Our lawyers have significant experience representing institutions that offer online education programs. We have worked with educational institutions to navigate the myriad of federal and state requirements that providers of online educational programs must confront.

We represented several institutions that were participants in the U.S. Department of Education Distance Education Program, which led to significant changes in the Higher Education Act with respect to the availability of federal student financial aid for distance education. We have assisted institutions of higher education to understand the state laws and regulatory requirements that apply to distance education, including requirements to determine whether offering online courses to students outside the institution’s home state constitutes a physical presence requiring licensure or approval by other states’ educational licensing agencies. We also have negotiated agreements between online educational providers and “bricks and mortar” institutions. Our experience also extends to other aspects of online education, including issues that pertain to areas such as intellectual property, student disabilities and student privacy laws.

Distance Education

Our experience includes:  

  • Assisted a university in obtaining changes to federal law to permit institutions of higher education to offer a greater proportion of programs through distance education.
  • Assisted a university on disability issues associated with online education.
  • Advised colleges and universities regarding state law requirements that impact distance education, including with respect to the development of state authorization reciprocity agreements.

Related Capabilities