State Approval Regulations for Distance Education: A Starter List

Outline map of the United States

On October 29, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education (US ED) released the regulation requiring that if an institution is offering distance education "in a State in which it is not physically located...the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State." Institutions are expected to comply in each state in which they 'operate' by July 1, 2011.

To assist institutions in finding and complying with these regulations, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, Southern Regional Education Board, American Distance Education Consortium, and the University of Wyoming formed a partnership to create the following document:

State Approval Regulations for Distance Education: A Starter List with Addendum 2 (.pdf)
This is the revised version including an additional addendum released April 22.

A previous "Final" version was released on February 28, 2011, but several states contacted us with new information on revisions of their previous revisions.


This partnership is moving on to other activities on this issue, including advocating a delay or rescission of the 'state authorization' regulation. We will no longer actively seek updates. If we get more updates, watch this section for an addendum that we might publish periodically.

As of March 8, 2011, the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) "intends" to assume the duty of expanding and updating a state-by-state list of regulatory agencies. We will work closely with SHEEO and will share any information that we have gathered.

If you have questions about this document, send an e-mail to: