Ed Dept expands Second Chance Pell program again

by Jeremy

Dive Brief:

Dive Insight:

The Education Department began the Second Chance Pell program in 2015. It aims to evaluate the effects of providing Pell Grants for incarcerated students. The program has had more than 22,000 participants across 30 states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons since its inception, according to the department. Under the Trump administration, former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos expanded the program in 2019, doubling the original cap on participating institutions.


DeVos said then the experiment had “shown significant promise.” Federal lawmakers last year moved to open educational access to incarcerated people, nixing a restriction in place since 1994 preventing them from using Pell Grants. The 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which former President Donald Trump signed in December, contained a provision that restored Pell Grant eligibility to incarcerated individuals by July 2023. These students must be enrolled in prison education programs approved by their state corrections departments or federal prisons.

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