Perhaps, the best way to get back on your feet and lead a crime-free life after being released from prison is a completion of education. This tends to improve your chances of landing a job which in turn makes it certain that you are not tempted to revert back to old ways again.
However, if you want to earn a degree, you have to be prepared to face certain hardships and obstacles that would come your way owing to your conviction. This does not imply that it is not possible to acquire admission to a college at all. It just means that you need to be determined enough to face the challenges that come your way.
Completing Your Education
You would indeed be able to acquire admission to a college even if you have a felony history. However, this depends on the crime you were convicted of and the time that has elapsed since then.
One important thing is that you do not make an attempt to hide your past. This would only spoil your chances once the truth comes to light. Therefore, make sure you fill your college application form with complete honesty.
Colleges tend to be reluctant to give admission to those students who have a history of violent crimes or who were convicted of sexual offenses.
For felons, it is quite plausible that the college would order your history and review it. You would be given admission once the review is cleared.
To improve your chances, extend your utmost cooperation to the admission counselor and present them with all the documents that are requested. This would serve to make your case rather strong.
Good College Careers for Convicted Felons and Colleges that Accept Felons
When it comes to career options for felons, one needs to be rather careful with the selection. This is because not all the fields are welcoming for an ex-felon. You need to acquire a degree in the field that would make it easier for you to land a job.
Furthermore, policies vary with different colleges and thus it all comes down to the field that you want to pursue and the crime that you were convicted of.
Let us take a look at some of the fields that you can consider.
1. Computer Science or Programming
This is perhaps the best option that an ex-felon has. This is owing to the fact that there is a dearth of qualified developers and thus the demand is high. Therefore, you would be presented with more employment opportunities if this is the degree you endeavor to get.
Furthermore, the salary package is quite impressive, thereby ensuring that you are not tempted to go back to old ways owing to lack of resources.
Most state colleges, universities, and community colleges provide you with an opportunity to get a degree in computer sciences and your felony would seldom hamper your chances.
However, during the initial days, you might have to be content with a slightly lower salary package as compared to others owing to the felony history.
2. Car / Truck / Equipment Mechanic
For this, you need to acquire a specialized degree which is offered by community colleges. You are paid by the hour and owing to little customer interaction, your felony record would not spoil your chances of getting a job.
This is another option that you have. Once you acquire a degree in engineering, you can work in factories and make a decent living.
The job could be quite demanding and thus once you land a job with any company, they would not want to see your past.
4. Graphics Designing
Marketing has indeed become an integral part of business success these days and for promotions, it is quite important for companies to hire graphic designers. Since this is more of a one-shot thing, the company would not be reluctant to hire a felon.
Thus, getting a bachelor’s degree in graphic designing would prove to be rather beneficial. With a degree in hand, you will be in a better position to meet the demands that the clients have.
Full Sail University is one option that you can consider for the purpose.
5. Legal Studies
Many convicted felons tend to be attracted to legal studies since they feel that they can use their experience for something good. Acquiring a degree in legal studies is also an option that you have. Once you get a degree, you can land some rather appealing jobs.
Post University is one option that you can endeavor to get admitted to if you want to get the degree.
What college is right for me
If you are wondering what would be the right college for you, this essentially depends on the crime that you were convicted of. Most colleges and universities tend to be rather flexible when it comes to giving admission to felons. However, financial aid might be somewhat limited.
If you are unable to get admission to a college, you can also contemplate getting a degree via online courses which are offered by quite a few colleges and which would not be affected by your criminal past.
It might be tough for an ex-felon to be granted loan for completion of education since while the colleges might give admission to them, they might not be open to providing them with financial aid. Under such situations, there are certainly other places that you can look for to make things easier.
These include the likes of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), National Transitional Jobs Network (NTJN), National HIRE (Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment) Network, and United States Department of Labor among others.
Thus, there are plenty of options that you have. The only thing that you must bear in mind is that you are determined enough to give your life a fresh start following which you will find that things change for the better.