Laws, Policies and Rulings Concerning Online and Distance Students Part I

I am making three-part brief descriptions of several laws, policies, act or rulings that have relevance in online education and pertain to online and distance students because I believe that we should become somehow familiar to the different laws that may affect our online studies. This may become handy for us should we face any confusion or legal dilemma along the course of our studies.

The laws and rulings that I thought of including here are the 50 Percent Rule, the 12 Hour Rule, the Distance Education Demonstration Program, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act.

The 50 Percent Rule was a regulation that prevents the colleges offering more than half their courses through distance education and/or enrol more than half of their students in online programs from obtaining federal financial aid programs. This was created in 1992 to stop the acceleration of diploma mills.

However, on February 8, 2006, the Higher Education Reconciliation Act or HERA stopped down the 50-percent rule granting online students equal access to certain types of federal loans. This means that people who wish to study or continue their studies through online colleges have now more ways to finance their education whether it is just short-term certificate programs.

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