Sexual predators qualify for Pell Grants

<p>"MADISON, Wis.-AP - James Sturtz is not your ordinary college student struggling to pay tuition.</p>

<p>The 48-year-old rapist is one of Iowa's most dangerous sex offenders, locked up in a state-run treatment center for fear he will attack again if released. Yet he has received thousands of dollars in federal aid to take college courses through the mail.</p>

<p>Across the nation, dozens of sexual predators have been taking higher education classes at taxpayer expense while confined by the courts to treatment centers. Critics say they are exploiting a loophole to receive Pell Grants, the nation's premier financial aid program for low-income students.</p>

<p>Prison inmates are ineligible for Pell Grants under a 1994 law. Students convicted of certain drug offenses are also ineligible. But sexual predators qualify once they are transferred from prison to treatment centers.</p>

<p>"This is the most insane waste of taxpayer money that I have seen in my eight years in Congress," said Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla., who is pushing to stop the practice.....</p>

<p>Moreover, some institutions report that sex offenders are putting the financial aid to questionable uses by buying such things as clothes, a DVD player and music CDs — sometimes, after they have dropped out of school. Pell Grants can legally be put toward expenses that are education-related. But the unused portion of a grant is supposed to be repaid when someone withdraws from school....
College</a> aid for sex predators riles some - Crime & courts - MSNBC.com</p>