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Updated: Aug 19, 2021

At the end of 2020, Congress voted, with bipartisan consensus, to lift the 26 year-old ban on Pell Grants for people in prison. This means that incarcerated people will once again be able to access federal Pell Grants to pay for college courses. It is part of a sweeping package of higher education policies attached to the pandemic relief bill that congress passed, and President Trump signed.

Studies have shown that incarcerated individuals enrolled in education programs enjoy better employment prospects and higher wages upon release. They also are 43% less likely to return to prison within 3 years than those who do not take classes. Federal Aid for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) forms are available on the US Department of Education website.

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