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Congressman Taylor Introduces Bipartisan PROPEL Act

September 26, 2017
Press Release
Contact: Scott Weldon (202) 225-4215

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Scott Taylor joined by Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) introduced legislation designed to increase the flexibility of Pell Grants. The Professional Pell Education Learning (PROPEL) Act expands student choice by allowing Pell Grants to be utilized at trade and vocational schools. Modeled after the GI Bill, it authorizes nontraditional schools approved for GI benefits to be Pell Grant eligible.

"Pell Grants should have the flexibility needed for those who qualify for this 'hand up' to help get the skills needed to fill the jobs ready for them," said Congressman Scott Taylor. “There are currently thousands of unfilled jobs in our state and across the country that need skilled workers. Modernizing the Pell Grant program will increase student choice by providing those individuals who do not seek the traditional academic path with the opportunity to pursue the route that best suits them. The current demand in the workforce for this change is very high."

“Vocational and trade schools equip many Americans with the skills necessary to contribute to our nation’s economy,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “I am proud to co-sponsor the PROPEL Act and expand Pell Grant accessibility to those seeking to fill these important vacancies and learn the invaluable crafts and trades that our nation depends on.”

Background: Many states across the country, including Virginia, have thousands of unfilled jobs that do not require a four-year college degree. Candidates for these jobs are sourced from trade and vocational schools that offer short-term certification programs. While some of these schools are eligible for Pell Grants, many fall short of the Department of Education’s current eligibility requirements, specifically in regards to accreditation and duration standards. As a result, students who would otherwise be Pell Grant eligible are unable to receive federal financial aid to pursue shorter-term certification programs. The PROPEL Act is designed to address this education gap.

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