College Now Greater Cleveland Expands Educational Opportunities for Incarcerated and Re-entering Individuals

College Now Greater Cleveland continues our commitment to assist all members of our community – especially those groups that have been historically underserved – with access to postsecondary education, leading to meaningful careers. Through a National College Attainment Network grant, College Now will advance pivotal postsecondary education access for individuals who are currently incarcerated or were recently incarcerated. 

The initiative builds upon our established work with adults (ages 19 and older), notably in alignment with our Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) in Cleveland and Akron. Recognizing the critical need for targeted outreach, particularly to those impacted by incarceration, veteran status, economic disparities and systemic barriers to education, this initiative aims to bridge these gaps and provide tailored support. 

College Now commits substantial resources to ensure the success of this initiative. In addition to our traditional college and career advising, specifically adapted for these circumstances, we offer adult scholarships designed to empower formerly incarcerated individuals on their educational journey. Our college and career experts will assist incarcerated and re-entering individuals with postsecondary education financial aid counseling, including completing the Free Application for Federal Financial Student Aid (FAFSA), navigating the Second Chance Pell, as well as leveraging College Now’s Managing Advancement Programs (MAP) database. This innovative tool identifies postsecondary pathways conducive to success for formerly incarcerated individuals. 

In this initiative, College Now will collaborate with various community organizations to help build trust and break down societal stigmas, especially during re-entry. Community partners will include GED providers, transitional housing programs, re-entry support services and legal aid societies.