Posted Date: July 25, 2014
Lynn Mahaffie, Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education
Subject: Draft Federal Register Notice Inviting Postsecondary Educational Institutions to Participate in New Experiments Under the Experimental Sites Initiative
Attached to this Electronic Announcement is a pre-publication copy of the Federal Register notice that will invite postsecondary educational institutions to apply to participate in new institutionally-based experiments under the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI). These experiments support President Obama’s higher education initiative. Specifically, and as announced in a July 22, 2014,Department of Education press release, under the experiments announced in this notice, participating institutions will be provided “with greater regulatory flexibility to design and test new approaches to student financial aid” As noted in the press release these experiments will:
Enable students to earn federal student aid based on how much they learn, rather than the amount of time they spend in class by providing federal aid to students enrolled in self-paced competency-based education programs.
Allow the use of federal student aid to pay for prior learning assessments, which can allow students—including returning adults or veterans—to decrease their time to get a degree.
Provide flexibility for an institution to provide a mix of direct assessment coursework and credit hour coursework in the same program.
Encourage college students to mentor high school students in the areas of college readiness, student aid, career counseling and financial literacy, through the use of federal work study funds.
The official version of this notice will be the one posted in the Federal Register in the next several days.