Earlier this month, state and local education leaders and advocates gathered at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to discuss strategies for “dual enrollment for adult learners”—an approach we refer to as “DEAL”. These programs, designed using the career pathway model, can provide adults who don’t have a high school diploma or its equivalent with access to federal financial aid to support tuition or living costs by using the Higher Education Act’s Ability to Benefit (ATB) provision.
CLASP staff and a representative from the Mississippi Community College Board met with U.S. Department of Education (ED) staff to discuss opportunities for ED to increase its engagement with the field about ATB.
To help postsecondary institutions implement the December 2015 changes to the amount and qualifying program requirements for the Ability to Benefit (ATB) provision, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has released updated guidance.
On October 22, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) responded to concerns and recommendations from institutions and advocates, including CLASP, about implementing the Ability to Benefit (ATB) provision.
Students without a high school diploma or GED long have had the opportunity to show they have the “ability to benefit” from federal student aid by passing a federally approved test for which the federal government sets pass scores and defines testing procedures. More recently, Congress created a new Ability-to-Benefit (AtB) option, which allows these students to qualify for financial aid after successfully completing six credits toward a certificate or degree, instead of taking an AtB test.