"Imagine being a Virginia resident obtaining an Ivy League education at a
school such as Harvard—without having to pay all the costs associated
with an out-of-state college experience. While that may not be possible
at that specific university right now, a new state law authorizing
on-line education reciprocity agreements between Virginia and other
states could make that a reality in the near future." reports Tommie McNeil.
Virginia is one of three Southern states approved for the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. Darlene Derricott with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia says they will impact distance-learning programs.
“If a Virginia resident wants to take an online-degree program in California and California has joined this reciprocity agreement – that student will be entitled to certain benefits and quality as well as consumer protection.”
Derricott says one benefit is that this allows students to enroll in specialized programs that may not be available in Virginia. Without the reciprocity agreement, students who want to enroll in out-of-state, on-line courses would have to seek individual state authorization. That can be quite burdensome and costly, and sometimes they’re not guaranteed full access.
This also allows non-traditional students who already have a full work load to complete degree programs more efficiently. Additionally, Virginia’s colleges and universities can now offer distance-learning programs outside the Commonwealth without seeking state-by-state approval.