U.S. Department of Education Pilot Program to Open Financial Aid to Nontraditional Programs

October 14, 2015

Breaking News

Experiments under the Experimental Sites Initiative: Postsecondary Educational Institutions; Invitation to Participate; Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs under the Higher Education Act (Federal Register, October 15, 2015)
“The experiment is intended to encourage increased innovation in higher education through partnerships between the participating institutions and non-traditional providers. In doing so, the [U.S. Department of Education] hopes to ...assess quality-assurance processes that are appropriate for non-traditional providers and the programs they offer.”

A New Route to Student Aid (Inside Higher Ed, October 14, 2015)
“The experiment could set the stage for an alternative form of accreditation that includes access to federal aid, said Judith Eaton, president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.”

A Boon to Boot Camps? U.S. Extends Aid to Campus Deals With Nontraditional Programs (The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 14, 2015)
“The U.S. Education Department is cracking open the door to federal financial aid for students enrolled in nontraditional education programs – and trying out alternatives to accreditation in the process.”

Financial Aid Will Now Pay for Coding Bootcamps and MOOCS (National Journal/Next America, October 14, 2015)
“[Eaton wrote] It’s an opportunity for accreditation as well: the partnerships would be with institutions that are already accredited and in Title IV and current accrediting organizations could seek to serve as an ‘entity’ under certain conditions.”

US Department of Education Opens Financial Aid to Students in ‘Bootcamps’ and Non-Institutional Programs (edSurge, October 14, 2015)
“What ‘quality assurance’ looks like—and how it will be measured—for these new hybrid programs is still emerging. In July, [Under Secretary of Education] Ted Mitchell wrote that ‘the normal mechanism we use to assess quality in higher education, accreditation, was not built to assess these kinds of providers.’”