Education Dept. Restores Pell Eligibility for Victims of School Closures

The Trump administration has retroactively restored financial aid eligibility to some 300,000 students who attended now-shuttered institutions, reported The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Last fall, the U.S. Education Department—under the Obama administration and at the urging of Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)—agreed to use its authority to restore the Pell eligibility of students who had attended colleges that had suddenly closed. The decision applied to tens of thousands of students who used Pell grants to attend the for-profit Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institutes. In April of this year, the Trump administration announced that it would follow through on the plan.

The Education Department has restored some Pell eligibility for 288,969 students at 841 colleges that closed between 2001 and 2016, according to a November 9 email from a department official to Murray's office.

"Secretary DeVos has been clear that harmed students must and will be helped. Pell restoration is an important part of the department's overall focus on putting students' needs first and ensuring they have access to the resources necessary to complete their higher-education goals," department spokeswoman Elizabeth Hill said in a written statement.

In response, Sen. Murray said that this is a "first step" toward "opening the doors of opportunity for low-income students."

"I'm pleased the department listened to my request and has taken steps to give hundreds of thousands of students another chance at higher education," she said, "after being left in the lurch by for-profit colleges that cheated their students and ultimately collapsed."


Related Links

The Chronicle of Higher Education