FEDERAL PELL GRANT LIFETIME ELIGIBILITY

In December 2011, President Obama signed into law the consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74).  This law has significantly impacted the Federal Pell Grant Program.

Beginning in Fall 2012, students are now limited to 12 semesters (or 600%) of Federal Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime.  This change affects all students regardless of when or where they received their first Federal Pell Grant.  Students that are currently receiving the Federal Pell Grant in the academic year 2011-2012 and have already used 600% of their Federal Pell Grant eligibility will no longer be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant starting Fall 2012.

“HOW DO YOU KNOW IF THIS AFFECTS YOU?”

Whether you have used all of your Federal Pell Grant eligibility or only half, please be conscious about the lifetime limit of the Federal Pell Grant when changing majors and/or scheduling classes.

“HOW IS THE PERCENTAGE USED CALCULATED?”

The percentages are based off of the annual award at full-time enrollment status. 

For example:

A student attending in the academic year 2011-2012 at full time status and receiving their maximum annual award, the percentage used for 2011-2012 is 100%.

If the student attends only 9 credits (3/4 time) for each semester, the percentage used is 75%.

If the student attends only 6 credits (1/2 time) for each semester, the percentage used is 50%.

“HOW WILL YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE REACHED OR ARE IN DANGER OF REACHING THE LIFETIME ELIGIBILITY?”

In mid-April 2012, the Department of Education will begin sending e-mail messages to all 2012-2013 FAFSA applicants who appear to be Federal Pell Grant eligible and have reported Federal Pell Grant disbursements that are in excess of 450 percent of their Federal Pell Grant lifetime eligibility.  This process will be repeated weekly until July for FAFSA filers and filers making corrections to their FAFSA information.