The Pell Grant is targeted to students with the greatest financial need, and many policymakers find the Pell Grant a useful policy lever for promoting access and success for students from lower- and moderate-income backgrounds.

This report provides new information about Pell enrollments and degree completion rates for for-profit colleges and universities. Specifically, the study shows for-profit colleges that predominantly award certificates tend to have higher Pell Grant access and completion rates than other types of for-profits, although research consistently finds certificate programs provide weaker economic returns than other postsecondary credentials.

Additionally, the report shows completion rates for Pell Grant students at for-profits are increasing at a much slower pace (half a percentage point per year) than at public and non-profit institutions.