana University System
Nebraska S Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
Nevada S Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education
New Hampshire S New Hampshire Department of Education Division of Higher Education - Higher Education Commission
New Jersey S New Jersey Higher Education
New Mexico S New Mexico Higher Education Department
New York S (New York) Office of College and University Evaluation
North Carolina S The University of North Carolina Board of Governors
North Dakota S North Dakota University System
Ohio S Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents
Oklahoma S Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
Oregon S Oregon Office of Degree Authorization
Pennsylvania S Pennsylvania Department of Education
Rhode Island S Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education
South Carolina S South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
South Dakota S South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office
Tennessee S Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Division of Postsecondary School Authorization
Texas S Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board & Texas Workforce Commission
Utah S Utah Division of Consumer Protection
Vermont S Vermont State Board of Education Through the Vermont Agency of Education
Virginia S Commonwealth of Virginia State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
Washington S State of Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board
West Virginia S West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Wisconsin S Wisconsin Educational Approval Board
Wyoming S Wyoming Department of Education


Prospective students: If you are considering an online academic program that will lead to a professional license in your state, it is highly recommended that you seek guidance from the appropriate licensing agency in your home state before beginning a program at Upper Iowa University.

Student complaint procedures, including a link to a list of each state’s complaint agency.