The Daily Grind Video

Financial Aid for Felons

In 2005 I was convicted of a felony while I was attending a local community college. I was paying for my education with financial aid at the time. I had to drop out because I had to spend 30 days in jail and missed a lot of classes. I was told since I had a felony on my record that I would not be able to apply for financial aid again until I had my record expunged or pardoned. Since I was told this by the schools enrollment counselor I did not think to check behind him. I thought that if I wanted to go back to school I was going to have to find a way to pay my own way. I knew this was not going to be easy because I cannot even find a decent job because of the felony on my record. I tried to take part in some of the training programs that the local Unemployment Office had to offer and they turned me away.

Over the last 4 years I have been able save for at least one semester of classes. So I started to look at different colleges in my area. I knew that if I could get myself back in college and start working on my degree of interest that employers might be more open to hiring me since I was doing something positive. I figured the more skills I had to offer the harder it would be for employers to turn me away.

I was interested in getting my associates degree in business management. I found that the University of Phoenix met my needs the best. I made an appointment to speak with one of the enrollment counselors. The enrollment counselor asked me why I had waited so long to come back to school and I was honest with her and told her. She was in shock and told me that the information that I had been given was incorrect. She explained to me that the only people that tend to have a problem getting financial aid are those that have been convicted with drug charges. And even in those cases there are ways around it. She walked me through applying for financial aid. About 24 hours later I received an email telling me I was approved!

Since I have been approved I have decided to go for my bachelors in business. I am going to take classes for small business and entrepreneurship. I thought my dreams of owning my own business were over when I as convicted of a felony 4 years ago. I felt like I had nothing to look forward to which lead to a lot of depression and stress in my life. Now I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders. My outlook on life has changed dramatically. I go for orientation on Saturday 20, 2010. And I start classes Tuesday 23, 2010.

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