ED Clarifies Federal Pell Grant Eligibility for Students In Juvenile Justice Facilities

Juvenile justice facilities are not considered federal or state penal institutions and therefore, students who are confined or incarcerated in juvenile justice facilities are eligible for Federal Pell Grants, according to Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) GEN 14-21 issued by the Department of Education (ED). Of course, students must be otherwise eligible in order to receive a Pell Grant.

ED defines a juvenile justice facility as “all public or private residential facilities that are operated primarily for the care and rehabilitation of youth who, under State juvenile justice laws (1) are accused of committing a delinquent act; (2) have been adjudicated delinquent; or (3) are determined to be in need of supervision.” The DCL also stipulates that juvenile justice facilities are not considered to be Federal or State penal institutions, “regardless of what governmental entity operates or has jurisdiction over the facility, including a Federal government or state.”

Institutions will be responsible for determining whether a facility is a juvenile justice facility as defined in the DCL. ED suggests that “institutions consult with their counsel and appropriate State official or juvenile justice agency” to make this determination.

The DCL contains a comprehensive Q&A, which includes other details and frequently asked questions.


Publication Date: 12/9/2014

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