Felons are eligible to receive financial aid once they are no longer incarcerated. Criminals serving time are not eligible for federal student loans or federal Pell grants.
While incarcerated, felons might qualify for a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. However, students receiving Pell grants have priority, so it is rare for this grant to be awarded to a felon.
If a felon has a drug-related conviction while receiving federal financial aid, eligibility for aid is suspended. Completing a drug rehabilitation program and passing two consecutive drug tests may reduce the time the felon is suspended from financial aid eligibility.
If the felon has been convicted of a sexual offense or served involuntary civil commitment for a sexual offense, he is not eligible to receive a Pell grant and access to other financial aid may be limited.