U.S. Department of Education Announces It Will Expand the Second Chance Pell Experiment for the 2022-2023 Award Year

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On July 30, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced it will expand the Second Chance Pell experiment for the 2022-2023 award year. The Second Chance Pell experiment has provided education opportunities for thousands of justice-involved individuals who have previously been unable to access federal need-based financial aid. The expansion will allow up to 200 colleges and universities to offer their prison education programs with support from the Pell Grant program, up from the 131 currently participating.

To date, students have earned over 7,000 credentials, building new skills and improving their odds of success. Expansion of the experiment is part of the Department's efforts to expand access and equity in higher education. According to the Department, providing education in prisons is proven to reduce recidivism rates and is associated with higher employment rates, which will improve public safety and allow individuals to return home to their communities and contribute to society.

The Department intends to implement the legislative changes to allow eligible students in college-in-prison programs to access federal Pell Grants beginning on July 1, 2023. The Department has also announced plans to publish regulations on the program prior to its implementation and held public hearings in June of 2021.

Institutions interested in applying to participate in the new cohort of Second Chance Pell may submit an application to the Department. Applications will be open from July 30, 2021 for institutions to be accepted for the 2022-23 award year.

View the announcement
View the application
View fact sheet on Second Chance Pell (PDF)