College Unbound Chosen for JFF and Ascendium’s Inaugural Cohort of “Ready for Pell” Prison Education Programs

College Unbound has been chosen as one of 22 recipients of Jobs for the Future and Ascendium Education’s Ready for Pell initiative, which will help us navigate the upcoming changes to the Pell Grant program for student financial assistance, giving learners who are incarcerated new opportunities for educational attainment and increased economic mobility.

Thank you Jobs for the Future and Ascendium!

CU’s Prison Education Program (PEP) was launched in 2015 with the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, to pilot an associate’s to bachelor’s degree program for men and women in Rhode Island’s state and federal prison.

Through the Ready for Pell initiative, CU will deepen financial aid support and curriculum expansion, and expand the existing program to a full bachelor of arts program in Organizational Leadership and Change.

Two state systems and 20 colleges in 16 states will receive up to $120,000 in funding to expand postsecondary education in prison (PEP) programs in advance of the restoration of Pell Grant eligibility in 2023. Since 1994, people who are incarcerated have been prohibited from receiving Pell Grants, resulting in a decrease in PEP programs and negatively impacting reentry outcomes.

With eligibility returning in 2023, the Ready for Pell initiative will help institutions enhance program quality and ensure eligible students are able to access and maximize the use of Pell funds as they pursue postsecondary education in prison and beyond.