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EQUIP Program Loses Support

Almost half the participants of a program aimed to provide nontraditional providers access to federal financial aid have pulled their support. Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (“EQUIP”) sought to help nontraditional providers achieve high-quality standards and positive student outcomes, but the program is taking longer than expected to launch. As a result, three of initial eight pilot programs are no longer part of EQUIP. It is uncertain why EQUIP is taking so long to develop, but one study suggested that many participants were unsure about how the program’s success would be measured. More on the EQUIP program is available on InsideHigherEd.com.

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TEACH Grants Becoming Loans for Most Recipients

A Department of Education study has found that 63 percent of TEACH Grant recipients saw their grants become loans. Based on the report’s findings, teachers whose grants converted to loans failed to meet the program’s eligibility requirements due to being unqualified in a certain field or recertification paperwork issues. The report also discovered that some colleges use the grant to meet students’ financial aid needs rather than to achieve the program’s intended purpose. One key finding revealed that colleges are more likely to use TEACH Grants to make a degree more affordable instead of guiding graduates toward high-need fields at. Read More.

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Need for State-Funded Financial Aid Slows

In its latest survey, the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (“NASSGAP”) revealed that growth in the use of state-funded student financial aid slowed in 2015-16. The total state-funded aid amount that year – $12.5 billion – is an increase of less than one percent from the previous year. The percentage is a big drop from what the NASSGAP measured from 2013-14 to 2014-15, when the year-over-year growth for state aid was around six percent. A stronger economy and demographic declines in various high-population states are being attributed to the small increase in aid. Learn more about the NASSGAP’s survey on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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