Pell Grants to Inmates

Pell Grants to Inmates

Should we allow prisoners to get Pell Grants?

Pell grant is the money availed by the government for the scholars who want to pay college tuition fees. Pell grants unlike loans are not repaid and are given to eligible students under different programs for free. Prisoners should be given the Pell grants to pay for college (Davidson, 2014). This is because most of them cannot afford to pay college fee despite the inmates having the willingness to continue with the college education.

Is it fair to give an inmate a Pell Grant to get a degree when some law-abiding student may not qualify?

On a personal level, I oppose the regulation that restrains prisoners from receiving Pell grants. It is fair for them to receive it because a significant portion of good law-abiding students is ineligible for such grants (Korte, 2016). It is attestable that a good number of former college students spends countless hours working to earn money to cater for college while others owe thousands of dollars in students’ loans simply because they are ineligible for Pell grants despite them being law abiding citizens.

If an inmate leaves prison with a degree, is society better served?

Most of the inmates in the United States get released before their sentence is completed. A society is better served when an inmate is released with a degree because he or she will be able to survive in the outside world without depending on anymore. An inmate with a degree will be able to find employment easily (Korte, 2016).

Are there other factors involved besides recidivism?

Recidivism is the tendency of a sentenced criminal to re-offend. The probability of a criminal to re-offend should be considered before giving Pell grants. A prisoner’s behavior in a prison should also be considered. Pell grants would go to waste if awarded to prisoners who are not well behaved (Wilson, 2014).


Davidson, C. (2014). Changes to Federal Pell Grant eligibility: The effect of policy and program changes on college students at public institutions in Kentucky. Journal of Student Financial Aid, 43(3), 2.

Korte, G. (2016). Pell grants for prisoners: Obama to give inmates a second chance at college.

Wilson, H. A. (2014). Can antisocial personality disorder be treated? A meta-analysis examining the effectiveness of treatment in reducing recidivism for individuals diagnosed with ASPD. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 13(1), 36-46.


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