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ERIC Number: ED527058
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 56
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Higher Education: Use of New Data Could Help Improve Oversight of Distance Education. Report to Congressional Requesters. GAO-12-39
Scott, George A.
US Government Accountability Office
As the largest provider of financial aid in higher education, with about $134 billion in Title IV funds provided to students in fiscal year 2010, the Department of Education (Education) has a considerable interest in distance education. Distance education--that is, offering courses by the Internet, video, or other forms outside the classroom--has been a growing force in postsecondary education and there are questions about quality and adequate oversight. US Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to determine (1) the characteristics of distance education today, (2) the characteristics of students participating in distance education, (3) how the quality of distance education is being assessed, and (4) how Education monitors distance education in its stewardship of federal student aid funds. GAO reviewed federal laws and regulations, analyzed Education data and documents, and interviewed Education officials and industry experts. GAO also interviewed officials from accrediting and state agencies, as well as 20 schools--which were selected based on a variety of factors to represent diverse perspectives. To improve its oversight and monitoring of federal student aid funds, Education should develop a plan on how it could best use the new distance education data NCES is collecting and provide input to NCES on future data collections. Education agreed with the recommendation. Appended are: (1) Objectives, Scope, and Methodology; (2) List of Colleges and Universities GAO Interviewed; (3) Comments from the Department of Education; and (4) GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments. (Contains 1 table, 9 figures and 59 footnotes.)
US Government Accountability Office. 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: US Government Accountability Office