Financial aid provides money, including grants, scholarships, employment, and loans to assist students in paying for college costs. Allowed costs include tuition, fees, books and supplies, living expenses, and other educationally related costs to attend college. Funding sources for financial aid include the U.S. government, state governments, private foundations, and the colleges themselves. Approximately $65 billion in federal funds were used for student financial aid last year. Until the 1992 Higher Education Amendments (HEA), federal law addressed traditional term-based academic programs. High-profile fraud and abuse by some colleges—especially correspondence schools—caused the U.S. government to heavily restrict financial aid for students studying through nontraditional academic programs. In an effort to prevent fraud and ensure quality educational programs, the 1992 HEA restricted federal funds for nontraditional education ...

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