Yes they can. There are a lot of programs set in place to help felons go to college. We’ll talk about how to get into college and the programs people can use to help pay for it.
Which colleges will accept felons?
It’s not a rule that colleges can or can’t accept felons. Some colleges give degrees to felons who are still in jail! There are more factors to college acceptance if you’ve ever committed a crime.
You will need to take the ACT/SAT with scores high enough for entry into the college you want. Every college has different scores requirements. The more elite schools will have higher requirements. Each school may have more tests/applications to take, but we will cover this later.
No college has a policy against felons. They can turn you away because of a felony. Usually, a rejection may be because of test scores or other factors in the application.
Some colleges have taken the Fair Chance Pledge. This program started under the Obama Administration to make it easier for felons. Universities take this pledge to make it easier for felons to apply to their university. A lot of universities have taken the pledge, and if you are starting to apply for colleges you may want to start here.
- Ancilla College
- Arizona State University
- Auburn University
- Boston University
- City University of New York
- College of Saint Benedict
- Columbia University
- Cornell University
- Eastern University
- Howard University
- New York University
- North Park University
- Nyack College
- Raritan Valley Community College
- Rutgers University
- Saint John’s University
- San Francisco State University
- State University of New York
- Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
- University of California System
- University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
- University of Puget Sound
- University of Washington
Programs and Assistance for Felons
One of the hardest parts of going to college (for anyone) is paying tuition. Many students will take out student loans to pay for school. Once they graduate, they have to spend the first couple working years paying it back. There is nothing wrong with taking out a loan. After college you should be able to get a high enough paying job to pay back your loans without any problems.
Other students may work while they are in school and pay as they go. Most universities are willing to make payment plans for students.
Scholarships are one of the most popular ways to afford school. Universities, people, and organizations generally offer scholarships for some type of achievement.
Scholarships can be limited to a certain group of people. Other scholarships need students to study in a certain field. For example, there are scholarships for students going into engineering. There are also scholarships for people of certain ethnic groups.
There are two scholarships made for felons.
The Charles W. Colson Scholarship pays for felons to go to a university of their choice. The scholarship is ideal for those building a relationship with the Christian faith.
The Jeremy Gordon Commitment to Change College Scholarship offers a full ride to Adamas State University. A full ride means everything is paid for! You go to college for free.
Universities may also offer scholarships to students with high SAT/ACT scores. They can offer sports scholarships to applicants with good athletic ability. You can also receive scholarships while you are in an university if you make good grades. There are also student organizations on campus that offer scholarships to active members.
You may also want to consider government grants like the Pell Grant. Grants work the same way as scholarships do, thou scholarships are awarded based on merit. Whether you receive a scholarship or grant, the money is yours. You do not have to repay them as long as you use the money like it is supposed to be used.
Most people struggle with paying tuition, textbooks, and living expense while at college. Because of this some students may spend their first 2 years of college at a community college. They can get all their basic classes out of the way here. Going to a community college is often cheaper than a traditional 4-year university.
Once these students have completed their basic courses, they will then go to a 4-year university.
There, they will complete the more advanced courses. They will stay at this school for another two years before graduating. This way they are able to graduate with a degree from the 4-year university.
This is very possible and very common today. When you transfer from a community college to a 4-year college they may not accept all the classes. It is important to talk to the 4-year university about any transfer classes you may have.
How to Apply for College
When thinking about which college to apply for, you want to keep your long term goals in mind. If you want to work in the financial business, then you should look for some of the best finance schools in America. If your dream is to become an engineer then you should find some of the best engineering schools.
Every university has strong and weak points. A university with a popular engineering program may not be so good when it comes to business.
A lot of people go to a school because of the name or the fact its ivy league. Ivy league schools have a great reputation, but pick your school only if it can help support your long term goal the most.
You should also check out other parts of the university. Things like campus size, student population, population demographics, cost of living (in dorms or local apartments), study abroad programs, clubs and organizations, and employment statistics. These are important factors that can make your experience enjoyable or not.
You can also request information from the universities on how to apply. You can even take a campus tour to get a feel for the university yourself.
Most people when they apply to college will have a list of 1-3 universities. There is nothing wrong with having more though! Some future students will keep one school as their “safety school”. A safety school is a university that is almost guaranteed to accept you. This safety school could be a local community college or a local 4-year degree school.
The application process for each university can be different. Some universities only need basic information. You may have to provide information like where you live, what high school you went to, and SAT/ACT scores. Other universities may make you write several essays about why you want to go to their school. They may also request you come in for an interview
College applications also come with a fee that is usually less than $100. It is something to think about when applying.
Once you have completed the application and you sent in all your information all you need to do is wait.
Generally, you will hear about your results in a couple of weeks.
After that, you will have a choice of whether you want to accept!
Reasons to Go to College
Besides the fact of being able to get a good job, college serves a lot of other purposes in life.
It is a great way to meet new people. Being in college means you get to meet people from all the world with all different kinds of backgrounds. It gives you the chance to get to know different kinds of people and understand how to interact with them all. If you are looking to build your people skills, then be active in a lot of clubs and organizations.
You can build potential business connections. As you get involved and meet other people, you will come across people who want to do the same thing as you. This is great because now you can relate with someone who has the same interests as you. You also never know where the other person may end up. You may meet someone who will later work for a company that you want to work for. Since you know them you may get the job!
Diverse programs and organizations. There are all kinds of organizations in college that could help propel your career. If you have an interest in finance, then you could join a finance club at the college. Most of the time these clubs will host guest speakers or do events with people who work in the that industry. You could then meet these people and they could help you get your next job! Not to mention you are able to explore a wide variety of different things that you could do in your life.
All Summed Up
College is a great organization for preparing you for your future. As someone who is ready to start a new chapter in your life college is the perfect next step.
Take advantage of the programs and opportunities college offers. There are also a lot of grants and scholarships that will help you pay for college.