Post-Secondary Education

new beginning for formerly incarcerated

Post-Secondary Education

Many reentrants find it challenging to meet the demands and requirements of being a full-time student. Below you will find information about post-secondary education and online-schooling to help you reach your educational goals.

Helpful Documents

Helpful documents to have are government-issued I.D., Social Security card, Birth certificate, and High school transcript or equivalent degree.

Not all schools will require these documents, whereas some schools may require others. It’s good to know how to get a hold of these documents in case you need them. Our Getting Started page can help you with some. For GED transcripts you will need to go to the Department of Education in the state where the GED was earned or go to

Before committing to any program, do some research, know exactly what you’re paying for, and determine if you’ll end up with the credentials you want. Click here to read more about choosing a college and the questions to ask.

Where to Look for Classes

There are many different options for classes for all types of degrees – a four-year college, an online program, or a local community college. If you are just starting, a local community college may be a great place to start. Many are conveniently located near public transit lines and offer flexible class schedules. Classes at community colleges meet the requirements to obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree, and vocational certifications.

It’s helpful to start off with one class to get you into the habit of arriving on time, completing assignments and studying for exams. Plus, you have other obligations that may be demanding of your time. Once you are familiar on how to successfully complete courses, you can add on.

Online classes are also available if other obligations are too demanding. See below for more information on online schools.

How to Apply

If you’re ready to apply, the best place to go is a college’s website. Here you’ll find the list of documents you need, the steps to take and how to apply for financial aid. If you need help, look for the phone number for the “Admissions” office. Remember, everyone has gone through the steps you are going through. You’re not the first one that will need help!

Consideration for Reentrants

You may be asked to disclose any criminal convictions on your application. This is not an automatic disqualification, but you may need to provide more information, such as character references or letters from probation officers. During the admissions interview be honest and give examples of how you are looking to change or have made positive steps to improve your contribution to society.

Online Opportunities

Many schools now offer online bachelor’s degrees including many state schools. If you are an in-state resident, you can qualify for lower tuition and special in-state grants. Here are some top online colleges and universities.

Support for Reentrants

Reentrants aren’t the only ones that need support; you will find many other students going through similar hardships. Study groups with classmates and help labs are good environments for learning and success. The Student Life department or Dean of Students’ office is a great place to ask for available resources.

Online Community Colleges

Online community colleges are a great for reentrants because of flexible costs and admission requirements. Here is a link of online community colleges to get you started.

Free Online Courses

Some online courses are free but may not count towards a degree. Regardless, they are a great way to gain experience and practice. Completed courses are helpful for job and college applications to showcase skills and interests. Available classes include nutrition, social work, finance, computer science, video game design, architecture, entrepreneurship and more.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees

If local school are not available in your area, online classes are a great opportunity. Be sure to look for an accredited school so your diploma will be widely recognized and accepted. Admissions and tuition rates vary from school to school.