Infographic "Pell grants for felons." A bag of money with dollars falling out of it.

Pell grants are open to most felons and can be used for educational purposes. Pell Grants do not have to ever have to be repaid (unlike student loans) and are basically free money that you can use towards tuition, books or other educational needs. Pell grants for felons do have some eligibility qualifications as listed below.

If you are currently incarcerated please read our article,  Pell Grants for Inmates.

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Pell Grants for Felons

Eligibility Information for Pell Grants

Just because you are a felon does not mean that you can not get a federal pell grant. There are some stipulations though as follows.

  • You can not be incarcerated in a state or federal prison or jail during during the time that you would receive a pell grant. You may apply for a Pell grant while you are incarcerated but must be released by the time you would will receive it.
  •   Drug and sexual offenses may limit your eligibility to get a federal Pell grant. All other convictions should not affect your eligibility.

Drug Convictions and Pell Grants

If you are convicted of a drug conviction and are currently receiving federal student aid or pell grants you may be suspended from those programs. Having a prior conviction may also bar you from successfully applying for loans or Pell grants.

There are several options that can make you eligible for Pell grants after receiving a drug conviction.

  1. Complete an approved drug rehabilitation program.
  2. Complete and successfully pass two random drug tests from an approved drug rehabilitation center.

After you complete either one of the above requirements you will immediately become eligible for student loans and Pell grants. More information about drug and felony Pell grants can be found here.

Pell Grant Amounts

The maximum Pell grant that can be awarded for the 2017–18 award year will be $5,920. You may or may not get that full amount though. The amount of the pell grant that is awarded is solely based on your income amount and how long of a time period you will be attending school.

Felony Expungement – In a number of states it is possible to have your felony conviction either expunged or sealed. Imagine having your record swiped clean! Learn more here.