Bard College Makes Tuition Free for Formerly Incarcerated Students

Bard College has partnered with JusticeLeadershipUSA to provide a tuition-free program for formerly incarcerated students.

The program is the third Bard Prison Initiative as part of the Bard Microcollege for Just Community Leadership and will be hosted at the Countee Cullen Campus in Harlem this fall, Essence reports. Scholars are taught a curriculum that aims to foster the growth of future community leaders and social justice initiatives. Eligible applicants include those who were formerly incarcerated, impacted by the prison system, or seeking careers in advocacy work.

“JustLeadershipUSA is proud to partner with the Bard Prison Initiative and College & Community Fellowship to launch this new micro college,” said DeAnna Hoskins, president and CEO of JustLeadership. “We know that to truly invest in, elevate, educate and empower directly impacted voices, we must create leadership development and educational programs that fully unleash the potential of marginalized people so that they can drive and create the bold, substantive changes necessary to end systemic oppression and build healthy communities.”

BPI has been working to offer variations of the program since its inception in 1991. They pride themselves in having helped teach over 160 in prison courses, given out 600 Bard degrees, and partnered with 15 colleges all while helping to further the education of former and current prison inmates.

Bard Prison Initiative

“College & Community Fellowship is delighted to collaborate on this life-changing resource that will be offered to residents of Harlem who have been locked out of opportunities for equity and justice,” said Vivian Nixon, Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship. “It’s been twenty years since I was released from prison. Obtaining a college degree has been the most transformative undertaking on my journey toward a life of self-determination and dedication to social justice. System involved women who are enrolled in the new microcollege will have access to CCF’s range of support programs to build social capital, ensure educational success, and foster civic engagement.”

Applications for the Bard Microcollege program can be submitted HERE.