Can You Get an Education After Being Released from Prison?

Can You Get an Education After Being Released from Prison?

Yes, you can get an education after you leave prison. There are no laws that prohibit you from getting an education. In fact, studies show that education after prison can help reduce your chances of going back in.

What kind of education can you get after prison?

You can choose the educational level you’d like to pursue and the course of study that interests you. This might include returning to high school, applying to college, pursuing a trade school education, or working toward an advanced degree. Certain educational institutions may have different views on accepting former prisoners than others. Some schools even have special programs in place to help former prisoners.

If you apply to school, you’ll typically follow the same steps as other prospective students. You need apply, qualify and sometimes take entrance exams. Your status as a former prisoner doesn’t change this process.

You can attend almost any kind type of program as long as the school accepts you. There is nothing legally stopping you. Former prisoners have gone all the way from a GED program to a Ph.D.

Image depicting education after prison.
Image courtesy of Julissa Capdevilla via Unsplash.

Can you get help paying for your education?

Yes. In 2015, the Department of Education created the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program. This initiative helps fund people who have been convicted of a crime. In some cases, former prisoners don’t have a high level of access to federal benefits, but the Pell funds are an important exception.

Pell grants are federal funds that help you pay for your education. You can use them at universities, community colleges and vocational schools. But they pay for more than just tuition. Pell grants can help you pay for books, computers and even travel.

But some criminal convictions can prevent you from getting federal aid. If you were convicted of a drug crime, you cannot get federal aid right away. You must first complete a drug rehabilitation program.

How can you prepare to get an education after you’re released?

To get any kind of post secondary education, you need to have the equivalent of a high school diploma first. That can be an actual high school diploma. It can also be a GED. While you are in prison, you will have access to the prison library. You can use the books and resources there to help you study.

But you have other choices if you already have a diploma or a GED. Some facilities offer classes that can count toward a college degree. If you can complete these classes, you will be able to get your degree sooner after your release.

Image depicting an education after prison.
Image courtesy of Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash.

The Takeaway:

You can pursue your education after you are released from prison. Former prisoners can now receive federal aid to pay for school. If you want to get a college education you can earn your GED or high school diploma while you are in prison.

Want to know what kind of job you can get while you’re in prison? Care to learn more about what you can and can’t bring to prison? Stay tuned to How To Justice for more info about the prison system.

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