Pell Grants for Short-Term Programs
The Rationale and the Risks

November 1, 2017
The Institute for College Access & Success

While some workforce and education advocates recommend expanding Pell Grants to cover instructional programs shorter than 15 weeks, many questions remain about whether and how to do so. Current Pell Grant eligibility rules were put in place to protect students and taxpayers from abuse, and these and other concerns must be carefully considered and addressed before relaxing these very same rules. This two-pager briefly describes short-term programs and what we know about their pay-off for students, and poses critical questions for advocates and policymakers considering the merits of loosening Pell Grants standards for these programs.