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H.R. 496: Promoting Employment and Lifelong Learning Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 31, 2023.

Promoting Employment and Lifelong Learning Act or the PELL Act

This bill expands student eligibility for Pell Grants by establishing the Workforce Pell Grants Program.

Specifically, the bill requires the Department of Education (ED) to award Workforce Pell Grants to students enrolled in eligible short-term programs. Eligible programs are those that provide 150 to 600 clock hours of instructional time over a period of 8 to 15 weeks and meet other eligibility criteria.

An accrediting agency or association recognized by ED must determine a program's eligibility based on several criteria, including that the program provides education aligned with the requirements of in-demand industry sectors and occupations and meets specified completion and job placement rates.

ED must annually collect and publish information on the College Scorecard regarding each eligible program, including job outcomes. The College Scorecard is a comparison tool for information on school sizes, settings, graduation rates, average costs, and salary ranges per field of study.