State Authorizations and Complaint Resolutions

The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) mandates that an institution offering postsecondary education in other States through distance or correspondence education must meet any requirements of the State in which a student resides. Plymouth State University is working with state agencies throughout the country to ensure the proper state authorizations are in place.

In addition, 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have signed reciprocity agreements through the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. SARA establishes national standards for the delivery of distance education programs and courses, reduces growing institutional costs to help support affordability, and expands access for students to educational opportunities. Plymouth State University may operate in California because of an exemption for public institutions.

Plymouth State University is one of 17 approved NC-SARA institutions in New Hampshire. Note that SARA agreements do not apply to professions requiring licensure. Please check with us if you have any questions about our authorization to provide online education in your state.

Complaint Resolution

The U.S. Department of Education’s Program Integrity Rule obligates institutions providing online education to share contact information of the state agency that handles complaints against those institutions within that state.

Plymouth State University is ready to provide guidance should you wish to file a grievance during your study in one of its online programs. You should first file a complaint with PSU for resolution, prior to NH Department of Education involvement and redress. Contact Plymouth State University at

How to file a SARA Student Complaint

If the issue is unresolved after you have communicated directly with your instructor, you may contact the New Hampshire Department of Education, Division of Higher Education.

There may be extenuating circumstances beyond your control that prevent you from completing coursework for a term. You should consult with an advisor prior to withdrawing or beginning the petition process. Petitions may also be submitted for variance of other college policies. Please review our policies for detailed information and forms.