Ashford University received permission from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) to merge with its sister institution, the University of the Rockies.

The parent of both universities, San Diego-based Bridgepoint Education, made the announcement on July 17.

Bridgepoint (NYSE: BPI) announced the proposal to merge the two institutions on March 13. The merger needs additional approvals from state regulators and the U.S. Department of Education.

WASC stands for Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Bridgepoint also said on March 13 that it plans to separate from Ashford, which will become a nonprofit organization. Bridgepoint plans to become an online program management company.

Bridgepoint experienced high revenue and enrollment in the period of 2010-2012. Both revenue and enrollment have declined since then.