The new legislation to expand the eligibility of the Peel Grant for students enrolled in short-term skills and job training programs has extensive support in Congress, although it excludes students who attend these programs. Online, a provision of some community university leaders and online education advocates call an error.

The legislation, which the House of Representatives approved on February 4, is now addressed to the Conference Committee, where legislators will hammer a final invoice. The bill approved the Senate last year, but without an amendment, the bill of the house was included, which contains the expansion language of the GEGA subsidy. The language requires allowing the Pell subsidies to apply to any short-term program with "at least 150 hours of timeout time during a period of at least 8 weeks", as long as it is not mainly delivered online.

CINZIA D'IORIO, Dean of Continuing Education at the Bergen Community College, said it is delighted with the possibility of expanding the eligibility of the GEG subsidy for short-term programs, That she said that she has benefited many students in her institution. But D'Iorio questioned why online programs have been excluded, especially since many high-quality, short-term online programs have been created by community colleges in the middle of the pandemic. D'Iorio said that Bergen CC has seen a strong signal in interest in short-term online certification courses, which would be excluded from the expansion of the Pell grant.

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