State Financial Assistance for High Quality Non-Degree Credentials

For people who are interested in pursuing education and training that can lead to good jobs, high-quality short-term skills training programs can offer a route to increased employment opportunities and improved earnings more quickly than traditional degree programs. Yet many of these short-term programs, which confer non-degree credentials, are not eligible for federal or state student grant aid, which can make them unattainable to people with limited incomes. 

If we are to achieve a more equitable, inclusive economic recovery, states need to develop financial assistance policies that support the attainment of high-quality credentials that lead to good jobs and opportunities for further education and training. 

That’s why NSC has launched our State Financial Assistance for High Quality Non-Degree Credentials Initiative  

  • NSC will support three states – Arkansas, Minnesota, and Michiganas they consider how to make high-quality non-degree programs that promote racially equitable outcomes more accessible to working adults. 
  • This project builds on NSC’s work to help states develop and adopt quality criteria for non-degree credentials that can guide state policies and investments designed to increase the attainment of high-quality credentials. 

The State Financial Assistance for High Quality Non-Degree Credentials Initiative will provide technical assistance to states with goals to achieve three of the four policy reforms recommended in NSC’s Making College Work campaign – our comprehensive federal and state focused effort to make college work for everyone – working people, local businesses, and our economy. 

  • Making debt free financial aid available to working students, including for high-quality, short-term credential programs 
  • Ensuring all students have the support services, academic support, and career advising they need to succeed, 
  • Helping states have disaggregated data about short term programs and credentials so they can meet their goals around credential attainment and equitable access.  Making higher education and workforce outcomes data comprehensive and transparent. 

This project is made possible through generous support from the Lumina Foundation. 

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Making College Work

Making college work for working people, business, and our economy means adopting higher education policies that fully support working people’s needs, career goals and economic mobility - as well as businesses that depend on a pipeline of trained, skilled workers.

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