Major discrepancy may exist because of the 'overly ambiguous and broad' definition of "online"

online-programs-learningColleges and universities may be drastically over-reporting the number of online programs at their institutions, a new report concluded.

The report, released by, said that the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) lists far more programs than what actually exists. While IPEDS, which relies on self-reported surveys, lists 3,311 schools offering online programs, ApprovedColleges only found 1,243.

So, if true, why the discrepancy?

"We found two major reasons why the IPEDS database seemingly overinflates the number of schools...

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