As online course agreement forms, some worry about state regulation

Complying with state authorization rules would cost $143,000 per college or university, according to a survey.

Colleges that offer online courses across state lines, after fighting a federal rule they call unnecessary and outdated, now are concerned about states’ regulatory power in deciding how schools should comply with existing regulations.

Decision makers from hundreds from online colleges from across the country gathered Oct. 3 at the Presidents’ Forum in Washington, D.C., where campus officials and policy experts parsed the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), pitched as a more reasonable approach to enforcing educational standards for schools that offer web-based classes in many states.

Online education advocates created SARA’s provisions after the federal government’s “state authorization” rules proved so onerous that schools nationwide said the costs of complying with state-by-state rules would force them to withdraw from some states.…Read More

New federal rule could have worst impact on small states

Online schools could face high registration fees in many states.

Colleges with online programs might withdraw from states, mostly in the northeast, that have small populations and stringent requirements for distance education courses when the Education Department’s (ED’s) “state authorization” regulation kicks in July 1.

Decision makers from online schools from across the country gathered March 28 in Washington, D.C. for the annual Presidents’ Forum, hosted by web-based Excelsior College. Presidents, provosts, and deans decried the state authorization rule, which will require schools to gain approval from every state in which they have a student.

Robert Mendenhall, president of Western Governors University, said during his address to the forum that certification fees vary widely from state to state, with many of the toughest approval processes in small states such as Massachusetts and New Hampshire.…Read More