Second Chance Pell Grants

Flash Edition

August 12, 2015
Second Chance Pell Grants

As part of the administration’s commitment to create a fairer, more effective criminal justice system, reduce recidivism, and combat the impact of mass incarceration on communities, the Department of Education has announced the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program. This program will allow individuals incarcerated in federal or state penal intuitions to receive Pell Grants and pursue a postsecondary education. Its goal is to help individuals get jobs, support their families, and turn their lives around. Participation in high-quality correctional education — including postsecondary correctional education — has been shown to measurably reduce re-incarceration rates. By reducing recidivism, correctional education can ultimately save taxpayers money and create safer communities. See the press release and an op-ed by Secretary Duncan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch for more information.

This initiative, described in more detail in this fact sheet, builds on a Dear Colleague Letter that the Department of Education released in December 2014. The letter states that students who are confined or incarcerated in locations that are not penal institutions, such as juvenile justice facilities and local or county jails, and who otherwise meet applicable eligibility criteria, are eligible for Federal Pell Grants.

In 1994, Congress eliminated Pell Grant eligibility for those in federal and state penal institutions. Under the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program, incarcerated individuals who meet Title IV eligibility requirements and are eligible for release, particularly within the next five years, could access Pell Grants. Incarcerated students who receive these grants will be subject to cost of attendance restrictions, so the grants will only be used to pay for the tuition, fees, books, and supplies required by an individual’s education program. These students will not be eligible to receive any other types of federal student aid.

The Higher Education Act authorizes the department to periodically administer experiments to test the effectiveness of statutory and regulatory flexibility for participating institutions in disbursing student aid. To determine which institutions will be selected for participation in this experiment, the agency will look for evidence that the institution has a strong record in student outcomes and in the administration of Title IV programs. The deadline for institutions to apply for this pilot program is October 2, 2015, for the 2016-17 academic year.

Educator camp helps teachers integrate Bering Strait culture into classrooms

Chip Sharpe tosses a fish back into the river while seining for silvers at Educator Cultural Camp. Sharpe is the new principal at Nome Beltz. (Photo by Laura Kraegel, KNOM)

Before they go back to school later this month, teachers and administrators have to go camping.

Organized by Nome’s Northwest Campus and funded through a grant, Educator Cultural Camp is for teachers with Nome Public Schools and the Bering Strait School District. Tom and BeeJay Gray hosted this summer’s cultural orientation — which gives teachers university credit to apply to their certifications — during the last week of August at their fish camp on the Niukluk River. Read more here.

ACT College & Career Readiness Campaign – Application Period Open!

ACTThe ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign is currently under way in your state. The campaign recognizes those who are making a positive impact in their communities by exemplifying or advancing college and career readiness in four categories: high school seniors, high schools, community colleges, and employers. ACT developed the Campaign to shine a light on students, institutions, and companies who are doing more with less, overcoming obstacles, and serving as examples to others. Beyond their recognition, the student exemplar in each state will also receive at least a $500 nonrenewable scholarship, payable to the higher education institution of his or her choice.

We are seeking your help in identifying candidates for Alaska exemplars in all four categories. All information and forms relating to the Campaign can be found on our website, On the site, you, potential exemplar applicants, and other interested parties can learn About the Campaign. The Applications and Deadlines tab provides links to the exemplar applications for the four categories. Students will also have to print out and physically sign a PDF release form and return a scan of it via email (the preferred method) or a hardcopy via regular mail.

Please direct candidates to the Applications and Deadlines section of our website before Friday, November 13. For additional questions, feel free to contact or your district manager

August Alaska Economic Trends

August Trends’ profile of tourism’s impact on Southeast Alaska is the first of its kind. As there’s no official “tourism industry,” we looked at a variety of industries and occupations to estimate tourism employment and wages. We also describe how tourism was born in Southeast, the gateway to the rest of Alaska – steamships ushered it in but its true growth began and continues with the rise of large cruise ships.

Also this month is an analysis of the demographics of newcomers to Alaska and how these new residents change the state’s makeup. Finally, the August issue gives a brief summary of four of Alaska’s largest rental markets, based on the latest results of our annual rental survey.