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The U.S. Department of Education on Friday released finalized rules detailing how to regulate colleges that offer distance education programs to students in other states. The rule, scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2018, requires colleges be authorized to operate in each state where their students reside. For example, a college located in Tennessee would have to fill out an application and likely pay a fee to offer online programs to students living in Nevada. However, the rule does recognize organizations such as the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, which grants colleges blanket approval in all states that have joined (at the moment, 44 plus the District of Columbia).

While the release marks the end of a rule-making process that has lasted for most of the Obama administration, it is not clear if the incoming Trump administration -- which has signaled an intent to remove regulations broadly -- will allow the rule to go into effect. Many conservative Republicans, such as the members of the House Freedom Caucus, have also outlined many of the regulations they are pushing to remove (and while the state authorization rule is not on that list, it was published after the list was released).