Experimental Sites Still Open for Applications

By Karen McCarthy, Policy & Federal Relations Staff

Nine different experiments currently underway at the Department of Education (ED) are still open for applications by schools, according to representatives from ED’s Experimental Sites team at the Federal Student Aid (FSA) conference.

The Experimental Sites Initiative, authorized under the Higher Education Act (HEA), as amended, tests the effectiveness of statutory and regulatory flexibility for participating institutions by providing waivers of specific statutory and/or regulatory requirements. The intended goal of the program is to yield data that will inform decisions about changes to regulations and statute.

The nine experiments, which have been announced intermittently since 2011, are listed below. Details on the experiments can be found in the associated Federal Register, or by emailing [email protected].

Title of Experiment Description For More Information

Pell for Students with Bachelor’s Degrees

An otherwise-eligible student who has a bachelor’s degree, but is unemployed or under-employed, may be eligible Pell Grant funds for enrollment in eligible vocational or career programs

Federal Register, 10/27/11

Pell for Short-Term Training Programs

Students may be eligible for Pell Grants in short-term training programs if the program is at least eight weeks of instructional time in duration; and includes at least 150 clock hours, four semester hours, or six quarter hours

Federal Register, 10/27/11

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

COA can include reasonable costs incurred by a student for assessments of prior learning; Federal Pell Grant enrollment status may include up to three credit hours associated with a student’s efforts to prepare materials for a prior learning assessment

Federal Register, 7/31/14

Limited Direct Assessment (LDA)

Programs offering a combination of direct assessment and credit/clock hours are allowed; An institution may include remedial coursework offered in credit hours or using direct assessment in a student’s enrollment status

Federal Register, 7/31/14

Competency-Based Education (CBE)

Split disbursement; Satisfactory academic progress; Subscription period disbursement

Federal Register, 7/31/14

Federal Register, 11/18/15

Federal Work-Study (FWS) for Near-Peer Counseling

The “matching” share of the FWS compensation will be reduced or eliminated for near-peer counselors, allowing 100 percent of Federal funds to provide FWS compensation to those students

Federal Register, 7/31/14

Second Chance Pell

Students incarcerated in Federal or State penal institutions, are eligible for Pell Grant funds

Federal Register, 8/3/15

Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships

Participating institutions may provide Title IV aid to otherwise eligible students pursuing a program of study for which 50 percent or more of the content and instruction is offered by one or more Title IV-ineligible organizations (non-traditional providers)

Federal Register, 10/15/15

Dual Enrollment

An otherwise-eligible student who is enrolled in both secondary school and an eligible postsecondary program may receive a Pell Grant

Federal Register, 11/3/15


Publication Date: 12/10/2015

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