IHEP Launches #CollegeNotPrison Campaign

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ihepvideoA new public awareness campaign seeks to bring attention to the financial aid barriers justice-involved youth face when pursuing higher education.

#CollegeNotPrison — a initiative of The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) — made a splash on social media this week with a short video sharing the story of Alton Pitre.

As a teen, Pitre was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. He spent nearly two years behind bars before the charges were dropped and the case was dismissed.

Pitre, now a senior at Morehouse College (GA), is an advocate for criminal justice reform. He also speaks out about the need to make college affordable for more young people. In the video, Pitre, 25, notes that while a college education offers great long-term rewards, cost keeps many young people from completing a degree.

“It’s hard to get into college, but the hardest part is staying in,” notes Pitre, who says he struggles each semester to make ends meet.

Learn more about #CollegeNotPrison and explore the campaign’s policy priorities.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

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