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Q: Educator in jail setting needs information to pass on to those who qualify. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Educator in jail setting needs information to pass on to those who qualify.
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: dailychaos-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 05 Sep 2002 18:33 PDT
Expires: 05 Oct 2002 18:33 PDT
Question ID: 62135
Are there any programs available in Michigan to assist persons **with a
felony backround** to obtain college financing, specifically, for
released former jail inmates?  (Felony convictions preclude inmates
from obtaining federal government grants and loans.)  I am looking for
a ray of hope to pass on to some of the truly rehabillitated ones! 
Thank you for your consideration.
Subject: Re: Educator in jail setting needs information to pass on to those who qualify.
Answered By: angy-ga on 06 Sep 2002 02:41 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi, dailychaos !

What worthwhile work you are doing ! I've dug around, and come up with
a number of resources and possible approaches for you. I suspect you
will do better approaching schools and funding bodies on a case by
case basis eg."I have a re-entry student with the following
qualifications who wants to study subject x, and by the way s/he's
done all her/his study in jail, isn't that marvellous "..rather than
looking for scholarships specifically aimed at released felons as a
group. Note that some professions - eg nursing - can deny a licence to
a convicted felon.

The Michigan State University's Department of Admissions and
Scholarships at:

states: "MSU wants to make it simple for you to apply for
scholarships. Therefore you need only complete an application for
admission prior to November 1st (for admittance the following fall
semester) in order to receive consideration for merit-based
undergraduate scholarships funded by MSU.

The Office of Admissions and Scholarships notifies applicants by
letter if they qualify for an MSU-funded scholarship. Generally,
notification is sent at the end of March."

Need based scholarships require the student to fill out the FAFSA form
- but before being put off by this, note Laura DiFiori's a useful
article on "Strategies for the Non-traditional Student."  at:

Among other useful advice, she points out that colleges often require
a student to fill out a FAFSA Form even for a student who is ineligble
for government aid, as the college then uses it to assess the
student's needs: She warites: "Most schools use the information
provided on the FAFSA to determine what aid they will offer you from
their own funds."

There are a variety of scholarships out there, and although I have not
been able to find one specifically designed for released convicts,
there are a few categories which might aplply (apart from the straight
merit-based competitive scholarships). There are lots of scholarships
aimed at women both in traditional subjects such as nursing and in
non-tradtional areas. (You do not say whether you're teaching men or
women; I've rather assumed men.)

The Texas Department of Health site publishes Private Profiles Vol. 11
No. 10 October 2000 at:

which lists the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (Michigan)
Community Foundations, Economic Development, Employment/Job Training;
EDUCATION; ENVIRONMENT; HEALTH- Health Policy/Cost Containment,
Home-care Services, Public Health; INTERNATIONAL; SOCIAL SERVICES-
Children Development, Child Welfare, Community Service Organizations,
Crime Prevention, Family Planning, Poverty, Youth Organizations
GRANT INFORMATION: In 1998, awarded $82.6 million for 780 grants with
an average award of $15,000- $250,000.
TYPES OF SUPPORT: Conference/seminar, employee matching gifts, general
support, matching, multiyear/continuing support, operating expenses,
project and seed money
RESTRICTIONS: National; no scholarships, grants or loans to
individuals or religious activities or programs that serve a specific
religious group.
INITIAL APPROACH: Letter of Inquiry including brief description of the
project and the range of needed funding
PUBLICATIONS: Annual report, facts on grants, guidelines, quarterly
newsletter, grant listings by program
CONTACT: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Office of Communication,
1200 Mott Foundation Building, Flint, MI 48502-1851, (810) 238-5651,
Fax: (810) 766-1753, Publication Hotline: (800) 645-1766, E-mail:,

and Private Profiles March 1999 at:


Kmart Corporation (Michigan) 
PUBLIC AFFAIRS - Safety, Urban and Community Affairs, Women's Affairs,
Zoos/Aquariums; EDUCATION; SOCIAL SERVICES - Community Service
Organizations, Family Services, Food/Clothing Distribution, United
Funds/United Ways, Youth Organizations
GRANT INFORMATION: Not available. 
TYPES OF SUPPORT: Gives through three funds: The Kmart Fund for Kids,
The Kmart Fund for Communities; and the Kmart Fund for Metropolitan
Detroit. Types of support include emergency funds, employee matching
gifts, employee-related scholarships, in-kind gift, and volunteers.
RESTRICTIONS: Gives in operating locations only to 501(c)(3)
organizations; no support local chapters of national organizations;
alumni associations; veterans, religious or political organizations;
group travel expenses; school extra-curricular activities; or
programs/organizations outside of the United States.
INITIAL APPROACH: Letter and application form 
PUBLICATIONS: Application form, guidelines, corporate report 
CONTACT: Kmart Corporate Contributions Committee, 3100 West Big Beaver
Road, Troy, MI 48084-3163, WWW - 

Both of those seem worth approaching.

The Michigan State University Library has a number of resources for
grant seekers:

On their "non-traditional recipients" page:

they list a number a scholarships which might fit the bill:

Aletha Lee Harvey Scholarship for Nontraditional Student
Applicant must be a dependent or descendant of a veteran as well as a
non-traditional student (1) returning to the classroom after some
period of time in which his/her formal education was interrupted, (2)
a student over the age of twenty-two attending college for the first
time pursuing a degree, or (3) a student over the age of twenty-two
attending a vocational or trade school.
(Last checked 08/09/01) 

Altrusa International of Grand Rapids Scholarship
Any student who did not pursue any form of post secondary education
after graduation from high school or receipt of a GED for a minimum of
24 months, or a student who entered college directly after high school
or receipt of GED but never completed a degree, having sat out a
minimum of two years; a resident of Kent, Allegan, Ionia, Ottawa,
Montcalm, or Muskegon Counties for a minimum of six months prior to
applying. Financial need must be demonstrated; gradepoint must meet
minimum requirement for entry into school or program of choice; two
letters of recommendation must be provided. An interview may be
required for finalists. Scholarship not renewable but you may reapply.
For more information on additional guidelines and requirements,
contact Ruth Bishop at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation at (616)
(Last checked 08/09/01)"

Presumably being in jail in one of the counties would give the
residential qualification....?

"Community Foundation for Muskegon County
While the majority of the scholarships go to Muskegon County high
school seniors entering colleges and technical schools, the foundation
also assisted a number of older, "nontraditional" students pursuing
higher education later in life.
(Last checked 08/09/01)"

"Michigan State University
Mildred B. Erickson Fellowship
If you have had to interrupt your degree studies for a significant
amount of time, and can demonstrate financial need, the Mildred B.
Erickson Fellowship is designed for you. The individual scholarships
cover the approximate cost of one course, undergraduate or graduate,
for up to two semesters through Michigan State University and its
Regional Centers.
(Last checked 04/19/02)"

Michigan University has the follwing resources available at the

"Foundation Grants for Individuals on CD-ROM
Located at Main Library Reference desk (in cd-rom cabinet). Load cd
into Desk#3 computer station and click on icon. Online Tutorial is
available on web.
This new CD-ROM is an essential resource for individual grantseekers
as well as for financial aid offices and funding libraries. It offers
high-speed searching of foundations and public charities that provide
support for individuals. Version 2.01 covers 4,200 foundations and
public charities that support education, research, arts, general
welfare, and more. Search fields include: fields of interest, types of
supprt, geographic focus, company name, school name, grantmaker name,
grantmaker city, grantmaker state, and text search.
(Last checked 12/11/01)"

or you can write to:

"Foundation Grants to Individuals. New York, N.Y. : Foundation Center,
biennial. Main Library Reference Funding Center LB2336 .F6
The most comprehensive listing available of private foundations which
provide financial assistance to individuals. The foundations described
have made grants to students, artists, scholors, foreign individuals,
minorities, musicians, scientists and writers for scholarships,
fellowships, student loans, internships, residencies, arts and
cultural projects, medical and emergency assistance, residencies and
travel programs. Latest three editions available; earlier editions may

Back 2 College has a special section on financial aid for re-entry and
returning students at:

Althoug mostly government oriented, it includes links to an e-book on
"Scholarships for Re-entry Students", a $14.95 download.

"Contents include:
Federal & State Programs 
Professional & Association Awards 
Honor Societies 
Foundation Scholarships 
College & University Scholarships 
Other Scholarships & Awards 
Additional Tips for Finding Funding 
Requesting Scholarship Information 
Applying for and Winning Scholarships 
Maximizing Financial Aid as an Adult Student "

The Lake Superior University site:

lists a small scholarship that somebody might just be imaginative
enough to award to an released prisoner with a genuine interest in the

"Criminal Justice Scholarship 
Value: $500 — non-renewable 
Criteria: merit and need based; juniors or seniors in the criminal
justice program; minimum 3.0 GPA; enrolled full time; involvement in
extracurricular college activities
Selection: recommendation by the Criminal Justice Department 
Curriculum: criminal justice 
About the donor: In 1984, Patrick Shannon established the Criminal
Justice Scholarship. Patrick Shannon served as Chippewa County's
prosecuting attorney for 17 1/2 years. He is currently assistant
superintendent for the Sault Area Schools. "

It is also possible that Mr. Shannon has other charitable interests.

The individual schools and colleges often offer a variety of
scholarships and can probably be approached directly to see what is
available, though it would certainly help if you had a particular
course in mind when making the enquiry. For example, Lansing Community
College lists its scholarships in a PDF file at:

and delightfully includes a Harley Owners Group scholarship.
Scholarships available will vary from year to year.

For general financing and loans Wired Scholar

say: "Wiredscholar makes available a comprehensive, affordable source
of funds that meets all your education financing needs. Federal
Stafford and PLUS loans and private loans, wiredscholar is your
one-stop source for education funding." They explain how to apply for
a loan with a low credit rating with the co-operation of a co-borrower
- who can be released from the their obligations after the first 24
payments are made on time. Contact Sallie Mae at 800-695-3317 to learn
They have information in Spanish .

They also have a $1000.00 scholarship for students to win and there is
a scholarship search function on their site, for which you have to
register. It requires a USA zip code for access and would not accept
my Australian one !

For general interest, the Michigan Daily for Feb. 12th 1998 wrote an
article on the very problem you mention - the access of ex-offenders
to grants and funding. It can be found at:

It starts:

"Criminals should have access to financial aid
Anyone who wants to get ahead in the United States usually needs to
pursue education past high school. Entrepreneurs may improve their
position in society and pull themselves out of poverty, but schooling
is often the only viable route available to many people. Thus, the
state should not use a person's criminal record against them when they
apply for financial aid to attend college. In fact, allowing ex-felons
to access student assistance provides a critical opportunity for them
to rehabilitate and genuinely adapt to a law-abiding society."

So there's someone who agrees with you out there. The best of luck
with the work you are doing. I hope this helps.

Search terms:
Michigan criminal rehabilitation scholarships
dailychaos-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
WOW!!!  Would you please tell "Angy-ga" that her answer was just
phenomenal!!  Angy-ga found information that I would never in a
million years have found on my own!!  What a gift!!  Definitely money
well spent on my part!  What a great service!!  So typical of Google! 
Thank you, thank you very much!!!

Subject: Re: Educator in jail setting needs information to pass on to those who qualify.
From: sublime1-ga on 06 Sep 2002 00:02 PDT

I just wanted to let you know that I spent a fair
amount of time looking into your question, but
found no programs to report. So it's not that no
one is working on your question.
Subject: Re: Educator in jail setting needs information to pass on to those who qualify.
From: expertlaw-ga on 06 Sep 2002 16:55 PDT
One of the things I have found, both through personal experience and
as confirmed by studies I have read, is that many ex-felons need basic
job skills training - how to behave in an interview, the importance of
getting to work on time, how to relate to a supervisor, how to relate
to co-workers, etc. That's setting the sights a bit lower than getting
them college degrees, but for those who are not inclined or not suited
to pursue higher education, it can help them both obtain and maintain
employment. I understand that some states have created such "job
skills" programs, but I am not aware of any in John Engler's Michigan.
Subject: Re: Educator in jail setting needs information to pass on to those who qualify.
From: dailychaos-ga on 07 Sep 2002 06:47 PDT
Thank you, Expertlaw, for your comments.  I do, in fact, know EXACTLY
what you mean and agree with you wholeheartedly about "basic job
skills" being the MOST IMPORTANT issue that would best serve an
ex-inmate. We do have a program called "MIWORKS" (Michigan Works) that
does a great job of helping inmates (and others) with the very skills
you referenced.  My inquiry was only geared to a small, select group
of inmates (usually young, first-time offenders) who have obtained a
GED through the jail program and have a *genuine* interest in further
education.  As you know, once you have a felony conviction (i.e. drunk
driving), your options for federal loans and grants for education are
taken away.  I don't agree that that's the best answer to the problem,
but for right now, as they say, "thems the rules".  I was just looking
for a different avenue to keep these ex-inmates on the right track
when they are released and, hopefully, prevent them from coming back. 
Thank you, again, for your comments!

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