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In a report released Thursday, the Government Accountability Office called on the Education Department to assess the performance of a pilot project to award Pell Grants to incarcerated students.

The federal government has awarded $35.6 million to about 8,800 students in the two years since the Second-Chance Pell program started.

GAO conducted interviews with 12 of 64 participating colleges as part of its review of the program. Officials from those colleges reported that challenges included establishing students’ eligibility for Pell Grants, getting documents for the financial aid verification process and dealing with classroom space and technology limitations.

The GAO review found that the Education Department hadn’t yet established how it would evaluate the pilot program to measure its success so far. Department officials said they were taking steps to assess the program.