Last September, the New York Board of Regents issued new regulations requiring all degree-granting out-of-state institutions seeking to enroll New York residents in their online programs to obtain authorization from the Board. 

Although the rules took effect in September, the Regents granted schools a six-month grace period to obtain authorization. Only schools that are approved participants in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) are automatically exempt from this requirement.

There is a Catch-22: although the grace period expires on March 28, the Regents still have not put in place procedures to process applications for purely online out-of-state institutions, leaving those schools unable to satisfy the Regents’ new authorization requirement. Despite this conundrum, the Regents have thus far declined to place the new regulation on hold.

Now the Regents have announced that any out-of-state degree-granting online school that wants to continue enrolling new New York residents after March 28 must apply for and receive an extension. However, State Education Department staff who administer the Regents’ requirements have confirmed that if an institution fails to secure an extension it can continue to serve previously enrolled students. There is no indication as to how the Regents intend to penalize schools that do not secure an extension and continue to enroll new students.

Until the Board finalizes its new authorization procedures for purely online programs, affected schools have only two options; secure an extension or cease new enrollments on March 28. Requesting an extension now should be a high priority. Schools can obtain the extension form from the NYSED website. We will continue to monitor developments and provide updates as soon as more information becomes available.