WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Education Department will not impose a $713 million fine that the agency's inspector general previously recommended against an online school.

Department officials said Friday that Western Governors University will face no fine or any other penalty.

A 2017 audit by the department's inspector general said the Utah-based school was not eligible for federal education funding because its faculty did not have "regular and substantive" interaction with students.

The school enrolls about 100,000 students who take online courses at their own pace. It was founded by 19 governors in 1997.

The Education Department opposed the audit's finding, saying federal guidance was unclear during the period examined. It has since been updated.

Department officials say the inspector general agrees with the final decision.

The school did not immediately provide comment.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Load comments