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ERIC Number: ED569697
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Innovative Learning Models: Expanding Educational Opportunities for Students--Innovative Learning Models and Student Financial Aid. NASFAA Task Force Report
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
The rules, systems and processes that work for traditional, term based, brick and mortar programs do not always work to advance the innovation that currently exists within higher education, and the recommendations in this paper are the first step to help ensure barriers are eliminated that stifle this innovation. Innovative learning models provide a means for individuals to learn independent of time or place in order to earn a higher education credential that is credible to both academic institutions and employers. The Higher Education Act (HEA) and Title IV regulations (34 CFR 600.2), look at "seat time"--students completing a certain number of courses and hours within a defined academic period with certain requirements on instructional time. Reauthorization of the HEA, while keeping credit and clock hours, needs to create an alternative way of looking at higher education focused on evidence of student learning--what students actually know and can do--instead of time. Ultimately, the federal student aid system must be updated to allow for greater access to programs offered in innovative formats--that are not based on traditional credit hour or clock hour models. A guiding principle of this task force is to not stand in the way of students being successful and do what is best to meet both the needs of individual learners and the institutions serving these students. The recommendations proposed by this task force focus on accelerating time to degree completion, improving access, lowering total educational cost, and keeping student loan indebtedness to a minimum. In an attempt to create an explicit process to award financial aid based on actual learning and demonstrated competency rather than time spent in class, five themes emerge. The following themes set the platform for the statutory and regulatory recommendations: (1) flexibility for students and institutions; (2) accountability; (3) cost of education and federal financial aid; (4) complexity; and (5) barriers. Appended are: (1) Recommendations; (2) Resources for Innovative Learning Models; and (3) a Glossary.
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. 1101 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-785-0453; Fax: 202-785-1487; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Higher Education Act Title IV