Tag Archives: vocational schools

Federal Student Aid Rules Rollout

On June 16, the US Department of Education issues a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) dealing with higher education. Thirteen of fourteen issues under consideration were announced, with the fourteenth being taken under advisement. These proposals are shaped by testimony and subject to public comment. Here’s a round-up of the proposed reforms:

Student Eligibility for Federal Funding

• In the face of an increasing number of high school “diploma mills” (organizations that grant diplomas that do not represent the legitimate of a legitimate secondary school course of study) Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) and postsecondary vocational schools must find a way to validate diplomas that are in doubt.

• Students without a (valid) high school diploma would become eligible for federal student aid if and when they complete 6 credits of college credit.

• IHEs and postsecondary vocational schools must implement “satisfactory academic progress policies” (the policies that determine if—by the institution’s standards, students are eligible for financial aid; moreover, they must abide by them.

• The process for verification of information reported by students (and parents) on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be streamlined, reducing—for some students—the amount of additional information they will have to supply.

Consumer Protection

• The USDOE’s authority to act against IHE’s and postsecondary vocational schools that deceive students in advertising, sales, and/or marketing is strengthened.

• Changes to the rules about admissions recruiters compensations intended to help discourage recruiting practices in which students were pushed towards programs were a bad fit for them, either because the financing was beyond their likely means to repay, they were not qualified for the program, or they were unlikely to succeed in it.

• States—some of which have not satisfactorily establish an approval and monitoring process for IHE’s and postsecondary vocational schools—must now do so.

Course Eligibility for Federal Funding

• A new definition of a credit hour, which has here-to-fore not been standardized, and new procedures for accrediting agencies to determine if IHEs and postsecondary vocational schools are using the assignment of credit hours appropriately.

• New regulations on the amount of a program in one IHE or postsecondary vocational schools that can be delivered by another institution, and eligibility requirements for all bodies involved.

• New rules for counting repeated coursework towards eligibility for full-time standing.

• Closing loopholes in the student withdrawal from studies process so that unused funds are properly returned to the USDOE.

• Changes in disbursement to rectify the situation in which students who need their federal funding before the start of school (e.g., to purchase books) will receive it earlier.

For Profits

• In the proposal that is being held, the USDOE is considering requiring for-profit IHEs and postsecondary vocational schools

a) to disclose the program’s graduation rate and job placement rate to prospective students;

b) to disclose information so that the USDOE can calculate student debt and income after completing programs.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the for-profit schools were very pleased that the final NPRM was held for reconsideration because according to industry lobbyists, it could have a profoundly negative effect on the for-profit schools

More Information

You can find more information about the process here.

You can find a Microsoft Word version of the complete NPRM in the small “Related Resources” section to the right of the first paragraph of the press release here.



Technical Schools

Technical schools are available all over the world. They offer professional skills for some of the highest paying jobs. Plus, they provide a fast track to a career. Most technical programs require only 6 months to a year of training before the student is ready for the job market. With the rising cost of tuition and the lengthy amount of time it takes to get a degree from a university, technical schools are growing in popularity.

Technical or vocational skills are recognized for teaching job specific skills, rather than providing a broad education, like one that might be received at a four year college or university. They are considered to be practical institutions, which prepare individuals for careers in a timely manner. Students choose technical schools for a number of reasons. However, they are most popular because they are job specific and ensure that one will be ready for a certain career upon completion of its related program.

When selecting a technical school, there are several things one should consider. Location is an important factor. Due to the fact that there are hundreds of technical schools located all over the map, often one can conveniently stay in their current area to attend school. Also, tuition and fees are a major consideration. Generally, a technical school is less expensive than attending a university. However, not all of them are accredited or able to offer you financial assistance programs. Also, every technical school should have current information about job placement and how many graduates are actually placed in their career field.

For all types of occupations including, welders, certain types of engineers, computer drafting, dental assisting, hospital tech jobs, and more, technical schools assist students in joining the workforce with a set of specific skills. However, they are generally not as highly accredited as a university and often make it difficult to transfer credits around. On the other hand, there are many advantages to technical schools which may cause them to be the better option for certain individuals. Selecting any type of educational facility is an important decision that requires careful thought and research.