A proposed compact among the states unveiled by educational organizations and state officials Thursday would create a kind of common market for online education and make it easier for institutions to enroll students anywhere in the country.The proposal would set some uniform consumer protections, which could give students in some states more recourse to complain to regulators, though it could weaken state oversight in places that already have strict rules.Nearly 7 million U.S. students are currently accessing college courses online, but the regulations that authorize the universities and companies that provide those courses to operate vary from state to state. Many date to the pre-Internet era when colleges operated only in the state where they were located.That confusion has somewhat hampered the spread of online options for students. While most for-profit and large nonprofit online providers have invested the time and money to get approval to enroll students in all 50 states, others have turned away students from states like Arkansas, Minnesota and Massachusetts where the barriers to gaining approval to operate are higher.The proposed compact -- a kind of treaty among the states -- unveiled Thursday will require voluntary buy-in from all the states, which in some cases will require legislation. Some states that imposed tighter requirements may be reluctant to join. But organizers said the agreement represents extensive work with input from all constituencies, and they hope that representatives of 47 states meeting this weekend in Indianapolis will start taking steps to implement it.