Concord Law School, the first fully online law school, has announced its merger with Kaplan University, making it the first online law school with regional accreditation.

Based in Davenport, Iowa, Kaplan University provides a number of online degrees, including law degrees, to more than 27,000 students. Los Angeles-based Concord Law School was founded in 1998 and serves about 1,500 students. Most are mid-career professionals, 40 percent of whom already have graduate degrees. Both Concord Law School and Kaplan University are owned by Kaplan Higher Education Corporation. Concord Law School is now Concord Law School of Kaplan University. Because Kaplan University is regionally accredited, the merger will make Concord students eligible for federal student loans and allow them to defer their past student loan payments. The merger will also allow the schools to expand course offerings to students and provide joint programs. “This merger makes Concord Law School part of a regionally accredited University, which adds a level of prestige to the rigorous legal education that we provide to our online students,” Barry Currier, dean of Concord Law School of Kaplan University, said in a statement. The eligibility for loans will also make the school more accessible to students who may not otherwise have been able to pursue a law degree, he said.