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Is Higher Education Moving Away From Online Education Companies?


guy working for online education companies

Online education has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the early days of the internet. In the past, online education was often seen as a second-rate option, but that perception has changed dramatically in recent years. Today, online education is a viable and even preferred option for many students, and the market for online education is growing rapidly.


One of the key drivers of this growth has been the rise of online education companies, often referred to as online program management (OPM) companies. OPMs are companies that partner with colleges and universities to help them develop and deliver online degree programs. OPMs provide a range of services, including course design, instructional design, marketing, and student support.


OPMs have played a major role in the growth of online education, but their dominance may be coming to an end. In recent years, there has been a growing movement among colleges and universities to build their own online education programs in-house. There are a number of reasons for this trend, including:

  • Increased control: By building their own online programs, colleges and universities can have more control over the curriculum, the quality of instruction, and the student experience.

  • Cost savings: Building and delivering online programs in-house can be more cost-effective than outsourcing to an OPM.

  • Brand differentiation: By building their own online programs, colleges and universities can differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract more students.

The trend toward in-house online education is still in its early stages, but it is gaining momentum. As more and more colleges and universities make the move to in-house, the role of OPMs is likely to diminish. In the future, OPMs may still play a role in the online education market, but they will likely be more focused on providing specialized services, such as course design or marketing.


The future of online education is bright. As more and more students choose to pursue their education online, colleges and universities will need to adapt. By building their own online programs in-house, colleges and universities can ensure that they are providing the best possible education for their students.


In addition to the reasons listed above, there are a number of other factors that are likely to contribute to the growth of in-house online education in the future. These include:

  • The increasing availability of high-speed internet.

  • The growing popularity of mobile devices.

  • The increasing demand for lifelong learning.

The need for colleges and universities to be more responsive to the needs of their students.

I believe that the future of online education is bright. As more and more students choose to pursue their education online, colleges and universities will need to adapt. By building their own online programs in-house, colleges and universities can ensure that they are providing the best possible education for their students.


What federal regulations do third-party online education companies now required to disclose?

In February 2023, the U.S. Department of Education issued a new set of regulations that require third-party online education companies to disclose a number of important information to students and prospective students. These regulations are designed to increase transparency and accountability in the online education industry.


The following are some of the information that third-party online education companies are now required to disclose:

  • The name and contact information of the institution that is offering the online program.

  • The cost of the online program, including tuition, fees, and other expenses.

  • The length of the online program and the number of credits that students will earn.

  • The outcomes of students who have completed the online program, such as employment rates and salaries.

  • The methods that the online program will use to assess student learning.

  • The policies that the online program has in place for student support and academic integrity.

  • The financial relationships between the third-party online education company and the institution that is offering the online program.

These regulations are a significant step forward in the effort to protect students in the online education industry. By requiring third-party online education companies to disclose this important information, students will be better equipped to make informed decisions about their education.


In addition to the information listed above, third-party online education companies are also required to disclose the following information if they are using incentive compensation to recruit students:

  • The amount of incentive compensation that is being offered.

  • The criteria that will be used to determine how the incentive compensation is paid.

  • The fact that incentive compensation may create a conflict of interest for the third-party online education company.

These regulations are designed to ensure that students are not misled about the potential for financial incentives to influence the recruitment process.


The new regulations are effective as of May 1, 2023. Third-party online education companies that are not in compliance with the regulations may be subject to enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Education.


Frequently Asked Questions About Online Education Companies

What are online education companies?

Online education companies are organizations that provide educational content and services to students via the internet. They offer a wide range of courses and programs, from certificate programs to full-fledged degrees.

What future services might online education companies deliver?

Will online education companies become obsolete?


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