Federal Grant Programs
THE FEDERAL PELL GRANT PROGRAM
The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's or professional degree to promote access to postsecondary education. Grant amounts are dependent on: the student's expected family contribution (EFC); the cost of attendance (as determined by the institution); the student's enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.
In order to apply for a Pell Grant you must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can learn more about this process online at www.fafsa.gov.
The Pell Grant can be used to pay your tuition, or, if your tuition is covered by other means, help with your fees, books, supplies and transportation costs. A grant is an award that does not have to be repaid. Your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as noted on your Federal Student Aid Report determines your Federal Pell Grant award amount. The Pell Grant chart shows the amount of Pell Grant you may be eligible for in the academic year. Click here for the Pell Grant Chart for 2015-2016.
Pell-specific eligibility requirements are that the student either be an undergraduate or be in an eligible degree granting program, and not be incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution, be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, have a valid Social Security Number and be making satisfactory academic progress.
Effective July 1, 2012, eligibility for the Pell Grant was limited to 12 terms of full-time payments or its equivalent. Semesters are counted based on the portion of a full-time equivalent, so that a half-time equivalent is counted as half a semester toward the 12-semester limit. Students can track their remaining Pell Grant eligibility on www.nslds.ed.gov (National Student Loan Data System) or on www.studentaid.gov.
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT PELL GRANT FOR SUMMER
Students who attend summer session may be eligible to receive Pell Grant from either the prior academic year or the upcoming academic year; however, it depends on each student's eligibility. For more information, download our Summer Study 2014 Information Guide.
For example, students who are enrolled in summer classes will be paid Pell from the prior academic year if they have remaining Pell eligibility. In other cases, students, who do not have remaining Pell eligibility from the prior academic year, may be paid Pell from the upcoming (current) academic year if they request payment. They must complete the Summer 2014 Federal Pell Grant Payment Request Form to request payment. Students who use their current Pell award for summer classes must be aware that if they are full-time in the upcoming fall and spring semesters, their Pell award will be reduced for the upcoming spring semester.
Please note that students who are ineligible for Pell from the prior academic year, will not be paid Pell from the current (upcoming) academic year for summer classes unless they complete the Summer 2014 Federal Pell Grant Payment Request Form, are eligible for Pell for the upcoming academic year, and have not reached their lifetime eligibility limit for the Pell Grant Program.
And for additional information on student eligibility requirements for Pell Grant and other federal programs, go to www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov