Justice Reform

Colorado Changes Youth’s Inability to Receive Scholarships After Being Incarcerated

Having access to an education is vital for youth when it comes to learning skills and being able to succeed in the world. Education has become very expensive, limiting who is able to attend schools. With many limitations already placed on who can afford and receive an education, there are other factors that affect children’s ability to attend school, one being the inability to receive scholarships if previously incarcerated. 

However, The Denver Post published an article outlining how Colorado will be the first state to award college scholarships to previously incarcerated youth. They could be eligible for scholarships up to $10,000 annually toward the cost of a state college, university or other post secondary institution according to the Colorado Department of Higher Education. To apply for the scholarships, participants need to complete the scholarship application, obtain three letters of recommendation and finally if invited, participate in an interview with the selection committee. The center is working to knock down barriers that prevent youth from pursuing their dreams and passions that are affected by affordability.

The scholarship was created by Senate Bill 19-231, a second chance scholarship program, in the hopes of giving previously incarcerate youth a fair chance at receiving an education. Many have made mistakes but wish to fix them and have a second chance at a successful life, away from crime. It is important that they be able to do this and be awarded the same opportunities as others to receive an education. This will help them learn necessary skills and set them up better to succeed in life and reduce recidivism rates. Supplying access to an education for all youth is a very powerful deterrent to recidivism and previously incarcerated youth should not be deterred because of limitations set on being able to afford an education.