Pell Grants

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. Pell Grants are considered a foundation of federal financial aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added. There are limits on the maximum amount a student is eligible to receive each academic year and in total (aggregate Pell Grant limit).

The EFC (Expected Family Contribution) calculated by the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) determines if the student is Pell-eligible and the amount the student is entitled to receive. To qualify for a Pell Grant, the Office of Financial Aid must receive a valid FAFSA while the student is enrolled. If the FAFSA is received after the semester is over, the Pell Grant awarded must be based upon completed credits.

Students are limited to 12 semesters (600%) of Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime.  According to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74), the following are basic guidelines for Pell eligibility:

  • Available to undergraduate students with no prior bachelor's or professional degree;
  • The maximum award for 2019-20 year is $6,195;
  • The amount of each Federal Pell Grant depends on a student's financial need, cost of education, and enrollment status; and
  • The amount reported on a student's Award Letter is based on student’s enrollment at the time the Award Letter was generated. If the student is enrolled for less than full-time, their award will be adjusted accordingly (6-8 credits = 1/2 Pell, 9-11 credits = 3/4 Pell and 12+ credits = full-time Pell).