If All Charges Including Tuition, Books and Supplies for Incarcerated Individuals Are Waived Can the Student Still Receive Pell?

Award Year: 2023-24 KA-36655 Helpfulness Rating 102 page views

This guidance is specific to the 2023-24 award year and later.

No. According to SE-Q8/A8 on the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) Prison Education Programs Questions and Answers website:

"No. For a student to receive a Pell Grant, there must be at least some educational cost incurred by the student. Because cost of attendance for confined or incarcerated individuals only includes tuition, fees, books, and supplies, if the student incurs no charges for any of those items the student will not be eligible for Pell Grant funds.

Therefore, if your school wishes to award Pell Grant funds to students in a PEP, it must amend its policy and charge tuition, fees, books, and/or supplies to students. You may choose to include the cost of books and supplies in the individual’s tuition and fees, but in that case you must comply with the requirements under 34 CFR 668.164(c)(2) and maintain an arrangement with a book publisher or other entity that enables it to make those books or supplies available to students below competitive market rates and ensure that you provide a way for students to obtain those books and supplies by the seventh day of a payment period." 

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