Nearly 20,000 students are taking classes through WGU, including nearly 300 in Indiana.

Nearly 20,000 students are taking classes through WGU, including nearly 300 in Indiana.

A new agreement between the state of Indiana and a private online university will allow Indiana residents to use state scholarships to pay for tuition at the online-learning program. The arrangement is the first of its kind, but it could signal the beginning of a larger trend in higher education.

WGU Indiana is a new branch of Western Governors University, a private, nonprofit university designed for working adults trying to earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says he considers WGU Indiana, established June 11 when Daniels signed an executive order, to be the eighth state university—although it is technically a private program and will not get state funding like other colleges.

Daniels said WGU Indiana will help adults earn degrees at their own pace and on their own schedule.

“WGU will fill the clearest and most challenging gap remaining in our family of higher-education opportunities,” Daniels said.

The agreement allows students to use state scholarship money toward WGU Indiana—something not allowed before. Officials also hope the partnership spurs more adults to earn their degrees through the online program…

Read the full story on eCampus News.