Grants For Ex Offenders – For the convicted felons, it is not easy to re-entry into the society. Meanwhile, they have gone all the process for their criminal justice, spent some amount of money to pay their debts and other daunting tasks. It is not easy to them to get good opportunities to start their free world because they might lose their civil rights with the criminal record that makes them lost tie to family and friends.
They have to struggle to start their new chapter to be a productive member in their community and fortunately, to support this action and for those who have the same experience in this situation, some grant programs are possible to go with. These programs are made by federal government.
Places To Start Grants For Ex Offenders
- The Second Chance Act
Basically, it is a federal government program that is designed into law in 2008. They distributed hundreds of million dollars to federal agencies. The collected funds support the Department of Labor’s ex-offender so the ex-offenders can re-entry job training programs, re-educated by state and non-profit organization program, provided them counseling and abuse treatment as well as job placement.
The fund distribution is available annually through the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). This program is available for state, local, territorial as well as tribal governments with various programs starting from training programs to adult and juvenile mentoring educational program.
If you want to get any information about the Second Chance Act mentorship program grants for example Juvenile Mentoring Initiative or annual solicitations for the project proposals, you can basically check it on their National Re-entry Resource Center website by visiting https://csgjusticecenter.org/nrrc/projects/second-chance-act.
- Federal Student Aid
It depends on the state the ex-offenders live in and you can find many ex-offenders with the need of housing assistance, welfare programs as well as student aid. The Federal Student Aid program is under the Department of Education (DOE). They provide Pell Grants that supports many ex-convicts to get grants for higher education level.
The DOE guide mentioned that it is possible for ex-offender to receive federal grants to get higher level of education so long with the requirement that they were not convicted of distributing as well as possessing illegal drugs while accepting student aid.
To apply these grants can be obtained through the DOE free application for federal student aid, you can join the program for example: https://fafsa.ed.gov/
So, it is truly true that there is a big misconception that it is impossible for ex-offenders are eligible to get financial aid. Many people who have felony convictions is getting financial aid, but only few know that and others don’t apply. Therefore, don’t let yourself miss your chance to go to college just because of this misconception.
The first step you should do is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) because the FAFSA will be the determine whether you are eligible or not to get the financial aid.
To be eligible to get this aid, there are some requirements as below:
- You must be U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Have valid social security number. It doesn’t matter if you are from Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia as well as republic or Palau.
- If required, comply with Selective Service registration
- Have certificate of high school diploma or General Education Development (GED), or pass an approved ability to benefit (ATB) test
- Accepted for enrollment or be enrolled as a regular student, having a degree or certificate of an eligible program at school that involves you in federal student aid programs
Other requirements you have to know more:
- Have no certain drug convictions
- Have financial need, but not unsubsidized Stafford Loans
- Must not be in default on federal student loan or not owe a refund on federal grant
If you need a help to determine about your eligibility, we have a guide for you by reading the FAFSA Drug Conviction Worksheet, PDF that will direct you so you can complete the FAFSA online.
You can use the FAFSA Drug Conviction Worksheet to give you respond so you know whether you are eligible or not. In some cases, you can be unqualified unless you complete an acceptable drug rehabilitation program so you can be eligible after that.
Don’t worry because if you are not eligible for federal aid, there is an opportunity to be eligible for school or state financial aid.
Once you are eligible for federal financial aid, for instance, if your eligibility date arrives or if you achieve an acceptable drug rehabilitation program, it is important to notify your financial aid administrator at school.
- Ex-Offender Veteran Assistance
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management of the Department of Labor was instructed by Congress to distribute about 4 million dollars for grants to state and local governments in 2010. They also provided the grants for nonprofit groups under Incarcerated Veteran Transition Programs.
The grants are awarded to commercial treatment centers, governmental workforce investment boards and nonprofit organizations to provide employment training, housing, health, and education care for ex-offender veterans if you need grants for ex-offenders.
For those who are eligible to apply the program, they provide about 700,000, dollars maximum and 35,000 dollars minimum. The applications for grants under the program are possible to find through the Department of Labor and visit http://www.grants.gov/
For student aid, it is important to note that if you were convicted for selling or possessing illegal drugs and the offense happened to you while you were receiving federal student aid such as loans or grants or you were enrolled in school for those things, your eligibility to get federal student aid will be suspended.
But, it is possible for you to be qualified for financial aid from other things such as funds from your school or get scholarship.
In case that you were convicted before enrolled in school or you were not receiving any financial aid from federal at that time, you can apply the federal student aid and try your chance.
So, those are the information of grants for ex offenders to start, don’t give up and help yourself to accept what you have to get.