Pell Grants for Prison Education

Starting on July 1, 2023, any person who is incarcerated, regardless of sentence length or conviction history, will be eligible to draw on their Pell Grant allotment to pursue postsecondary education with an approved prison education program (PEP).

Reinstatement of Pell eligibility calls for departments of corrections, state higher education agencies, and accreditors, among others, to collaborate on the approval and operation of prison education programs to enhance students’ access and success opportunities. The regulations on the PEP can be found here.

SHEEO has teamed up with the Vera Institute of Justice, a leading national organization advocating to end over criminalization and mass incarceration, to help SHEEO agencies understand their role in implementing PEP in their states.



A webinar was held in March to share important federal government updates, rules that SHEEOs will have to follow in their respective states, best practices from Second Chance Pell Experiment, and tips for SHEEOs moving forward.

March 8 PEP Webinar with Vera Institute of Justice

passcode: jqkgRY+6

Presentation Slides


Contact Us

For inquiries about PEP and how SHEEO can help your state prepare for implementation, contact John Lane at or Tom Harnisch at