Brewing Battle Over Pell Grants
Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed
Democratic presidential candidates are spending another election cycle debating the merits of free college. But in Washington, a fight is brewing over whether federal student aid should be available to people who pursue short-term training to land better jobs.
Bipartisan legislation backed by community college and business groups would make certificate programs, even non-credit-bearing courses, as short as eight weeks eligible for Pell Grants.
Supporters of the bill, dubbed the JOBS Act, say it would make an overdue change to better tailor the design of the federal aid system to the demands of adult students. It would also exclude for-profit institutions, which have been some of the biggest targets of criticism aimed at the short-term credential sector.