QUARTZ: US students might soon be able to use federal aid to attend coding bootcamps

Career College Central Summary:

  • As college gets more expensive and wages for computer programmers skyrocket, more people are turning to intense coding bootcamps and online course providers to improve their job prospects without getting buried under debt. And they might get some unexpected funding help soon: The Department of Education is planning to experiment with letting students use Pell Grants to pay for these alternative programs, according to to the Chronicle of Higher Education (paywall).
  • The initial pilot project would let colleges contract programs out to ed-tech startups and coding schools, while retaining eligibility for federal grant and loan programs. It could end up opening funding up to many more non-traditional educators, Kelly Field writes. Currently, colleges can’t outsource more than a quarter of their instruction.
  • The biggest question surrounding the planned experiment is how accreditation will be handled. To start, the program would be limited to partnerships with accredited universities. The DOE is bringing schools, startups, and accreditors together on July 30th to work on quality control.
  • The availability of government funding could lead online providers to develop more comprehensive courses, and universities to take more chances. The program would be a big help to those exploring alternative programs, considering some bootcamps can cost more than $10,000 for a few weeks of instruction, and that highly tailored and independently verified courses are getting more expensive.

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