WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University says it has won U.S. Education Department approval to move forward with its plan to acquire for-profit Kaplan University and operate it online as Purdue NewU.

The approval announced Tuesday follows an August approval by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

Purdue says the department outlined unspecified conditions that must be met. The acquisition also still needs permission from the Higher Learning Commission, the regional accreditor for both Purdue and Kaplan universities.

Some Purdue faculty members have criticized the deal, saying they’re worried about the reputation of Kaplan University and parent Kaplan Higher Education. Both face investigations and lawsuits in several states over hiring and recruitment practices.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels has said he hopes the online option will increase educational access to those who didn’t finish college.