2nd Chance Pell Grant



Second Chance Pell

This experiment will allow participating institutions to provide Federal Pell Grant funding to otherwise eligible students who are incarcerated in Federal or State penal institutions yet eligible for release into the community, particularly those who are likely to be released within five years of enrollment in the program. Waivers(s): Section 401(b)(6) of the HEA; 34 CFR 668.32(c)(2)(ii).  The waiver does not apply to individuals subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense. 

To assist you with your action plan, we have provided guidance on how to implement, track and report the progress of the experiment.

Project Lead:

Action Status
q  Counter-Signed Amended Program Participation Agreement (PPA) on file

q  Attend available training webinars

q  Train applicable staff at institution

Consumer Information
q  Identify all Consumer Information documents and web pages that require updates

q  Schedule Changes

q  Make changes

Establish record keeping system to support evaluation
q  Create and maintain a database containing the information requested for the evaluation of the experiment
Policies and Procedures
Develop policies and procedures to ensure that the institution:

q  Partners with one or more Federal or State correctional facilities to offer one or more title IV HEA eligible academic programs to incarcerated students. If the correctional facilities or estimated number of students served under the experiment reported on the Letter of application changes, the school reports those updates to the Experimental Sites email address: experimentalsites@ed.gov

q  Works with the partnering correctional facilities to identify otherwise eligible students and encourage these students to submit a FAFSA

q  Only disburses Pell Grant funding to otherwise eligible students who will eventually be eligible for release from the correctional facility, while giving priority to those who are likely to be released within five years of enrollment in the educational program

q  Monitors the amount of Federal Pell Grant disbursement amounts to ensure the institution does not disburse total Pell Grant funds to students under the experiment in excess of the CAP placed on the institution by FSA


Action Status
Policies and Procedures (continued)
q  Only enrolls students in postsecondary education and training programs that prepare them for high-demand occupations from which they are not legally barred from entering due to restrictions on formerly incarcerated individuals any necessary licenses or certifications for those occupations

q  Discloses to interested students and to the Department information about any portions of a program of study that, by design, cannot be completed while students are incarcerated, as well as the options available for incarcerated students to complete any remaining program requirements post-release

q  As appropriate, offers students the opportunity to continue their enrollment in the academic program if the student is released from prison prior to program completion

q  Informs students of the academic and financial options available if they are not able to complete the academic program while incarcerated.  This includes whether the students can continue in the program after release, transfer credits earned in the program to another program offered by the institution, or transfer credits earned in the program to another postsecondary institution

q  Develops a plan for providing academic and career guidance, as well as transition services to their incarcerated students to support successful reentry and a process to submit those plans to the Department, when requested

q  Ensures that Pell Grant funds made available to eligible students through this experiment supplement, and do not supplant existing investments in postsecondary prison-based education programs by either the institution, the correctional facility, or outside sources.

q  As appropriate, reports the correctional facility on the E-App as an additional location if 50 percent or more of a student’s program can be completed at the correctional facility

q  Identify affected institutional systems such as  processing and disbursement

q  Plan for and make needed adjustments

Impact on other Offices
q  Coordinate with other offices such as Financial Aid Office, Bursar, Registrar, Academics and Accrediting Agency
q   Use the ESI Reporting Tool on the COD website to submit a reporting template to upload student and experiment-specific information.  Complete school surveys; provide narrative descriptions and evaluation information about the implementation of the experiment.


Helpful resources when revising policies and procedures:


Link to ESI Q & A