Recent Media Coverage: Build Back Better Act Prohibits 900,000 Low-income Students that Attend For-Profit Colleges from Receiving the $550 Pell Grant Expansion
The New York Times
Democrats’ Bill Would Deny For-Profit College Students Extra Aid
By Erica Green | Nov. 12, 2021
(Subscription needed) When Megan Kern decided she wanted to enroll in Pima Medical Institute, in Phoenix last year, its tax status was the furthest thing from her mind. “That $550 may not seem like a lot to a lot of people, but that’s less money I have to worry about on my student loan, and less worry about what we’ll have to eat,” she [Kern] said. “Life is hard enough as it is already. Why would they want to make it harder for those of us who want to better our lives, just based on the schools we choose?”
The Washington Post
For-profit colleges fight exclusion from Pell grant increase in Biden’s spending bill
By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel | Nov. 23, 2021
(Subscription needed) “It’s a clear attempt to dissuade people from going to for-profit schools,” said Jason Altmire, chief executive of Career Education Colleges and Universities, which represents for-profit colleges. “We’re talking about disadvantaging students [at for-profit schools] in a way that doesn’t address accountability.” “There is going to be a debate on the regulatory side and the legislative side about the role of for-profit higher education. [Pell] is not the place to have that debate,” said Altmire of Career Education Colleges and Universities.
Inside Higher Ed
Using Pell to Police For-Profits?
By Alexis Gravely | Nov. 22, 2021
“In a House of Representatives with a five-vote Democratic margin, we were able to get 17 Democrats to support our position,” said Jason Altmire, president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities, which represents for-profit institutions. “We’re very confident moving into the Senate in a 50-50 dynamic that when an amendment is offered, we’ll be able to make the case that our students should be included.”
House Members Urge Inclusion of For-Profits in Pell Increase
By Alexis Gravely | Nov. 9, 2021
The group of Democrats wrote in their letter that passing the provision as is would "hurt students, not institutions" and wouldn't accomplish the objective of holding institutions accountable. "Congress has never passed legislation creating this type of distinction in the Pell Grant program," the lawmakers wrote. "We urge you not to break from that bipartisan tradition and hope you will ensure that all low-income students are eligible for the expanded Pell Grant."
The Business Journals
Build Back Better's Pell Grant provision prompts debate in higher-ed circles
By Hillary Burns | Nov. 19, 2021
(Subscription needed) "What this legislation does is discriminate against students who have attended a proprietary school because they've made the determination that their school is the best setting for them to pursue their higher education,” Altmire said. "And there's a lot of reasons why that could be - more flexibility, time to completion, a comfort level with having visited the school and talked to the administrators or whatever the decision is - why should a politician in Washington tell a student where they can and can't use their Pell Grant money?"
For-profit colleges fight exclusion from Biden’s Pell boost
By Michael Stratford | Nov. 15, 2021
Democrats “clearly hoped they would be able to slip this in and nobody would notice, and the process would move so quickly that nothing could be done about it. Of course that hasn't been the case,” said Jason Altmire, the former Democratic congressman who now leads Career Education Colleges and Universities, the main trade association for the industry. “It is clearly an attempt to dissuade students from going to a for-profit school,” he added.
Build Back Better punishes low-income students
By Jason Altmire | Nov. 12, 2021
Why would Congress choose to deprive the roughly 1 million students enrolled at for-profit institutions of this increased financial assistance? Instead of supporting the financial needs of students, the legislation punishes them for attending their school of choice — the one that best fits their personal situation and career goals. Our students will lead the way in implementing the provisions of the new infrastructure law, becoming solar panel and windmill technicians, HVAC workers, auto and aviation technicians, truck drivers, welders and many other occupations.
Higher Ed Dive
Biden plan draws wide ire for excluding for-profit colleges from Pell increase
By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf | Nov. 10, 2021
The move to cut out for-profit colleges from a Pell Grant increase "is a step in the wrong direction," said John Huston, the organization's vice president of government relations. The U.S. is still reeling from the pandemic's economic fallout, which has a disparate effect on low-income students, Huston said. Some of them want to advance their career prospects at proprietary schools, and limiting their aid would seemingly run counter to the Biden administration's policy goals of helping disadvantaged populations, he said.
For-Profits Push For Pell Grants
By Juan Perez Jr. | Dec. 12, 2021
(Subscription needed) For-profit college advocates and a list of trade groups want Senate leaders to include the schools in a Pell grant expansion President Joe Biden has proposed as part of his sweeping social spending agenda. “The current version of the bill prohibits approximately 900,000 low-income students that attend for-profit colleges from accessing the expanded Pell Grant,” organizations led by the Career Education Colleges and Universities group wrote in a Thursday letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate HELP committee chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.). “This proposal will disproportionately hurt minority students and will adversely impact workforce development for essential workers in high-demand fields.”
Furious For-Profits Excluded From Pell Grant Hike
By Jessica Calefati | Nov. 5, 2021
(Subscription needed) "This blatantly discriminatory policy will only harm low-income students who are trying to better their lives and improve their career opportunities," said Jason Altmire, the group’s president and CEO. “Congress still has a chance to fix this anti-student provision.”
CECU Press Release
Diverse Coalition of Trade Groups Urges Senate Leadership to Include All Students in Pell Grant Increase
Dec. 9, 2021
A coalition of 19 trade and professional organizations sent a letter to Senate Democratic leadership, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the Chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), today supporting inclusion of all low-income students in the Build Back Better proposal to increase the Pell Grant.
The Sacramento Observer
Pell Grant Increases Denied to Students at Career Colleges Under Build Back Better Bill
Dec. 16, 2021
This new proposal, if left in by the Senate, which is now negotiating the bill, puts the legacy of Pell Grants at risk. Moreover, it appears contrary to the principles of the Build Back Better bill to support low income people who may seek the less costly and convenient career colleges. A White House description of the bill says it aims to “expand access to affordable, high-quality education beyond high school."
Paul Fain | Dec. 16, 2021
A for-profit college trade group joined several industry organizations in calling for Congress to include for-profits in a proposed $550 increase to the maximum Pell Grant award. The Build Back Better Act would limit the increase to nonprofits. The American Trucking Associations and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing were among the groups that signed the letter from Career Education Colleges and Universities.
The Seattle Medium
Pell Grant Increases Denied To Students At Career Colleges Under Build Back Better Bill
Dec. 14, 2021
This new proposal, if left in by the Senate, which is now negotiating the bill, puts the legacy of Pell Grants at risk. Moreover, it appears contrary to the principles of the Build Back Better bill to support low income people who may seek the less costly and convenient career colleges. Democrats “clearly hoped they would be able to slip this in and nobody would notice, and the process would move so quickly that nothing could be done about it. Of course that hasn’t been the case,” Politico quotes Jason Altmire.
Graham: Build Back Better blocks Pell funding for career college students
By Michael Graham | Dec. 14, 2021
“We are working very hard with both Republicans and Democrats to carry that message that this is unfair, it’s unprecedented and we support what’s best for our students, which is equality in the Pell Grant program,” Altmire said. “We think it’s unfair and it’s unjustified,” said Dr. Jason Altmire, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based Career Education Colleges and Universities. “This has not been done before in the Pell Grant program.”
The Washington Informer
Pell Grant Increases Denied to Students at Career Colleges Under Build Back Better Bill
Dec. 14, 2021
“We need to do more to bring accountability to all sectors of higher education; however, punishing students does not accomplish that objective. Any accountability rules should be focused on institutions, not students,” said a letter signed by 13 Democrats encouraging a change in the bill that would allow the additional students to receive the increase.
CECU Press Release
Student Equity in Pell Grant Expansion is Essential as Build Back Better Moves to the Senate
Nov. 19, 2021
In response to this anti-student exclusion, 17 Democratic Representatives sent a letter in support of students at proprietary institutions, urging House Democratic leadership to modify the bill. However, House Democratic leadership refused to make substantive changes to the education provisions in the modified bill and did not change the Pell Grant provision before final passage in the House.
Federation of American Hospitals
Hospital Workforce Crisis: How It Affects Patient Care
Nov. 15, 2021
For-profit colleges produced 30% of the nursing degrees overall during the 2019-2020 academic year. That’s 55,438 new entrants to the nursing workforce. Further, 44% of nursing degrees earned by minority students are achieved at for-profit colleges and this new limit to Pell Grant funds could force students to decide to either receive more Pell Grant dollars or seek a nursing career. Fewer students – a large share of whom are minority – would have the opportunity to enter the nursing workforce if this provision is enacted.
Students need Pell grant increase
By Representative La Shawn K. Ford | Nov. 8, 2021
There are several excellent proprietary colleges headquartered in the Chicagoland area that provide traditional degree models along with advanced technical education programs. However, students at these universities will get no additional aid at a time when they need it most. I am proud to say that as State Representative and chairman of the House Appropriations Higher Education Committee, I have continually supported our own state-run Pell Grant program, called the Monetary Award Program, or MAP.
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
What's In, What's Out of the White House's Narrowed Spending Framework
By Hugh T. Ferguson | Oct. 28, 2021
"While a $550 increase to the maximum Pell Grant is a welcome upfront investment toward making college more affordable for low-income students, we are concerned to see these funds parceled out by institutional sector, which will add new complexity to a financial aid system on the verge of much-needed simplification. The best place to address concerns about institutional quality at some proprietary institutions should be in the institutional eligibility and accountability provisions in the Higher Education Act, not by making programmatic changes that add complexities to students."