One of the most profound policy changes in U.S. higher education is happening right now. In 2020, in an end-of-year bipartisan spending bill, congress lifted the ban on Pell Grant distribution for eligible people in prison. The legislation amends the 1965 Higher Education Act to restore Pell Grant eligibility for eligible incarcerated people who are enrolled in an approved prison education program. What is an ‘approved prison education program,’ you ask? Well, you can read more about that here as we wait for the Department of Education to release final guidance from the negotiated rulemaking.
Every year in the United states, about 1.4 million high school students --or 9% of all high school students -- enroll in college courses in programs called dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, or dual credit. Once considered niche programs for a relatively small group of students, dual enrollment programs have now reached the majority of American public high schools and are accessible to a much broader group of students.
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