EQUIP (Educational Quality through Innovation Partnerships) is a new federal education program that focuses on providing students financial aid and access to innovative learning and training opportunities at an affordable cost.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the EQUIP pilot program will allow students for the first time to access federal student aid for enrollment in programs where more than 50% of the coursework is offered by non-traditional training providers, in partnership with colleges and universities, including coding boot camps, online courses, and employer organizations.

The goal of EQUIP is to: (1) test new ways of allowing Americans from all backgrounds access to innovative learning and training opportunities that lead to good jobs, but that fall outside the current financial aid system; and (2) strengthen approaches for outcomes-based quality assurance processes that focus on student learning and other outcomes.

StraighterLine and Brookhaven College are among a select few non-traditional course providers and public colleges invited to participate in the EQUIP pilot program. Although up to 75% of the degree program can be completed through StraighterLine, course credit and associate degree will be awarded by Brookhaven College, one of seven public community colleges in the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD).

Through EQUIP, students will be able to use Pell Grants and eligible federal student loans to pay for the programs offered by the participating non-traditional providers and their colleges and university partners.