December 9, 2015 — Issue Brief

Distance online education is now the fastest growing segment of higher education. Most states, however, have abdicated their responsibility to protect the increasing number of online education students from predatory and illegal practices of for-profit education companies. Most allow out-of-state companies to enroll online students without complying with important state consumer protections for postsecondary students, as long as the companies have no physical presence in state. These states either exempt these schools from oversight or have signed weak state authorization reciprocity agreements that prevent state enactment or enforcement of postsecondary education consumer protection laws.