ED sticks by controversial rule; online college officials concerned

For-profit schools such as Kaplan University or the University of Phoenix obtained certification from states years ago, so ED’s rule won’t affect them.

Colleges and universities recently detailed the procedures and costs necessary for schools to comply with the state-authorization rule.

Wyoming University (WU), for example, sometimes does not have enough in-state students to make a distance education course “financially viable.” Many of those courses would be eliminated if the university couldn’t enroll out-of-state students to fill available seats in the virtual classroom.

“We can’t offer many classes that lose money—thus the need in some programs for out-of-state enrollments,” WU said in a report published by WCET.

An analysis conducted by Minnesota State College and Universities showed that it would cost about $5.5 million for 32 Minnesota campuses to seek approval in 49 states.

And Connecticut’s Charter Oak State College, a small school beset by recent state funding cuts, projected that it would not afford to operate outside of Connecticut if forced to comply with the state-authorization rule.

The 40 percent of Charter Oak students take online courses outside Connecticut would no longer be served by the school, according to the WCET report.