House votes to offer permanent aid to online learners

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has voted to make permanent a pilot program that allows college students to receive financial aid for online courses.

A law passed in 2013 authorized the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency to create the five-year pilot program. It allows students who take more than 50 percent of their credits online from a college or university located in Pennsylvania to receive state grants.

Without an extension, the program will end on June 30, 2018.

The bill to make the program permanent is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

Rep. Tom Quigley (R-Montgomery) says his proposal is favored by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, Pennsylvania State University, and community colleges.

Quigley said during the 2014-15 school year, more than 5,900 students received grants that totaled $8.52 million because of the pilot program.

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