Across higher education sectors, too many students experience inconsistent programmatic quality and varying graduation rates, all while taking on loan debt that burdens them for years to come. These challenges grow as more institutions increase their online presence—a sector of higher education that, as it continues to rapidly emerge and expand, remains much less regulated than brick and mortar institutions.

During the three years prior to the pandemic, the number of students taking at least one class online—including those studying exclusively online— grew from about one-third to almost 40 percent, with about 40 percent of these students studying at an institution located in another state. There is no indication these numbers will decline, and as they continue to grow, students need a uniform, federal accountability standard to protect them regardless of where they attend school.

Read the report here.