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JFF and Ascendium Announce Ready for Pell Initiative

October 13, 2021

At a Glance

The $4.7 million initiative with Ascendium will boost programs for incarcerated learners

JFF is excited to announce our partnership with Ascendium Education Group to support “Ready for Pell,” a two-year, $4.7 million initiative to strengthen postsecondary education programs for students who are incarcerated.

Through Ready for Pell, Ascendium will provide grants of up to $125,000 each to newly established postsecondary education in prison programs, or systems representing multiple institutions, in states that are actively coordinating at a systems level across multiple institutional and agency partners.

We are excited to bring the depth of JFF’s significant work in advancing postsecondary attainment and our extensive experience working with people who are incarcerated to an opportunity that’s long overdue. The outcomes from this initiative have the potential to scale and transform postsecondary education for learners who are incarcerated, benefitting those individuals, their future employers, and the public at large.

Lucretia Murphy, JFF’s Senior Director leading the project

To make the most of its Ready for Pell investment, Ascendium has named JFF as the intermediary grant partner. JFF will release a request for proposals for interested programs to apply, with grants to be awarded later this year. JFF will also convene a Ready for Pell advisory board of leaders from the field and select, support and work with an independent evaluator to gather insights from the participating sites.