U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (Democrat) and Marco Rubio (Republican) have introduced a bill to create a voluntary, alternative system of accreditation. Currently, only students attending accredited institutions of higher education can receive federal student aid funds. In addition, higher education programs must exist for several years before they are eligible to apply to receive federal financial aid. This bipartisan bill proposes two main changes:

– To create an alternative outcomes-based process that would allow students to use their federal aid at new providers and existing colleges and universities that demonstrate successful student outcomes and offer innovative and effective programs.

– To allow new programs, including college and non-college providers, to enter into contracts with the U.S. Department of Education so long as they are generating positive student outcomes.

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