The University of Pittsburgh renewed its participation in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) this month. As a SARA-participating institution, Pitt is required to adhere to a national standard for offering interstate postsecondary distance education. As a result, Pitt can enroll students into its online programs from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands without additional or individual authorizations.
While the full impact of joining SARA can not be calculated until the end of this academic year, Pitt Online has already set a new high mark with out-of-state enrollments in just the fall and spring terms. To date, 44 new out-of-state students have enrolled into one of Pitt Online’s graduate programs this school year, nearly doubling last year’s total of 26 new out-of-state enrollments, and surpassing the previous high of 42 new out-of-state enrollments in 2012-13. This constitutes 33% of all new enrollments for the school year to date, the largest amount of new out-of-state enrollments since Pitt Online began in 2009.
As recently as 2015, Pitt was only authorized to enroll students into online programs from states who had granted specific authorization to do so (approximately 35 states). Since joining SARA last year, Pitt Online has enrolled students from six states where Pitt did not previously have authorization. We will update these figures once the summer term’s enrollment data is recorded.