This week’s episode explores the potential benefits-- and the potential pitfalls -- of changing the main federal student grant program to cover enrollment in short-term training programs.

Congress is considering expanding use of the federal government’s main postsecondary grant program to cover enrollment in training programs as short as eight weeks. Supporters – community college leaders, corporations and advocates for a more skilled workforce – believe the change is essential to serve tens of millions of Americans who don’t have the money or time for degree and other longer-term programs. Those who oppose “short-term Pell,” though, say proponents exaggerate the quality and value of most short-term credentials and that this change will exacerbate existing equity gaps that leave Black, brown and low-income Americans behind.

In this episode of The Key, Monty Sullivan, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, and Amy Laitinen, director for higher education at New America, discuss the promise and the potential pitfalls of short-term Pell.  

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