Lawmakers consider ending recognition of online university

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Just a year after the online Western Governors University launched its Ohio affiliate, state lawmakers are considering eliminating recognition that lets its students benefit from certain state-funded aid, including need-based grants.

That’s part of the budget bill passed Thursday by the House. It now heads to the Senate.

The change was advocated by Republican Rep. Jay Edwards, a member of House leadership whose district includes Ohio University. He says the state’s recognition of the Utah-based nonprofit school was unfair to existing public schools in Ohio that are big employers, receive significant state investment, and already offer online educational opportunities.

WGU Ohio doesn’t directly get state funding. It argues that removing financial aid for adult learners in its competency-based programs doesn’t make sense for a state pursuing a more educated workforce.

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