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Most Frequently Asked Questions About Pell Grants
from Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Students
and Alumni

Author(s): Gaskill, S., Castro, E. L., & Aguilar Padilla, E.

Publisher: Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison

Year: 2022


Passed in December 2020, the FAFSA Simplification Act amendments eliminate the 1994 ban on Pell Grants for students in state and federal prisons; incarcerated students who enroll in approved prison education programs will be able to access Pell beginning in 2023.1 From fall 2021 to spring 2022, the Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison at the University of Utah conducted 21 focus groups with over 100 currently or formerly incarcerated students and alumni. These students are among the few who have already received Pell Grants through the Second Chance Pell Experiment, launched in 2015. Below are the most frequently asked questions and answers from student and alumni focus groups, using the best available information as of October 2022. The larger project from which these data are drawn, Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell, is a mixed methods research study examining the implementation and facilitation of the Second Chance Pell Experiment.


Last Updated: 10/11/22