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Scholarships for Felons

When it comes to life, things happen. Everyone makes mistakes. While some of these mistakes can be minor, others can lead to serious trouble. For those who have faced jail time or have been incarcerated for significant crimes and felonies, life and its prospects can seem bleak compared to others.

However, it is essential to note that many groups work to support individuals who need a second chance, such as convicted felons. For those looking to pursue a college degree, one form of support is through scholarships for felons.

4 Scholarships for Felons

Here are four scholarships for convicted felons that can help cover costs from tuition and room and board.

Cappex Easy College Money Scholarship

  • Value: $1,000
  • Essay: None
  • Deadline: June 30

The Cappex scholarship is available to all students enrolled in high school or college or those who plan to enroll in the next 12 months. While not exclusively available to felons, minimal eligibility requirements make this monthly award an option worth considering.

  • Value: $1,000
  • Grade Eligibility: Enrolled in high school or college or planning to enroll in the next 12 months
  • GPA Requirements: None
  • Essay: None
  • Deadline: August 31, 2020
  • Other Requirements:
    • You’ll need to create a Cappex account to submit your application

The Prison Education Foundation Scholarship

  • Value: Not disclosed
  • Essay: Yes
  • Deadline: To be determined

The Prison Education Foundation offers multiple scholarships to both inmates and ex-prisoners. The number of scholarships available is based on the availability of donor funding. Preference is given to those who successfully earned their GED while incarcerated and those willing and able to pay part of the net cost of their tuition.

  • Value: Not disclosed
  • Grade Eligibility: Must have a high school diploma or GED certificate
  • GPA Requirements: None
  • Essay: Yes
  • Deadline: To be determined
  • Other Requirements:
    • Must be a U.S. citizen
    • Inmates must be within seven years of their scheduled release
    • Inmates must not have any serious disciplinary incidents within the past 12 months
    • Ex-prisoners must have been incarcerated in a state or federal prison, or a local jail, within the past 12 months
    • Ex-prisoners must have applied for and received all federal, state, and other grants and loans available to them
    • Ex-prisoners must already have received a scholarship from the Prison Education Foundation at the time of their release. If this condition isn’t met, the scholarship amount needed will be underwritten by a church, corporation, or other third-party donors via designated or restricted fund donations
    • Must be accepted into an Associate or Baccalaureate degree program with a regionally accredited college or university approved by the Prison Education Foundation

Transcending Through Education Foundation Scholarship

  • Value: Up to $1,000
  • Essay: Yes
  • Deadline: To be determined

The Transcending Through Education Foundation (TTEF) was started by three former ACI inmates who improved their lives through higher education. The scholarship is available to both incarcerated and formerly incarcerated applicants. The foundation looks for people who can demonstrate leadership qualities, community involvement, and a commitment to education.

  • Value: Up to $1,000
  • Grade Eligibility: Must be accepted to a program of vocational training or post-secondary education that awards a degree, a license, or a certificate by the time the scholarship is awarded (you may apply while awaiting acceptance)
  • GPA Requirements: None
  • Essay: Yes
  • Deadline: To be determined
  • Other Requirements:
    • Incarcerated applicants must demonstrate that the academic term will not be disrupted by release
    • Formerly incarcerated applicants must apply for the scholarship within one year of being released from prison or court-ordered inpatient facility

The Charles W. Colson Scholarship

  • Value: Not disclosed
  • Essay: Yes
  • Deadline: March 15

The Charles W. Colson Scholarship provides convicted felons with a college education and life formation program that develops them as Christian leaders. Numerous candidates have received this award to date. It requires the recipient to attend Wheaton College’s undergraduate or graduate school, or the correctional ministries credential program. Wheaton College is located in Wheaton, Illinois.

  • Value: Not disclosed; assists with tuition and on-campus room and board
  • Grade Eligibility: Must possess a high school diploma or GED
  • GPA Requirements: None
  • Essay: Yes
  • Deadline: March 15
  • Other Requirements:
    • Be a Christian
    • Be a U.S. citizen
    • Have a felony record that does not include a sexual offense, arson, or repeat violent offenses
    • Be out of jail or prison for at least one full year by April 1 of the application year
    • Be established in a local church
    • Have a reference from a professional mentor and friend
    • Apply to Institute for Prison Ministries Certificate Program
    • Be accepted into Wheaton College

Recap of Scholarships for Felons

Cappex$1,000August 31, 2020
Prison Education FoundationNot disclosedTo be determined
TTEFUp to $1,000To be determined
Charles W. ColsonNot disclosedMarch 15

Next Steps

To compare additional scholarship opportunities, you can check out the guides below: