Brigham Young University Closes Their Doors to Incarcerated Students

By Christopher Zoukis

In a recent letter from Brigham Young University (BYU), university officials acknowledged that they have ceased all paper-based correspondence courses.  This is a blow to incarcerated students country-wide considering that BYU, while never offering a degree program to incarcerated students, did offer a significant number of high-quality paper-based courses which those in prison could complete.  These included high school, college, and personal development courses.  I, for one, am sorry to see them go as I have even recommended BYU in my book, Education Behind Bars: A Win-Win Strategy for Maximum Security.  This is a most unfortunate development. 

The BYU letter reads, in part, as follows: “Thank you for your interest in our BYU Independent Study program.  Due to changes and upgrades to our course delivery system, we are no longer offering university courses in a paper format.  Students enrolling in our university courses must have access to a computer and the internet. . . If your institution supports having internet access . . . [y]ou may enroll with the enclosed enrollment form via mail, online, or over the phone. . . We do not offer any degrees or certificate programs through Independent Study to students who have not already completed 30 credits on BYU campus.  We do offer courses that can be transferred to other Universities with approval from that University. . . We hope that your educational goals will be realized and commend you for your desire to grow academically.  If you have further questions, please let me know as I am happy to answer them.”

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