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To balance innovation with protecting students, focus on incentives

Online education holds tremendous promise: it has the potential to lower costs, enhance learning outcomes, and make college accessible for students who lack the flexibility or means to attend a traditional program. As a nation, our goal should be to improve and scale the highest quality online programs, thereby reducing costs for students, and making the most of the over $500 billion we collectively spend on higher education each year. We should also do our best to protect students from low quality programs—and we should especially avoid investing federal money in programs that produce poor outcomes.

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