By filing the FAFSA, a student is automatically considered for a Pell Grant based on his/her family’s EFC and if he/she is enrolled in an eligible program of study. Students receive preliminary Pell eligibility upon completion of filing their FAFSA electronically. This amount is subject to any changes that a student might make to his/her FAFSA application or from the process of Verification.
The amount of the student’s award, based on the determination of eligibility and the cost of his/her education, is determined by the U.S. Department of Education. This grant program, authorized by the Educational Amendments of 1972, does not have to be repaid and is used to provide the “base” for a student’s financial package. The maximum amount varies from year to year dependent on published Office of Education payment schedules.
Once a Pell Package is sent to a student and that student becomes registered, Pell is placed on the student account. A Pell grant is used to pay tuition, fees, room and board (if a student lives on campus). Any amount over these billed amounts can be refunded to a student. Students who are Pell-eligible can charge their books from the campus bookstore to their accounts before any Pell refunds are distributed if financial aid is greater than tuition, fees and dorm charges. This can be by the 7th day of a payment period, as long as the student has completed the financial aid process. Students must have completed the financial aid process (must have received a financial aid package) in order to obtain their books in this manner. This process is only for the College bookstore.
Students must apply each year by filing the FAFSA electronically. Students can apply after October 1st each year. All new and returning students are encouraged to apply early, at least by April 1, to ensure adequate time for processing.
The amount of a student’s financial aid package can be affected by a student’s enrollment status: full time, part time or less then part time. Before a student changes enrollment status (drops or adds classes) he/she should check with the Financial Aid Office to see how the change will affect his/her aid status. After the official drop and add period, the Financial Aid Office will not recalculate a student’s Federal Pell Grant amount due to enrollment status change. EXAMPLES: If Student A enrolls for 12 credit hours and withdraws from 3 credit hours after the official Drop/Add period, then Student A will be paid as a full time student. If Student B originally enrolls for 9 credit hours and adds an additional 3 credit hours after the official Drop/Add period, then Student B will be paid as a three-quarter time student, not as a full time student.
When a student receives a financial aid package after the beginning of a term (semester) and the student is Pell eligible their enrollment will be reviewed at that time. To receive a Pell grant a student must be enrolled and attending those courses that the student is enrolled in and these courses must be in a degree or certificate program that is qualified for federal student aid. The student’s Pell will be packaged based on this course attendance, regardless of what the student was originally enrolled for. The date of record for Pell will be the date that the student has completed the awarding process. No reduction of Pell will occur after a student is awarded except when a student totally withdraws or fails all courses in a given term. Then the rules for recalculation of Title IV aid will be reviewed with respect to the students last date of enrollment and federal aid is adjusted at that time if need be.
Pell Grants are federal financial aid. Direct Student Loans, Plus loans, FWS and FESOG are also federal financial aid. Students receiving federal financial aid of any type must have their attendance verified each semester before any aid proceeds are disbursed. This process, completed by the faculty, occurs after the last day of drop and add for the term of current enrollment. Any student not attending classes as documented by the faculty will have their classes dropped and will have their federal financial aid suspended. Students are notified of this via their campus email. Students will not be able to attend classes. If a student believes they have attended class, they need to contact their instructors and follow the instructions that were emailed to them.
Students receiving Pell Grants are subject to lifetime limits and review of their enrollment history. For information, please go to Pell LEU and Unusual Enrollment History.