(from the New York Times):

By Patricia Cohen

Hoping to offer more alternatives, particularly to low-income students considering substandard for-profit colleges, the Education Department is unveiling a pilot program on Wednesday to allow students to use federal loans and grants for nontraditional education like boot camp software coding programs and MOOCs, or massive open online courses.

At the moment, only programs offered by accredited schools are eligible to receive federal student aid and loans. This initiative would sidestep that regulation by permitting aid to flow to students who enroll in experimental programs approved by the Education Department.

The pilot would rely on its own quality assurance measures rather than depend on accreditation panels, which have come under fire in recent years from both Congress and education experts for failing to adequately monitor poorly performing institutions. CONTINUE READING HERE