Lewis Awarded Second Chance Pell by U.S. Dept of Education

Lewis University Awarded Second Chance Pell by U.S. Department of Education

Published: April 26, 2022.

Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., is among 73 institutions newly approved by the Department of Education to participate in the  Second Chance Pell Grant Experiment. The announcement by the Department on April 26 brings the total number of institutions nationally to 200. The Second Chance Pell Program, launched in 2015 by the Obama-Biden administration, allows incarcerated individuals to receive Federal Pell Grants to financially support their pursuit of a college degree.

2018 study from the RAND Corporation, funded by the Department of Justice, found that incarcerated individuals who participated in correctional education were 48% less likely to return to prison within three years than incarcerated individuals who did not participate in any correctional education programs. RAND also estimated that for every dollar invested in correctional education programs, four to five dollars are saved on three-year re-incarceration costs.

“This program aligns with our Lasallian Mission of offering access to education and advocacy for social justice,” Dr. David Livingston, president of Lewis University, commented. “We’re proud to be in this program that will help incarcerated individuals obtain a high-quality, postsecondary education, which upon their release from prison, can lead to meaningful job opportunities, reduce the recidivism rate and make our communities safer”.

The Department also announced changes to policies to help incarcerated individuals with defaulted loans, including affirming that incarcerated individuals qualify for a “fresh start,” which returns borrowers with defaulted loans to repayment in good standing and allows them to access programs like the Second Chance Pell Experiment. The Department also will allow incarcerated individuals to consolidate their loans to help them exit default in the long term.

Selected schools, like Lewis University, may begin accessing Pell Grants as early as July 1, 2022. The experiment is the lead-up to the broader implementation of legislative changes that allow eligible students in college-in-prison programs to access Federal Pell Grants beginning on July 1, 2023.

Lewis University is an innovative and forward-thinking Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,200 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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