The 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act put in place a ban on Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated students, greatly restricting access to higher education for this population. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 signed into law in December 2020 lifted this ban, restoring Pell Grant eligibility and expanding postsecondary access for millions of incarcerated students across the country. As the Department of Education (ED) works to implement these provisions, it is critical to develop solutions that address the unique challenges experienced by incarcerated students navigating the financial aid application process.
To assist in the implementation effort, NASFAA convened a Pell Restoration for Incarcerated Students Working Group to examine the challenges, both existing and future, that incarcerated students may face throughout the FAFSA completion and aid application processes once Pell Grant eligibility is fully restored. In addition to identifying challenges and best practices learned through Second Chance Pell, the group will develop recommendations of steps that ED and/or Congress, as well as NASFAA, can take to ensure a smooth implementation that promotes postsecondary access and success for this important population. You may learn more about the working group, which consists of NASFAA members and individuals knowledgeable of the Second Chance Pell pilot, by viewing the working group's charter.
To ensure the group's work is reflective of the diverse experiences within both the prison education and financial aid communities, the working group has developed a survey to collect feedback from a broad group of stakeholders, including:
This survey opportunity is open to all interested stakeholders, including NASFAA members and non-members. We encourage all individuals with experience or interest in serving incarcerated students to complete the survey, including financial aid administrators, higher education in prison practitioners, and other organizations/government agencies.
The information collected in this survey will be used to inform internal conversations for the report and recommendations developed by NASFAA's Pell Restoration for Incarcerated Students Working Group. While individual responses may be shared with the working group, if the survey results are published only aggregate level responses will be shared, and individual institutions or programs will not be named.
If you have other colleagues who you think would be interested in completing this survey, please share the link with them. If you have questions about the survey or working group, please contact NASFAA's Research Department at [email protected] and someone will respond to your email within 72 hours.
Publication Date: 7/12/2021