Despite increasing intrigue over the last decade, short-term postsecondary programs remain ineligible for the Pell Grant. Do the benefits outweigh the cost?

Key points

– Pell Grants are one of the primary methods the federal government uses to encourage postsecondary enrollment.

– However, programs lasting less than 15 weeks are not eligible for Pell Grants.

– These programs cost less than half of what a traditional associate degree costs.

– Some short-term programs provide substantial returns, though some do not.

– Pairing expanded Pell eligibility to programs less than 15 weeks with strong accountability measures would allow more working-class people to upskill while minimizing the waste of taxpayer dollars.