Prisoners will soon be eligible for Pell Grants

Prisoners, by definition, are not able to do all of the same things that the general population can. You can scratch apply for Pell Grants off of that list.

Starting next year people serving time will become eligible to receive Pell Grants to use towards their education.

The Pell Grant is a federal program that provides money to students to pay for school. It is a need-based program that approximately 30 percent of all students have taken advantage of. This year the maximum disbursement is $6,895. It is worth noting that Pell Grant recipients were eligible for up to $20,000 in federal student loan forgiveness under President Biden’s debt reduction plan.

Unbeknownst to many, incarcerated individuals are often still enrolled in school or education programs. They are generally encouraged as a way to fight recidivism. That fact was one of the key factors in making prisoners eligible for the grant according to US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

“I’m also proud that starting July 1, 2023, incarcerated students will have access to federal Pell Grants to enroll in high-quality prison education programs that we know reduce their risk of returning to prison and prepare these individuals to lead productive and meaningful lives in their communities,” Cardona said.  

The US incarcerated population is around 2 million.

Read the full press release here. (Department of Education)

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