Pilot Program To Offer Financial Aid For Distance Learners
Career College Central Summary:
As more students enroll in online degree programs, the state financial aid agency is launching a pilot program to provide grants to distance learners. Lawmakers approved the distance education pilot program in the 2013-14 budget, which will lift the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency’s grant requirements and make more students eligible for financial aid.
Previously, students completing more than 50 percent of their coursework online did not qualify for PHEAA grants. But as a growing number of students — most of them adult learners with jobs or familial responsibilities that make it difficult to complete coursework in a traditional setting — enroll in online programs, the agency is changing its rules.
Schools have until Sept. 15 to sign up to be a part of the program and only students from these institutions will be eligible for the grants, which average $3,127, PHEAA spokesman Keith New said.
In the past five years, enrollment in the 90-plus graduate, undergraduate and professional education online programs through the Penn State World Campus has almost doubled.
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