An incarcerated student is a student serving a criminal sentence in a penitentiary, prison, jail, reformatory, work farm, or similar correctional institution, whether it is operated by a government agency or by a contractor to a government entity. Students are not considered to be incarcerated if they are in a halfway house, home detention, or sentenced to serve only on weekends.
A student is required to disclose his/her incarceration at the time they receive notice of acceptance into college or if they become incarcerated while enrolled in college. The disclosure should be made in writing, via letter or email, to the Office of Financial Aid and should include the following information:
- student’s name and ID number;
- name of the institution in which the student is incarcerated;
- date incarceration began; and
- expected release date.
Incarcerated students are not eligible to receive Federal Direct Stafford Loans. Students incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution are not eligible for Federal Pell Grants; however, those incarcerated in local facilities may be eligible.
The cost of attendance (COA) for incarcerated students can only include tuition and fees and required books and supplies.
To maintain eligibility to participate in Federal Title IV programs, incarcerated students may not make up more than 25% of all admitted or enrolled students.