Federal Pell Grant

This is a need-based federal grant program for students who are seeking an undergraduate degree and whose Expected Family Contribution is below the amount designated by the United States Department of Education. The annual Federal Pell Grant award amount is determined by your EFC and enrollment status.

Initial awards are estimated based on full-time status (12 credit hours) and on the evaluation of information submitted on the FAFSA. Estimates will change if any criteria used to determine your eligibility, such as program of study or area of interest, degree status, satisfactory academic progress, income or family information changes. Actual payment will be determined based on enrollment at the census date (please see the definition of census date for clarification) listed in the college calendar.

You may not have to be enrolled full time to receive a Federal Pell Grant award. The amount actually paid to you from the Federal Pell Grant listed in your award letter will be prorated if you enroll for less than 12 credit hours in a given semester. You must begin attending all of your classes before disbursement of any funds are made. If your attendance is not confirmed for one or more classes, your aid will be adjusted to the enrollment level of the credit hours that have been confirmed.

Federal Pell Grant awards may be used for the equivalent of two full-time semesters each year. Students who attended part-time in fall and/or spring semester(s) may use their remaining eligibility in the summer semester.

Federal Pell Grant Program — Duration of Eligibility

Once you have received a Pell Grant for 12 semesters, or the equivalent, you will no longer be eligible for additional Pell Grants.

  • You are eligible to receive a Pell Grant for up to 12 semesters or the equivalent. If you have exceeded the 12-semester maximum, you will lose eligibility for additional Pell Grants. Equivalences are calculated by adding together the percentage of your Pell eligibility that you received each year to determine whether the total amount exceeds 600 percent.
  • For example, if your maximum Pell Grant award amount for the 2013-2014 school year was $5,645 (EFC was zero), you would receive $2,823 if you were only enrolled for one semester and you would have used 50 percent of your maximum award for that year. If, in the following school year, you were enrolled only three-quarter time, you would have used 75 percent of your maximum award for that year. Together, you would have received 125 percent out of the total 600 percent lifetime limit.