This guidance is specific to the 2023-24 award year and later.
Effective July 1, 2023, a confined or incarcerated individual is defined in 34 CFR 600.2 as an individual who is serving a criminal sentence in a Federal, State, or local penitentiary, prison, jail, reformatory, work farm, juvenile justice facility, or other similar correctional institution.
Incarcerated students are not eligible for Direct Loans, but they are eligible for Teacher Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds. They are also eligible for Federal Pell Grants provided they are enrolled in an eligible prison education program (PEP).
Although incarcerated students are eligible to receive FSEOG and FWS funds, they may be unlikely to receive either type of funds due to the limited amount of funds available to the school and because of the logistical difficulties of a student performing an FWS job while confined in a correctional or juvenile justice facility.
For further information see:
Eligible students are subject to the cost of attendance (COA) limitations applicable to incarcerated students. Refer to GEN-22-15 for guidance. Also see the AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&A, Are There Limits On the Amount Of Federal Pell Grant Funds an Incarcerated Student Can Receive? (Award Year: 2023-24).
Student Aid Reference Desk: For additional information, try the Student Aid Reference Desk. It is a central hub of all the important financial aid resources you need with direct links to legislation, regulation, Dear Colleague Letters, and other ED and NASFAA references. It is updated on a rolling basis with the latest news and changes.
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