ERIC Number: ED470251
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Sep-26
Growth in Distance Education Programs and Implications for Federal Education Policy. Testimony before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, U.S. Senate.
Ashby, Cornelia M.
This report contains early results of a study by the General Accounting Office (GAO) of the current status of distance education. Much of the data for the study comes from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, and education database covering more than 19 million postsecondary students. Findings show that overall, about 1.5 million of 19 million postsecondary students took at least 1 distance education course in the 1999-2000 school year. These 1.5 million students differ from other postsecondary student in a number of ways. Compared to other students, they tend to be older and are more likely to be employed full time and attending school part time. They also have higher incomes and are more likely to be married. Most students take distance education courses at public institutions, with more taking courses from two-year schools than from four-year schools. The Internet is the most common mode of delivery for providing distance education. Many students who take distance education courses participate in federal student aid programs. About one-third of undergraduates and graduate students who take all their coursework through distance education receive Title IV financial aid. As distance education continues to grow, several aspects of federal laws, rules, and regulations may need to be changed. In general, students at Minority Serving Institutions use distance education less extensively than students at other schools. Findings also show that accrediting agencies play an important role in reviewing distance education programs. Work to be completed by the GAP will examine in more detail whether additional actions are needed to enhance access to higher education while maintaining the integrity of the federal student aid programs. (SLD)
Descriptors: College Students, Distance Education, Higher Education, Internet, Online Courses, Student Financial Aid
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015 (first copy free; additional copies $2 each; 100 or more: 25% discount). Web site: http://www.gao.gov. For full text: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02914t.pdf.
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.