​U.S. tests expanded college aid for low-income students

moneywatch headlines

BOSTON - The U.S. Education Department says it will start offering financial aid for some nontraditional college programs that are jointly offered by universities and outside companies.

Federal law previously prohibited financial aid for programs in which at least half of the instruction came from ineligible groups outside the school, but the Education Department has chosen eight programs that will qualify for financial aid in an experiment meant to help low-income students.

Up to $5 million will be offered to students in the first year of the pilot. Programs include coding boot camps and a bachelor's degree in manufacturing offered by General Electric (GE) and Boston's Northeastern University.

Federal education officials say more working adults are seeking college degrees to pursue better jobs, and the industry must evolve to help them.