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Congresswoman Karen Bass

Representing the 37th District of California

Rep. Bass Reintroduces SUCCESS Act to Ban Priors Question on the FAFSA

March 8, 2017
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) reintroduced legislation, which will repeal the law that makes it all but impossible for people with a drug conviction, no matter how petty, to receive federal financial aid for higher education. The law in question, Section 484(r) of the Higher Education Act, suspends college aid for a person who in convicted of a drug offense. This law has denied tens of thousands of people of needed aid for college and has discouraged tens of thousands of others from even applying.

"Denying or creating barriers to people with a drug conviction from being able to receive federal financial aid has done nothing but keep Pell Grants and student loans from people who need them and who want to get their lives on track," said Rep. Bass. “The bill will reduce recidivism, over-criminalization and tax-payer burdens by stopping the suspension of college aid for individuals who want to get their lives back on track after a petty drug offense.”

"Investing in a former prisoner's education is perhaps the best investment we can make to ensure they will succeed instead of falling back into negative behaviors,” Rep. Bass concluded. “The SUCCESS Act is good for our communities, our families and for our nation.”

The bill is cosponsored by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) who is the Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Rep. Don Young (R-AK), and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL).

More about the SUCCESS Act here: