Monday, March 7, 2011

Grants for Felons

You have served your time and now you just want to get on with your life. That is quite understandably but many felons find themselves in a financial situation after they have served their time. Some felons want to go back to school while others want to start a business. Luckily for felons, you can apply for grants for felons which would help you reach your endeavors. Applying for grants should be your first choice rather than applying for loans. This is because loans must be repaid while grants do not.

If you plan on going back to school to get higher education, then you should apply for the Pell grant for felons. You have to fill out the FAFSA in order to get this grant. The grant is given based on your income and assets. The government will calculate your income and assets and determine whether or not you get any money. The amount of money you get also ranges depending on how much money you currently make. There is a question on the FAFSA which asks if you ever been convicted of drug charges. As long as you complete a drug rehabilitation program then you do not have to answer yes to that question.

For felons that wish to start a business, getting capital is a priority. You may want to check out to see what types of business grants for felons are available. This database basically has all kinds of federal grants so take your time and find the one for you. Another way of getting grants is by contacting organizations that help felons. The key to getting grants is to apply to as many as you can. In this way you are heightening your chances of getting money.

Finally, if you cannot seem to find money from the government or from organizations, you can always ask your family and friends. Do not discount them just because you know them. They may be more than willing to help.


  1. I served 8 years in federal prison and wanted to go back to school for cosmetology. So I filled out my fafsa and received around $8500. That paid half of my class and I had to take out loans to pay the rest. I am still applying for grants and loans as I find them but so far haven't had any luck. But I still consider it a blessing that I can go to school and not owe the whole $17000!! Don't give up!

    1. i am going to school for the same thing & as i type, i am searching for a grant to help me also... was ur $8500 what the school help u get or just you on your own?

    2. were do I go to apply for grants for felons. Is there grants to get on your feet. I have a small income but struggling looking for work. I don't know were to look so though I ask here.

  2. I am 30 y.o.a. and am a convicted sex offender (offense happened when I was 19 and the victim was 15, non force able- not rape)who spent 7 years and 3 months in prison and am currently going on my 3rd of 6 years probation. That being said, I was able to get pell grant and was also provided with financial help through a federally funded state program here in Florida. All total I think I got assistance for around 20-25,000 total. That is for 2 years of college and I earned my degree in Civil Engineering. Now, be advised that many professions require a certain standard from their professionals. I will never get my P.E. (professional engineering certification- an industry licensing requirement) but that wont stop me from being able to get a good high paying job as an engineer in a firm. That is not all. I have gained so much respect from EVERYONE who knows me and knows about my situation and they all know I am bound for greatness. I can't say I did it on my own, through God all things are possible and to Him be the glory. I had it in me to do this and I went for it and with God's help I made it!!! I know that most can't or won't chose engineering as their profession but there is something out there that you can do and could get a higher education to add to your world experience and give you credentials that separate you from the crowd. I have succeeded to also become a member of the industries finest members only Society- ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers). I know that felons are usually given the worst jobs and considered "ditch diggers" but you can break through that stigma if you are willing to work very hard and set your goals higher than you ever would have thought possible and if you stick with it you can overcome! I am living proof and there are places you can get assistance from but you have to have luck and determination to get what you need to succeed. If you are a praying person and believe in God, I say turn to Him to make your paths straight as he has done for me. I wish all of you the best and I will one day be able to help thousands of ex-felons gain focus and determination to succeed with their lives. Good luck, I hope this story has helped you and encourages you to do more with what you are given. Take action now because only you can make a difference in your life. God Bless!


  3. Thank you Scott. I needed that.

  4. I've been trying to get help to go back to school for over 5 years. I read all these testimonials of felons getting financial help all the time, but after 5 years of trying, I'm thinking I am the rarity. I have filled out FAFSA every year hoping it might work out, but alas, nothing. I have written more letters and papers to people I don't know than I ever did in high school. My felony is not drug related, is not a violent crime, and was over 13 years ago. I did my time and paid my debt, yet I still feel like society judges me and looks down on me.
    I can't even seem to get into my local tech school. The lady in admissions is really getting tired of seeing my face every enrollment cycle. She really did try to help in the beginning and really got me optimistic about my situation.
    Don't get me wrong, I screwed up so many years ago and owe up to it openly. I just wish I could go back to school so I can learn a trade so I don't have to work at McD's for the rest of my life.
    I'm sure this will not get me anywhere, but it makes me feel better to vent it out.
    Congrats to those that were able to overcome, never give up to those still struggling, and here's to hoping the door will open for me some day.
    Hard work and diligence will pay off, or so I'm told.


  5. i need help, back in 2006 i was in college by getting help from finacial aid. then i ended up going to prison. well ive tried going back but it seems that the fafsa gave the school more money than i was approved for the school not knowing spent it all. now i have to pay over a 1000$ before i can get help again. only problem is being convicted of manufacturing meth noone really wants to hire an exfelon/addict when someone without a background is also applying. any way to get help paying that back or another way to go back to school?

    I do not know if they can help, but they will likely be able to point to an agency where you live. as far as working, unfortunately, especially for those of us with felonies, we must sacrifice even more than most. If you can remove even $10 of expense from your budget and put it towards paying the $1000 loan, do whatever you can. Take on a second job part time doing whatever you can to earn a little more to pay it off. It may seem like a lot when you make minimum wage, but really $1000 is not a huge sum. I have been paying restitution for over 12 years! The only reason I am on probation yet, its been extended numerous times, is because it is not paid off. I have under $15,000 to go and I am EXCITED!! Generally I pay $50 a week, which is painful to do. But it will be paid at some point, and hell its only money, I always make more. (you have to be able to laugh) I have received grants to go to school, the first time I quit because I couldn't keep it up. I am going back and I am going for my bachelor of science in psychology! I know I can do it. I will just be broke for 4 more years. I would be broke anyways, so why not do something for myself for once?

    I encourage all of you to research, ask for help, go to the programs, meetings, ANYTHING (legal) to find ways to get grants and even loans, JUST DONT QUIT! I regret it every day. I would be making about $70 -100,000 a year now if I would not have quit! My restitution would be paid and I wouldnt wonder how I am going to pay the rent, electric, water, food.... sigh. Keep trying, YOU CAN DO IT! :)

  7. You will also need references. If you currently do not know anyone who is currently able to provide a valid positive reference for you - YOU must change this!

    Find a program to volunteer and actively and with a willing heart help someone else. Even if it is serving at a soup kitchen, an animal shelter, look in local paper for places you can offer to help. Habitat for humanity. Maybe try to find something in the field you want to work in someday.

    If you dont know where to start. Try local library. Spend a couple hours a week on making YOUR life better by making life better for someone else. You do not have to tell every person you meet you are a felon (except those with certain felons & working around children).

    If you do not know what you want to do in school yet, test yourself:

    did you know you can get a associate, bachelor and even masters degrees completely online?
    search online degree and it is amazing whats available.

  8. I am a four time convicted felon who has been lucky enough for the duration of his life to have had a stable job for over twenty one years. Since leaving that job, I was going from job to job finding out that a professional job is tough to find regardless of how qualified and successful I have been. one of my felonies was actually from an employer who screwed me on my pay, was an all commission job therefore could not go to the labor board, and when I tried to go to small claims court to sue for my $1500 they owed me, found it impossible to give the information needed to the court to sue them because they continually change information about their corporation and are not based in my state. After waiting weeks and the company telling me it would be there, over and over again, I took a title loan on my car, was kicked out of my residence because even though I got a new job, when my paycheck never came, my car was confiscated because I couldnt pay the loan, couldn't get to my job that was sales and mandatory to have for the job, but I also was evicted and had no where to sleep. I went to my ex employers office after trying everything including filing a lawsuit , going to the labor union and finally went to the employers office and took the hardrive only from their computer and told them when they had my check I would give them their hard drive back. I had lost everything because of them. I was arrested for four felonies of burglary, robbery, and a couple other larceny charges and convicted. I just was offered a job by a company that offered e a very nice offer in writing, and I had been with the company I was working for for a year and a half. The company that made me the offer's paperwork asked if I had been convicted of a felony in the last five years which I hadn't. I took the job and was doing excellent, completed my training a week before the other hires and take it gave up a 70k job based on that offer. Ten days after being hired I was let go for not having a car which I did have a car but was being fixed and was approved for a car to buy which I was going to get on my payday since they paid bi weekly and held a week meaning three weeks I had to go without pay, so I couldnt afford t he down until I was paid. I was in training and wouldn't need a car until I returned back from corporate training that was a week long out of state and would have had the new car three days before I left for that training. They did a background check and fired me even though their application asked for the last five years. I left my job and they knew that because I gave my company thirty days notice to replace me and they were fine with waiting for me. When he fired me I said, "I left my job for this job.". He said, " I'm sorry, I won't make you take the walk of shame out of here. I do have your last check for you.". They made me sit in a chair for the last two hours knowing t hey were going to fire me, canceled my meeting that I was supposed to be at and heard them talking about me but didn't know but felt that it was coming. I have no job, savings and feel completely screwed by them. I can't seem to want to look for a job. It's not easy out there.