Government Affairs

Bill with Short-Term Job Training Pell Passes House; Excludes Online Programs | Policy Matters (February 2022)

February 28, 2022

Major Updates

  • Bill with Short-Term Job Training Pell Passes House; Excludes Online Programs
    The COMPETES Act passed the House of Representatives in early February. An amendment to the bill establishes a new short-term job training Pell grant program. Unfortunately, this provision excluded any online-only programs. UPCEA has long advocated for short-term job training Pell programs, and we have and will continue to advocate for the inclusion of eligibility for students of fully online programs in the final bill. As the bill moves forward, we await the announcement of a conference committee between the House and Senate who will work on the discrepancies between each chamber’s version of the bill. Once that is announced, we encourage you and your institutions to reach out to your legislators and those conferees to ask them to keep short-term job training Pell in the mix, and especially to ensure that online programs are eligible. Read more


  • Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Discusses Gainful Employment, 90/10 Rule, New Licensure and Certifications Requirement
    The US Department of Education Negotiated Rulemaking Institutional and Programmatic Eligibility Committee finished its second session, and is now heading into its third and final session in March. The second session’s major topics included discussion on Gainful Employment (GE) rule — the qualification of student graduates’ debt-to-earnings rate calculations as marker of quality outcomes, which could disqualify institutions from receiving financial aid as a result of not meeting those standards. In its current iteration, a handful of negotiators signaled that they were unhappy with pieces of the draft GE language that the committee was working on. Another major topic of conversation were Financial Responsibility regulatory changes, as relates to the fiscal stability of institutions. The committee also discussed Certification Procedures issue paper with proposed changes on Program Participation Agreements. This includes new language which requires an institution to prepare students to meet state licensing and certification requirements for every state in which they have the program offered to students. This is an especially important, and potentially onerous, provision for those who offer distance education programs, but may also cause substantial problems even for in-person programs leading to licensure or certifications. There were temperature checks taken on agreement to the language with multiple negotiators providing a negative response.

    The last day of the second session ended with discussion on the 90/10 rule changes.The 90/10 rule is a restriction that a proprietary school can only receive at most 90% of their revenue from federal financial aid sources, and the other 10% must come from other places. Legislative changes to account for other federal sources of revenue, such as GI benefits and other federal funds to be counted towards the 90%, have recently passed. Similarly to other major topics, negotiators had negative reactions to the proposed language on these tweaks. Negotiators must agree on all language in each of the issues discussed to craft the final regulatory proposal. If the committee does not agree on language in the March Session, the Department of Education will craft language for public comment. Read more and provide comments and review issue papers here.


Other News

  • New Updates to US ED College Scorecard
    In early February, the U.S. Department of Education announced updates to the College Scorecard to make the tool more useful for students looking into postsecondary education. They have added several metrics that help students compare institutions to other colleges across costs, graduation rates, post-college earnings, and other metrics. The changes reflect the Secretary of Education’s latest priority setting of supporting and encouraging inclusive, affordable postsecondary programs that provide strong career outcomes for students.
    Read more. 



UPCEA is a proud founding and steering committee member of the Today's Students Coalition.

UPCEA Policy Committee

Mark Bernhard, North Carolina State University, Co-Chair
Frank Principe, University of Maryland Global Campus, Co-Chair
Kristen Brown, University of Louisville
Ricky LaFosse, University of Michigan
Reed Scull, University of Wyoming
Dick Senese, Capella University


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