A new paradigm, in which online education will inevitably play a significant role, must be created. Five major trends are driving the demand for online education: cost, government support and intervention, assessment, a shift in credentialing and demographics. Many stakeholders in higher education have resisted addressing the role of online education. Online education can provide an appropriate framework for competency-based education. As the Internet exploded in the 1990s, interest in online education accelerated. A robust technological platform for online education is now in place at most colleges and universities, and third-party vendors can provide a platform for those who believe their technology is inadequate to support online programs. More commonly, units concerned with professional education and continuing education have pioneered the entry to online education. The road to incorporating online education into the mainstream of higher education is long and hard, and is an ongoing process.