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Breaking News: House to Consider Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act

Breaking News: House to Consider Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act

HOUSE TO CONSIDER BIPARTISAN WORKFORCE PELL ACT

The House of Representatives is scheduled to consider the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act (H.R. 6585) as soon as next week. The Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act expands Pell Grant eligibility to short-term programs at all eligible institutions (including for-profit institutions). The legislation was previously approved by the House Education and Workforce Committee by a vote of 37–8 in favor of the legislation.

Under the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act, programs resulting in certainhigh-skill, high wage outcomes with at least 150 “clock hours” of instruction, but less than 600 hours are eligible to participate in the extension of the Pell Grant program. Eligibility in the short-term Federal Pell Grant program is conditioned on the following:

  • Determination from a workforce board that the program’s curriculum satisfies the requirements of high-skill, high-wage, or in-demand industries;
  • Approval from an accreditor that the program meets other standards such as providing a recognized postsecondary credential; and
  • Additional approval from the Department that the institution has satisfied its eligibility requirements

While the legislation may pass the House with Republican support, it remains to be seen whether the legislation will garner sufficient support to pass the Senate. The Senate previously introduced a bipartisan bill titled the JOBS Act that prohibited for-profit institutions from participating in the program. The Senate HELP committee postponed a markup of the bill this past summer, and it has yet to reschedule the markup.

Passage of this legislation represents a victory for all privately owned, for-profit colleges, to the extent it is a major pushback on attempts to exclude for-profit institutions from federal student aid programs. AACS is hopeful that this bipartisan momentum will continue in other areas of importance to AACS member schools.

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The first week of the June finds only 14 state legislatures actively meeting. Recent and upcoming legislative adjournments include Louisiana on June 3 and New York on June 6. 

Another four states – Arizona, Delaware, New Hampshire and Rhode Island – will be adjourning their respective 2024 legislative sessions at the end of the month.

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