Pell Grant

The Pell grant is the foundation of federal student aid.  Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students- those who have not yet earned a Bachelor's Degree.  Eligibility is determined through the FAFSA application which is submitted annually.  If eligible, awards range from $600 to $5,550.  The award amount is calculated on the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the cost of attendance at the institution, semesters enrolled, and the number of hours enrolled. Students must also be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. 

Pell Grants generally do not need to be repaid unless the student withdraws from school early in the semester. 

lifetime pell grant eligibility

Beginning July 1, 2012 all students are limited to the equivalent of 6 years or 12 full-time semesters of Pell Grant eligibility.  

Lifetime Eligibility Usage (LEU) Calculation:

Because some students attend part-time instead of full-time, lifetime eligibility usage (LEU) is calculated on a percentage value rather than exact number of semesters.  One year (usually fall & spring semesters) of full-time enrollment is equal to 100% of Pell Grant.  Students will be limited to a total of 600% Pell Grant over their lifetime. 

For example: A student who attends full-time in fall and spring semesters will use 100% of Pell eligibility in that year.   A student who attends half-time will use less percentage each time but take longer to graduate.  The chart below provides and an example of semester-by-semester use:  

Year In School Semester Enrollment Level Pell Amount % of Pell Grant Used
Year 1 Fall full-time (12 credits) $2,500 50%
  Spring half-time (7 credits) $1,250 25%
Year 2 Fall                 full-time (14            credits) $2,500                   50%
  Spring half-time (7 credits) $1,250 25%
  Summer half-time (6 credits) $1,250 25%
Year 3 Fall 3/4 time (9 credits) $1,875 37.5%
  Spring full-time (13 credits) $2,500 50%
        262.5%  out of 600% Lifetime Eligibility Used after three years

 

Other Criteria:

  • Students must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and all other Pell Grant eligibility criteria.
  • This regulation cannot be appealed to add more semesters
  • The 12 semester limit is effective for all students as of July 1, 2012.  Regardless of when the student began attending college (no "grandfather clause").
  • The eligibility does not "re-start" for skipped semesters, poor academic progress, changing majors, returning for new degrees, or transferring to a new school. 

To monitor how much Pell Grant you have used:

Beginning in mid-July 2012, students can review Pell Grant usage by:

  1. Log onto www.nslds.ed.gov
  2. Click on the "financial aid review" box and sign in using your personalized criteria and your FAFSA PIN number. (If you don't know your PIN go to www.pin.ed.gov.)
  3. Click on "grants."
  4. Note the total LEU percentage used and review your semester-by-semester Pell Grant award history

Attendance to percentage conversion chart:

Semester Enrollment Level Credits per semester Percent of Pell
Full-time 12 or more  50%
Three-quarter time  9 to 11  37.5%
Half-time 6 to 8  25%
Less than half-time Less than 6  TBD by school

  

SUMMER PELL GRANT

Some students may be eligible to receive a Pell Grant in the summer semester.  Pell Grants are awarded based on enrollment status in each semester of an academic year.  Payment in the summer semester depends on whether or not the student enrolled full-time or part-time in the fall and spring semesters.  Students may receive a Pell Grant payment in the summer semester if:

1. The student splits the original award into thirds (1/3 in fall, 1/3 in spring, 1/3 in summer).

2.  The student attends all three semesters in an academic year but enrolls part-time during either fall or spring semester.  The final summer payment would be determined by the amount of funds remaining and the enrollment of the student.

3. The student attends in the just the fall & summer, or just the spring & summer semesters. 

4. The student only attends in the summer semester.

Students must also meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy standards and all other Pell Grant eligibility criteria.   For any other questions regarding a summer Pell Grant please contact the Financial Aid Office.