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Federal Student Aid for Students in Adult Correctional and Juvenile Justice Facilities

Below you’ll find answers to questions about how being confined in an adult correctional or a juvenile
justice facility affects your eligibility for federal student aid and your options for repaying your federal
student loans.
1. Am I eligible for federal student aid while I’m confined in an adult correctional facility or a juvenile
justice facility?
While you’re confined in an adult correctional facility or juvenile justice facility, your eligibility for federal student aid is very limited:
• Federal Student Loans—You’re not eligible to receive federal student loans while confined in an adult
correctional facility or a juvenile justice facility.
• Federal Pell Grants—It depends on where you’re confined. If you’re incarcerated in a federal or state
penal institution, you may not receive Federal Pell Grants. However, if you’re incarcerated in a local,
municipal, or county correctional facility or committed to a juvenile justice facility, and you otherwise
meet the Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements, you can receive Federal Pell Grants.
• Federal Work-Study (FWS) and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
(FSEOG)—Although federal law doesn’t prohibit students confined in adult correctional and juvenile
justice facilities from receiving FWS and FSEOG, you probably won’t be able to receive either type of
aid. Generally, it isn’t possible for a student to perform an FWS job while confined in an adult
correctional facility or juvenile justice facility; and the amount of FSEOG funds available to schools is
limited.
If you’re confined in an adult correctional facility or juvenile justice facility and the circumstances described in question 3 below apply to you, you may not be eligible for any federal student aid.
Once you’re released, most eligibility limitations will be removed unless the circumstances described in question 3 below apply to you. You may apply for aid before you’re released so that there isn’t a delay in receiving your aid once you start school.
Important note: Even if you’re not eligible for federal student aid, you may still be eligible for aid from your state or school.
2. Am I eligible for federal student aid if I’m released on probation or parole?
In most cases, yes. If you’re on probation or parole or living in a halfway house, you may be eligible for federal student aid unless the circumstances described in question 3 below apply to you.
3. What types of convictions affect my eligibility for federal student aid after my release?
If you’ve been convicted of a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense and you’re subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for that offense, you’re not eligible to receive Federal Pell Grants.
Important note: Drug convictions no longer affect your federal student aid eligibility. When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA® ) form, you’ll be asked whether you had a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid. If the answer is yes, you’ll be provided a worksheet. Please answer the questions correctly; however, they won’t impact your eligibility.
4. How do I apply for federal student aid?
To apply for federal student aid, as well as most state and institutional aid, you must complete the FAFSA form online at fafsa.gov, through the myStudentAid mobile app, or on paper. Applying for federal student aid is free.
Note: You must have a Social Security number to access the myStudentAid mobile app or sign the FAFSA form electronically.
If you have questions about applying for federal student aid, contact the education coordinator at your facility or the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend.
5. What address do I provide when applying for federal student aid?
If you apply for federal student aid before you’re released, use the mailing address of the facility where you’re confined. After your release, you must update your mailing address at fafsa.gov, through the myStudentAid mobile app, or by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.
6. How do I make sure that my federal student loans don’t become delinquent or go into default while
I’m confined?
If you’re unable to make payments on your federal student loans while you’re confined, you may be eligible for deferment or forbearance. During a period of deferment or forbearance, you’re not required to make payments, but interest may continue to accrue.
Another option to consider is changing to an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan that determines your monthly student loan payment based on your annual income and family size. Under an IDR plan, your required monthly payments may be as low as $0 per month depending on your individual circumstances.
It’s important to make sure that your loans don’t go into default, since this could have serious consequences after your release and would affect your future eligibility for federal student aid.
For information about avoiding delinquency and default, contact your loan servicer or visit
StudentAid.gov/manage-loans/default/avoid. If you don’t know who your loan servicer is, check your account at StudentAid.gov/login or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.
7. What can I do if I have defaulted federal student loans?
Work with the holder of your defaulted loans. Options for getting out of default include full repayment of the loans, loan rehabilitation, and loan consolidation. Learn more about getting out of default at
StudentAid.gov/end-default.
8. Am I eligible for loan consolidation while I am confined in an adult correctional facility or juvenile
justice facility?
No. You may not consolidate your federal student loans into a new federal consolidation loan until after you’re released.
9. How do I find resources about federal student aid?
If you need a print-out of the FAFSA PDF, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at
1-800-433-3243. If you’d like to view any other free Federal Student Aid publications, visit
StudentAid.gov/resources.
Have a question? Contact or visit the following:
• StudentAid.gov
• a school’s financial aid office
• customerservice@studentaid.gov
• 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
November 2021

About oregoncureadmin

The mission of OREGON CURE is to reduce crime by advocating for effective criminal justice policies, procedures and programs.

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