Scholarships for felons

Find ways to obtain grants and scholarships for convicted felons

When an individual has had trouble with the law, it can be extremely difficult to find scholarships for felons. Scraping together funding for college is always hard, regardless of one’s background. But as a felon, the options available to these individuals are further diminished because of their past mistakes. But after getting out of jail, the important thing is that felons are seeking to better their lives, and going to college can be a significant part of rehabilitation. Although they may be a little harder to find, there are scholarships available to ex-cons.

Many cannot empathize with those seeking scholarships for felons. They do not have the ability to look past felony convictions to believe that these individuals deserve financial help for the privilege of a higher education. But the fact is that ex-cons have served the time for their mistakes, and the very fact that they are seeking further education shows that that they are redirecting their lives. Earning a degree will help felons distance themselves from their previous life of crime.

The NAACP Prison Project seeks to help ex-felons nationwide and does this in part by providing scholarships for felons. The organization works to get equal rights for inmates, as well as provide needed referrals where needed. The NAACP Prison Project helps rehabilitate ex-cons and reintegrate them into society so that they can move past their mistakes to become contributing members. Go to for more details.

Charles Colson is an individual who contributed to prison ministries in significant ways. In his honor, the Charles W. Colson Scholarship is one of the scholarships for felons that was created to help fund the educations of inmates seeking to change their lives. Available in conjunction with Wheaton College, it helps cover tuition and may also cover room and board, books, counseling, and tutoring.

Many scholarships for felons exist in larger cities. In New York, STRIVE and the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation administer the Simmons Brothers Arts Scholarship. It is intended for contestants who wish to earn a baccalaureate degree in the arts and is awarded to one ex-con per year who has served many years on drug charges.

The Second Chance Reentry Program works with ex-offenders to help them assimilate back into their communities. While this includes help with jobs as well, the Second Chance Reentry Program also provides scholarships for felons.

Ex-cons will also need to conduct their own research since certain scholarships are specific to location. The library is a great place to start that can provide plenty of helpful information. Contacting local community colleges and speaking directly with a financial aid advisor will also help add to an individual’s list of scholarships for felons.

The fact is that providing a higher education to ex-offenders is one of the best things a community can do. Just as with any potential college student, a degree will open doors for the ex-con so that he can redirect his life towards productive goals. Equipped with a college education, these scholarships for felons can help ex-cons become contributing members of society. Once rehabilitated, the chain effect may be greater than anticipated as ex-cons seek to help others.

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