- The U.S. Department of Education has finalized its guidance on colleges and universities offering online degrees in states and territories beyond their home location, requiring that schools receive authorization from every state where domestic students do, or could pursue degrees.
- The guidance allows for continuation of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, which allows degree offerings in 44 states so far.
- According to Inside Higher Ed, some observers are not sure if the new guidance will be maintained under the incoming Trump Administration, which has shared on the record a desire to rollback several key elements of educational regulation.
Online learning, specifically through for-profit operations, is likely to be the first target of the Trump Administration, and any efforts made under its predecessor to limit or to regulate how for-profits do business, are likely to be eliminated under new federal oversight in the name of free enterprise and expanded opportunities for students.
For now, and because the guidance isn't slated to take effect until 2018, leaders will not likely have to react to any financial or regulatory consequences because the rule is unlikely to stand. But there should be some consideration for how the potential return of for-profit education and deregulation could impact enrollment and operations.