More Students to Gain Financial Aid for Online Learning

June 28, 2001

Walden University was selected from more than 100 applicants to help the Department of Education explore ways distance learning can increase accessibility and lower the cost of quality education online.

Starting on July 1, Walden will join forces with the 1970s when Title IV restricted schools with more than a 50 percent distance learning base from obtaining financial aid funding. The program is focused on assuring that the quality of online education is legitimate in order to justify changes in prevailing financial aid constraints.

“With the explosion in expanded education services being offered worldwide via the Internet, it is vitally important that we not only study the validity and strength of all education methods, but focus on making the most accessible type of quality education even more accessible,” said Kent Morrison, the president of Walden University.

The program allows Secretary of Education Rod Paige to waive certain financial aid requirements for the institutions participating in the program as a means to test quality. In exchange, Walden and the other institutions will collect specified data for analysis. Walden has agreed to study several components closely, including its faculty evaluation process, and will report specific findings from their education models. The combined results from all participating organizations will help the Department of Education evaluate the quality and delivery of these courses in the distance environment.

The Distance Education Demonstration Program also addresses issues discussed in the December 2000 Report of the Web-Based Education Commission to the President and the Congress of the United States. The program’s efforts will further the Web-Based Education Commission’s seven recommendations, two of which refer to funding and affordability. Richard W. Brown, the director of instructional services at Walden University, sat on The Commission chaired by former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey.

“With 31 years of experience, Walden University is singularly qualified to collect and analyze formative data related to course design, development, support and delivery,” said Gwen Hillesheim, the associate vice president of Walden’s outreach and academic initiatives. “With our quality assurance program, Walden University has widely recognized experience in the development of appropriate outcomes for adult learning and tracking. This practice will continue to explore the ways that Title IV can be employed more effectively and generously in the distance learning environment.”

This year Walden joins nine other new participants, bringing the total number of institutions in the program up to 111, located in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

About Walden

Founded in 1970, Walden University offers graduate degrees in management, education and the social and behavioral sciences – anytime, anywhere. Walden’s e-learning model is student-centered, and leads the industry in providing quality education without sacrificing students’ personal and professional commitments. Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Walden University has graduated thousands of students from all 50 states and more than 30 countries.