A criminal record may change the way some people see others, but it cannot remove privilege and opportunity. Citizens who have paid their dues and seek to improve their life post-conviction should have every chance to a successful future as anyone else.
Going to college is one way that ex-convicts can take control of their future. Their understanding of how a criminal record may impact their financial aid eligibility, as well as their college application process, may provide them with a clear idea of their next steps.
Community college benefits
Just like some jobs are not as easy for an ex-con to get, certain colleges and universities may have more stringent requirements for enrollment. According to U.S. News, approximately 70 percent of colleges that offer four-year degrees, also require applicants to disclose criminal records. Contrarily, this number drops 30 percent with community colleges where roughly 40 percent ask for this kind of information.
People with a criminal past who want a college education may have a more successful outcome if they begin their studies at a community college. These institutions provide competitive educational opportunities. Throughout a student’s progression, the option remains to transfer to other colleges or universities down the road.
Federal financial assistance
Federal financial assistance can make the sole difference in whether or not some people have the resources to pursue higher education. According to the Federal Student Aid office, some convictions require disclosure while others may not. People should pay particular attention to the questions on their application and answer them honestly.
People with a clear vision of their goals may begin to streamline their focus of getting a college degree. Despite their challenging past, dedicated individuals can draw upon the lessons they have learned to build a better future.