Just one month after a virtual university became the nation's first fully online education venture to receive a stamp of approval from a major accrediting institution, a pair of reports were released that questioned the push to offer classes via the internet.

On April 7, the College Board issued a report warning that internet courses actually could hinder the progress of poor and minority students who have less exposure to computers than their white or more affluent peers. Another report, issued the same week by the Institute for Higher Education Policy, said colleges lack sufficient knowledge about internet courses to justify


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