What is a Federal Pell Grant?
A Federal Pell Grant is a need based grant awarded to students who qualify and have not earned a bachelor's or professional degree.
How do I know if I qualify for a Federal Pell Grant?
After filling out the FAFSA, the Department of Education assigns each applicant an EFC (Expected Family Contribution). This EFC is provided on the SAR (Student Aid Report) sent to the e-mail address provided. If you are meeting all other requirements, your EFC will determine overall Federal Pell Grant eligibility and the total amount you qualify to receive for the year. Please keep in mind your actual EFC is not a dollar amount.
|EFC: 0 – 5234
||Pell Grant eligible*
|EFC: 5235 & Higher
||Not Pell Grant eligible
*EFC Information provided for 2016-17: An EFC above 3500 requires 6+ hours minimum enrollment, EFC above 4700 requires 9+ hours, and EFC above 5000 requires full-time enrollment.
Where can I learn more about how my EFC was determined by the Department of Education?
Students who would like to learn more about how their EFC was determined can download the EFC Formula provided online through the Department of Education.
If I am eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant, do I have to pay it back?
Federal Pell Grants do not have to be repaid unless there is a decrease in enrollment after receiving the funds. Any decrease in enrollment due to withdrawing, being withdrawn, or dropping classes might result in having to pay a portion or all of the Federal Pell funds back.
If I am required to repay Federal Pell funds due to a decrease in enrollment, can I still receive other types of aid?
No, Federal Pell funds must be repaid in order to continue receiving financial aid. This includes future Federal Pell Funds, Federal Direct Loans and Work Study.
Can I receive Federal Pell funds for an unlimited number of semesters?
No, the Title IV Consolidation Appropriation Act of 2012 limits Federal Pell Grant payments to six (6) years of full time enrollment. Students who exceed this time frame can no longer receive a Federal Pell Grant, but may be able to apply for Federal Direct Loans (for up to 150% of academic program length), Work-Study, or other state grants or scholarships. More information is provided on the Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used Fact Sheet.
About Your Federal Pell Grant
Where will your Federal Pell Grant be posted?
Federal Pell Grant recipients can view their award in ACES under the Award Summary. For more information on how to navigate to your Award Summary go to Tutorials and Resources & check out the 'Finding your Financial Aid Award in ACES' tutorial.
How will your total Federal Pell Grant for the year be issued?
The total award in your ACES Award Summary will be divided and issued between the Fall and Spring semesters.
Example: A student with a Pell eligible EFC who is awarded a $5,600 in Federal Pell Grant can receive a maximum of $2,800 in the Fall and again in the Spring, depending on the "official" number of hours the student is enrolled in on the census date.
How much Federal Pell Grant will you actually receive per semester?
After dividing your total award for the year in half, the maximum amount you are eligible to receive for the semester is based upon full time (12 hours) enrollment. If you enroll in less than 12 hours, the amount of Pell Grant paid will be incrementally decreased to match the actual hours for which you are enrolled at the time of credit to your account, and up through the census date.
Example: A student who is eligible to receive a total Federal Pell Grant of $2,800 for the semester but enrolls in only six (6) hours will have the amount decreased to a total award payment of $1,400. Federal Pell Grant funds incrementally decrease for enrollment between 9-11 hours, 6-8 hours, and 1-5 hours.
After receiving your Federal Pell Grant can you add classes?
More information on adding classes can be found under Adding/Dropping Classes
How will your Federal Pell Grant be applied to your bill?
More information on how and when your Federal Pell funds will be applied to your balance can be found under Billing and Refunds.