Rather than propping up the old model, governments should make the new one work better. They can do so by backing common standards for accreditation. In Brazil, for instance, students completing courses take a government-run exam. In most Western countries it would likewise make sense to have a single, independent organisation that certifies exams.
There is already precedent for independent certifications: bar exam, medical boards, CPA, engineering certification. Even colleges acknowledge independent certification by way of giving college credit for high AP scores.
Since students are going into ruinous debt to acquire sonething that is the equivalent job qualification that a HS diploma used to be, gov't/independent academic certification would seem to be an idea whose time has come.
Sure, online courses & an independent exam may not have the same level of discussion/engagement as a classroom forum, but not everyone needs it.