- Southern New Hampshire University now has approval from the U.S. Education Department to receive financial aid for students who enter its College for America program, which is unique in that it is self-paced and online.
- The move highlights a shift at the Education Department toward recognizing "competencies" as a unit of education in addition to traditional credits.
- The SNHU program allows students to earn associate's degrees by associate through a process by which they demonstrate mastery of 120 competencies.
From the article:
"... The Education Department is grappling with how to promote innovation while preventing financial-aid abuses. Southern New Hampshire, whose $2,500-a-year program was established last year with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has served as a guinea pig in that process. But other institutions are lining up behind it, hoping to obtain financial aid for programs that don’t hinge on credit hours. ..."