Got Pell Grant Questions? We’ve Got Answers

Key Facts About Federal Pell Grants

Editor's Note:  On January 31, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education announced the maximum Pell Grant Award for the 2014-15 financial aid award year will be $5,730. Click here to read Barbara Thompson's latest Pell Grant update.

Established more than 40 years ago, the Federal Pell Grant program is the nation's largest source of need-based grants for undergraduate college students. But if you're just now starting college and applying for financial aid, there's a good chance you're asking one or more of the following questions about how Pell grants work. 

1. Just who gets a Federal Pell Grant?  Students who demonstrate financial need. This need is determined by a federal formula that can only be officially calculated after you file your FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. No FAFSA, no Pell grant. You also must be:

  • A U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • An undergraduate student. Note: Unless you’re pursuing a post-baccalaureate teaching certificate, you can’t get a Pell Grant if you already have a baccalaureate (four-year) degree or you are pursuing a graduate degree, such as an MBA or a doctorate in physics.
  • Enrolled at least part-time in a college that is eligible to participate in the federal financial aid programs.

2. How is the amount of the Pell Grant determined?  Pell Grant awards are based on a formula that takes into account a number of factors, including your expected family contribution (EFC), the cost of attendance at the school you’re attending, and your enrollment status (full-time vs. part-time).

3. Is there a maximum Pell Grant amount?  Yes. For the 2013-2014 financial aid award year, which begins July 1, 2013, the maximum Pell award for a full-time undergraduate student is $5,645. Maximum Pell Grant awards are lower for part-time students.

4. Is there a minimum Pell Grant award?  Yes, the minimum Pell Grant award is $582 for a full-time undergraduate student.

5. When do I get my Pell Grant money?  Because the federal government will send your Pell Grant money directly to your school, you may not receive any cash at all. The school likely will first apply your grant money against your school account, which will include tuition, fees, and any room and board charges paid directly to the school. If there is any leftover cash after your direct school costs have been met, your school will issue a “refund” to you.  

The payment method varies by school. Most likely, the refund will be issued to you via check, a debit card, or a credit to your bank account. Also, Pell Grant refunds are typically disbursed in multiple installments. For example, if your school schedule is based on the traditional two semesters per year, you can expect to receive a Pell disbursement each semester. Make sure to respond to any information requests from your school’s financial aid office; if your paperwork is incomplete, your Pell payment will be delayed.

6. Are there restrictions on how I can use my Pell Grant refund?  Yes! This is not “extra” cash that you can spend on a sound bar for your entertainment system. This money is to be used to pay for your out-of-pocket expenditures for eligible school-related expenses – for example, books, lab materials, or art supplies, a bus pass to cover your daily ride to and from campus, or the rent owed on your off-campus apartment. Pell money can be used for food, but we’re talking about the slice or two of pizza you need for your dinner, not a pizza party for your friends.   

7. If I’ve been awarded a Pell Grant for my freshman year, is the grant automatically renewed for my sophomore year?  No. Pell Grant eligibility is determined on an annual basis, and you have to submit a new FAFSA each year. Your Pell eligibility could increase or decrease, depending on changes in your family situation. For example, you may be eligible for a larger Pell award if your twin siblings enroll in college next year.

After your freshman year, you’ll file a “renewal” FAFSA, which is pretty much like the FAFSA you submit for your first year in college, so don’t forget or lose your FAFSA PIN. If you want to apply for financial aid for the 2014-15 academic year, make sure to file your renewal FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1, 2014.

Tip:  You can use the FAFSA4caster to estimate your eligibility for federal financial aid, including federal student loans as well as Pell Grants.

Mandy Sponholtz is a Policy Analyst at USA Funds in Lawrence, Kansas.

Updated January 31, 2014.

Related posts:

2014-15 Maximum Pell Grant Award Set to Rise to $5,730

Real-World FAQs about Federal Pell Grants

Maximum Federal Pell Grant Increasing to $5,645

Federal Budget Sequester Won't Affect 2013-2014 Pell Grants, but Other Aid Programs Will See Cuts

Follow These 4 Steps When Comparing Financial Aid Offers

Just What's in that Cost of Attendance Estimate?

Employ the Free FAFSA4caster to Explore Eligibility for 2014-15 Financial Aid

 

 

Comments for Got Pell Grant Questions? We’ve Got Answers


Name: marcus haywood
Time: Monday, August 26, 2013

my program only lasts one semester and I received the maximum pell grant.why is my grant split into 2 semesters, when im not coming back.

Name: Ashley Taylor
Time: Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I was wondering since I wasn't awarded a Pell grant this semester, if next semester could I apply for a new one since I will be independent and it'll also be a new year? I'm asking this because what if I decided to start school in January instead of August, would I be able to get a Pell grant then? The reason im asking is because I wasn't employed in 2012 but I am in 2013 so next year ill be able to put down my income.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Marcus:

To get the answer to your question about why your Pell Grant is being split in two, we consulted Sue Allmon, Financial Aid Administrator at Western Governors University and a contributor to the CollegeUp.org Blog.

Her answer: “Federal regulations require that the Pell Grant be split over two semesters as it is an annual award. You’ll receive half now, and half the next semester, even if you do not plan to enroll for the next semester. Your school cannot give you 100% of your award in one semester.”

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ashley:

We put your question about applying for financial aid again this year to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon.

Her answer: “Unfortunately, no, you cannot apply for a new Pell Grant award for next semester. The Pell Grant award cycle runs from July 1st to June 30th each year. The FAFSA you have already filed covers the same time span – July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Your next available opportunity to file a new FAFSA will be in January 2014, and that application will cover the July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 time frame.”

Name: Andrea
Time: Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I have a question about the split term. Will your pell grant transfer to another school, if you are attending a different school for the spring semester?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, September 5, 2013

Andrea:

Sue Allmon, Financial Aid Administrator at Western Governors University and a regular contributor to the CollegeUp.org Blog, has the answer to your question:

Your Pell Grant travels with you. However, when you transfer, you need to make sure your new school is listed on your FAFSA so that they can receive your information. The financial aid office at your new school will then create an award letter for you based on the new school's cost of attendance. Within that award letter will be your Pell Grant award. The award amount may be different due to the cost of attendance at the new school.

Name: jeancarlos mejia
Time: Saturday, September 21, 2013

I have a quick question on my portal it says federal pell grant 2013 summer De Anza but I did not received anything on my higher account?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp.org Blog Administra
Time: Tuesday, September 24, 2013

According to Sue Allmon, a financial aid expert and blogger for CollegeUp.org, a student must be enrolled and attending classes In order to receive a Pell grant award. It is possible for a Pell award to be posted, but, for a number of reasons, a student subsequently may not register for summer term courses.

To find out more about your situation, you will need to contact the financial aid office at your school.

Name: Marianne Lawrence
Time: Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I was awarded the Pell Grant for this year, but I finish school in December. What happens to the other half of the Pell Grant?

Name: Brittany M
Time: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I have the same question as Marianne. My Pell Grant is roughly $2,000 [1,000 split between the 2 semesters].. the 1,000 for this fall semester obviously did not cover the tuition I had to pay. I am graduating in December but my school account is still saying I have the other $1,000 for the spring semester. Since I will be graduating and not attending classes will I get a refund check for the money I didn't get to use.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

According to Sue Allmon, financial aid expert and CollegeUp blogger: If a student is receiving his/her bachelor’s degree in December, then the other half of his/her Pell award will be returned to the Department of Education. If the student receives a certificate or associate’s degree in December, then the second half of the Pell award would be available to use in pursuit of the student's first bachelor’s degree. Once a student has earned a first bachelor’s degree, the student is no longer eligible to receive a Pell award.

Name: Rob
Time: Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I have a question. I have a stepdaughter who plans to attend college next year. Her father has been incarcerated since she was 6 or 7 and her mother has raised her with no outside help along with her younger brother. Her mother and I were married 3 months ago. When applying for a pell grant will they only take into account our new house hold income? Obviously we were just married and have had no time to save for her tuition and being a single mother with 2 children and no help her mother hasn't been able to save very much. I am sure that our combined income is to high for her to qualify if the fact that I just came into the picture isnt taken into consideration.

Name: Ryan Witherspoon
Time: Thursday, October 31, 2013

If I am awarded a certain amount of money on my pell grant can my school reduce the amount of pell grant money i have and replace it with work study without telling me even if I dont have time for workstudy.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, November 1, 2013

Rob:

According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert, Sue Allmon, when you file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will need to report all the income from the current household. This means that you would report your income as well as your wife’s income on the FAFSA. You can reach out to the college your stepdaughter decides to attend to discuss the financial situation, but for the initial financial aid application, you will need to include both incomes.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, November 1, 2013

Ryan:

No. According to Sue Allmon, who is a financial aid expert and regular contributor to the CollegeUp.org blog, your school cannot reduce your Pell Grant and replace it with work-study. However, if you have been attending college for a while, you may be running out of Pell Grant funding, and the school may have been required to reduce your Pell Grant award. And, since your Pell Grant may have had to be reduced, the school may be trying to assist you financially by offering another financial aid option in the way of the work-study program. Also, if your enrollment status has changed – if you go from being a full-time student to being a part-time student, the school would be required to reduce your Pell award since your enrollment status is a factor in determining how big a Pell Grant you can receive.

Name: Linda
Time: Friday, November 15, 2013

I am close to graduating with a degree,however I would like to change colleges and get another degree. I will need about 36 hours on my new degree. Can I do this and still receive a Pell Grant?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, November 15, 2013

Linda:

According to financial aid expert and CollegeUp.org Blog contributor Sue Allmon, Pell grants are available only to students pursuing their first bachelor's degree. If you are planning to complete a bachelor's degree program and then enroll in a program to pursue a second bachelor's degree, you will not be able to receive any additional Pell Grant awards.

If you transfer to another school to complete your undergraduate education, you may be considered for a Pell Grant, provided you have not yet obtained your first bachelor's degree and, of course, you demonstrate financial need.

If you are about to complete a two-year associate's degree and then enroll in a program to pursue your first bachelor's degree, you can still get a Pell Grant, assuming you demonstrate sufficient financial need.

Name: Baily
Time: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I just reviewed my loan and grant info on nslds.ed.gov and discovered that there have been 2 instances where I was awarded a certain amount and the entire amount was not disbursed to me. It say that the difference is remaining to be disbursed. What is going on with that? Can they apply that as loan now or did they mess me up by not disbursing the full amount?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Baily:

Federal grants and loans are disbursed in multiple installments. For example, if your school has two semesters per academic year, you can expect your Pell grant to be paid in two installments, one at the start of each semester. Federal loans also are usually awarded by semester. If you continue to be enrolled during the spring semester, your remaining grant and loan monies will be disbursed.

Name: Daon
Time: Friday, December 6, 2013

I got a student grant and loan and didn't finish my first semester will I be able to get another one to go to school on line

Name: sarha
Time: Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I have a question. If I am not going to school in the summer but my pell grant was for the spring and summer will it carry over to the fall or will I be refunded?

Name: Angie Davis
Time: Friday, December 13, 2013

How many semesters can i receive pell? I had alot of core classes to complete so its going to take me longer than two years to get my degree. Should I be worried? I dont want to get almost done with school and then find out that i cant afford to finish.

Name: Stephanie
Time: Monday, December 30, 2013

I have a pell grant but I don't want to go to that college for my associate degree and the tuition has been paid how can I be refunded

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, January 2, 2014

Stephanie:
According to financial aid expert and CollegeUp.org blogger Sue Allmon, you need to review the refund policy of the college in question. Just when you formally withdraw from the college will determine just how much of the tuition will be refunded and thus, how much of the Pell grant award will be refunded back to the Department of Education. The refunded amount will be available for use at another school.

Name: Missy
Time: Thursday, January 2, 2014

What if you transfer at the semester to another university? Do you still get the other half of your pell grant based on your original application or do you have to start the process all over?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, January 2, 2014

Missy:
We submitted your question to financial aid expert and CollegeUp.org blogger Sue Allmon. The answer: Yes, your remaining Pell award should be available, depending on the new school’s cost of attendance. And, no, you won’t need to submit a new FAFSA, but you will need to go online at www.FAFSA.gov to update your FAFSA to include the federal school code for the school you’re transferring to. If you’re transferring to a new school for the spring semester of the 2013-2014 financial aid award year, you should update your 2013-2014 FAFSA.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, January 6, 2014

Angie:

Your remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility is based upon the amount of funding you have used. Under current law, a student can be awarded Pell grants for up to six years (thus, for up to 12 semesters at schools that are based on traditional academic year calendar). Your Student Aid Report will tell you how much of your Pell grant funding you have used to date. Remember, this is total Pell grant usage, so, if you attended another school prior to your current school and received a Pell grant award, that award will also count towards your maximum. If you still have questions, you should contact your financial aid office for assistance in determining how much to been used and how much is remaining eligibility is available to you.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, January 6, 2014

Sarha:

No, your Pell grant award will not carry over into the fall term. Your fall-term award will be based upon the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that you file for the 2014-15 award year, which starts on July 1, 2014. The 2014-15 FAFSA is now available online at www.FAFSA.gov. If you decide not to attend for the summer, your summer award will be refunded back to the U.S. Department of Education.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, January 6, 2014

Daon:

We shared your query with Sue Allmon, a financial aid expert and contributor to the CollegeUp.org Blog. Her answer:

"It depends. The school you left will have to calculate when you actually left the school and determine what funding you were eligible to receive at that school. If funding remains and you do not owe the U.S. Department of Education a repayment on what you received from this school, you might be eligible for funding at a future school. You will want to contact the school you left to learn what aid you actually earned and if you owe money back to the school or the U.S. Department of Education. You will also want to contact your online school to let them know your status and have them help you determine your eligibility for federal and other financial aid at that school."

Name: Daniel webster
Time: Monday, January 6, 2014

Per my fasfa I was to receive 3,100 for my pell grant. I haven't received and funds and I have only used 350.00 f my lifetime max. What could the problem be?

Name: Daniel
Time: Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I am enrolling in Paramedic which is a 56 credit program. Before starting medic in fall, i am required to take basic anatomy which is a 5 credit course in spring. I was approved for the 5645 in pell grant and it says i was awarded 2823 and my class was only 600. Should i expect to recieve the remaining 2223 in a dibursement even though im only doing 5 credits this semester? I am enrolled in the medic program. Ive read that since its not 6 credits i wont recieve it. It says the 2823 under "Awarded" and my "Disbursed" is blank because my school hasnt sent them out yet. Just want to know if i will recieve all that i was awarded.

Name: Nicole
Time: Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I was awarded my pell grant, which dropped significantly from one semester to the next and I do not know why. My job and pay have not changed. Nothing has changed. I do not understand. And then when I reviewed my refund online from my school they were not giving me the pell grant I was awarded. When I spoke to a representative she said that because I was not full time that I do not get to receive my pell grant. I have always been part time and was able to receive it, but now all of a sudden I can't and I was never informed, there fore I had no way of paying for school or saving for it, except for a loan. Why has all this changed?

Name: Kristen
Time: Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I was told I have exceeded maximum credits for community college. Some of the credits were transferred from college I attended 20 years ago and most do not pertain to the degree I am trying to get now. Pell grant did pay for those credits. The present credits I have earned recently I have paid out of pocket all except Fall 2013 semester (10 units) and I was trying to obtain two degrees, an AA and an AAS. Is there some way to appeal? Is there a time limit on when the Pell grant money was used for these credits? Also grants and loans did not pay for these last few years worth of credits. Can any of this be taken into consideration? Thank you.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Kristen:
We shared your query with financial aid expert and CollegeUp.org blogger Sue Allmon. Here’s her answer:
It appears you have reached what is called the “maximum timeframe.” The U.S. Department of Education will only allow a student to attempt up to 150 percent of course units/credits that can be applied towards earning a degree. If the degree is not earned within that 150 percent timeframe, a student’s eligibility for federal aid is terminated by the Department of Education. For example, a two-year associate’s degree could require 60 units; with the 150 percent rule, you would have the ability to attempt up to 90 units to earn the 60 credits required for the degree. Attempted units include all units whether you received a passing grade, got an F, or withdrew from any course. Unfortunately, there is no appeal in this situation.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, January 9, 2014

Nicole:

Because there are many variables that can affect the Pell Grant eligibility for an individual student, we cannot provide a definitive answer to your question. We encourage you to reach out to the financial aid office and ask to speak to a supervisor. You should ask the supervisor to walk you through the financial aid packaging process for your school and explain, in detail, why your Pell Grant award has been adjusted.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, January 9, 2014

Daniel:

Contact your school’s financial aid office to review your financial aid award. The Pell Grant is available for students enrolled in less than six credits so you may be eligible for the award. If your Pell Grant amount is intended to cover living expenses as well as tuition, you can expect a “refund” of the amount that exceeds the tuition bill and any other direct expenses billed to your school account.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, January 9, 2014

Daniel Webster:

Your school will apply your Pell Grant proceeds against your school account to pay tuition, fees, room and board, and any other direct expenses billed directly by your school. If there are funds remaining after your school account has been paid, a “refund” will be paid to you. You should check your billing statement from your school’s Bursar’s office to determine how your financial aid award was applied to your school account. If you do not see your Pell Grant award posted there, you should contact your school’s financial aid office to review your financial aid award.

Name: shari
Time: Friday, January 10, 2014

I was awarded the full amount of the federal pell grant and enrolled in full-time credit hours, but I withdrew from school in the middle of the semester, and now I have a balance that I owe. When I looked at the breakdown of the payments and charges in my account, I noticed a pell award payment charge. My question is, what is a pell award payment and why do I have to pay that back if it was given to me.

Name: Erin Vaughn
Time: Sunday, January 12, 2014

I was awarded a Pell grant and also two school loans, one subsidized,one unsubsidized. I'm a nursing student. My aid was initially distributed between fall, spring, and a summer semester; however, the summer pharmacology class was moved to spring. I asked my school if my aid would be reallocated to spring and they said if I wasn't taking summer classes, I would lose the aid. I'm confused! If I was granted a grant, why wouldn't I get it and I can't be held responsible for a loan if they don't give me the money, correct?

Name: cas
Time: Monday, January 13, 2014

If a federal Pell check expired, can it still be used? If not, what happens to the money?

Name: Jennifer
Time: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I was wondering why I was awarded half of my Pell grant for this spring semester and then told it was going to be reduced even more because I was only enrolled half-time. My Pre-bill is $3,360 for 6credits. My EFC was 0 and I am off-campus. Does this seem legit? Is the school withholding money so I can pay more with loans than receive through Pell. It just seems odd since it puts me in this predicament where I can barely pay for my own schooling. =(

Name: Cheyann
Time: Thursday, January 16, 2014

If I wanted to take Summer courses straight after high school and then take the fall off from courses and go back for Winter courses, would I still get the full Pell Grant money?

Name: Christine
Time: Monday, January 20, 2014

I was approved for Pell Grant, I got the Pell Grant refund back last semester, therefore there is an hold onto my Pell Grant this semester and I was wondering why.

Name: Karen F
Time: Monday, January 20, 2014

When reviewing my pell grant info on the nslds site , I noticed that for several years of funds remaining that weren't dispersed due to not attending full time. What happens to that money? This semester I'm taking 10 credit hours and my pell was cut again. I'm attending Nursing School and will be attending both summer terms. Will my leftover thousands of dollars that date back to around 2005 be used for the summer I & II terms?

Name: Rosa Villa
Time: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I graduated on the summer and applied to go to another school for the fall. I was accepted and got a pell grant. School wants me to pay back because they said I was not eligible to receive it because the pell grant only covers one school. If this was the case why didn't they bother to tell me this when I was registering in school for the fall semester. I feel that they should had told me to wait until the spring semester. What can I do in this situation?

Name: Monique
Time: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hello, I went to a community college 20years ago. I had a pell grant. Now I am starting school again and I pull up my loans on NSLDA and it show I have refund owe to me from the old community college from 20yraes ago. Can I ask for that refund?

Name: Marcos Murillo
Time: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Quick question. I graduate in March 2014. Will i be eligible to receive the Pell grant?
Thanks in advance!

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Marcos:

Unfortunately, we may not have sufficient information to answer your question. If you are currently enrolled and asking about Pell for your current enrollment, we encourage you to contact your financial aid office and request a meeting with a financial aid administrator to discuss your Pell Grant eligibility for your current enrollment period.

If you are asking if you will be eligible for a Pell Grant after you graduate: That depends. If you are receiving an associate’s degree and decide to continue your studies to pursue a bachelor’s degree, you may still be able to receive Pell Grant funding. If you are completing your bachelor’s degree in March and are planning to enroll in a second undergraduate program or graduate school to pursue, for example, a master’s or doctoral degree, you won’t be able to get a Pell Grant. Federal rules allow schools to award Pell Grants to eligible students for their studies only through the completion of a first bachelor’s degree.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, January 24, 2014

Shari:

Schools use different terms for awarding, disbursing and refunding/returning federal financial aid funds. We can’t say for sure what your school considers a “Pell award payment charge.” With respect to your other inquiry, though, we can offer the following: Pell Grant funds are awarded based on the assumption that you will attend at the level of enrollment – meaning full-time in your case – and for the entire semester for which they were disbursed. While the funds are awarded at the first of the semester to assist you with your education costs, they are really “earned” across the entire period of the semester when you attend classes, labs, and fulfill your academic requirements. When you withdrew, the school calculated, based on a formula that the Department of Education requires, that you had not earned the full amount you received and is asking you to repay the funds that you did not earn. You can get more information about the amounts that your school calculated as being earned versus those unearned, as well as some very important information about how to repay those funds by contacting the financial aid office at your school.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, January 24, 2014

Erin:

First, if the summer disbursement of loan funds was never made, then it is not a part of what you owe, and you will not be required to repay it. As to the grant funds, those funds were awarded based on your anticipated enrollment – and the costs associated with that enrollment – for three terms. Only your school can confirm for you how they determine if any additional grant funds initially anticipated for summer can or should be applied to cover costs incurred during the spring semester. We encourage you to work with one of the financial aid professionals at your school to determine if you have additional grant fund eligibility for spring, and if not, why not.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, January 24, 2014

Cas:

A check that is past its stale-date cannot be cashed. It may be possible for the school to issue a new disbursement check to cover those funds that you have not yet received. However, the Department of Education requires your school to accomplish certain tasks, such as returning to the program from which they were drawn any funds from uncashed checks, within certain timeframes. If one of those time frames has passed, then the school may not be able to reissue a grant disbursement check. The only way to confirm the best next steps is to contact the financial aid office at your school and discuss your situation with the financial aid administrator.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, January 24, 2014

Jennifer:

Your school is required to award Pell Grant funds based on formula and tables established by the U.S. Department of Education. Those federal rules limit the amount that the school may award per school term, and also based on your enrollment status for that term. Your school’s financial aid administrators can share with you the calculation of your award amount based on those federal formulas, but in concept, yes, it is legitimate that you are awarded the Pell funds on a semester basis and that your eligibility is calculated based on your enrollment status. For example, if you are enrolled in two terms – such as Fall and Spring – the school may not provide you with more than half of your annual Pell award for each of those terms. And the amount awarded for each of the terms is based on your enrollment status for the term. So if you are half time you won’t get as much as if you were enrolled full time.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, January 24, 2014

Cheyann:

Perhaps. If your school determines that you are eligible for Pell Grant funds and are enrolled as a qualifying student, you may receive Pell Grant funds for the summer. However, the school’s own awarding policies and certain factors related to your eligibility for Pell Grant funds will factor into how and when the school may award Pell funds. We strongly encourage you to work with your financial aid administrator to understand how your enrollment plan will interact with your eligibility for Pell and other Title IV awards.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, January 24, 2014

Christine:

In this case, only your financial aid administrator has all of the important facts and dates about your initial Pell eligibility, your enrollment history, and the refund to determine your current status and how to regain eligibility for additional funds for this new term.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, January 24, 2014

Karen F:

Your school awards Pell Grant funds based on formula and tables established by the U.S. Department of Education. Those federal rules limit the amount that the school may award per school term and per year, and also based on your enrollment status for that term. Your school’s financial aid administrators can share with you the calculation of your award amount based on those federal formulas for this year, although those formulae vary year-to-year and constructing those older calculations would be difficult. Funds that you did not earn in previous years or terms during those years are not available to you for additional, future years. Those funds were available to you in those terms during those years if you earned them; as you did not attend full-time during every possible term for those years, they were not your funds at all and are not available to you for use in future periods of enrollment.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, January 24, 2014

Rosa Villa:

Your school is correct that the Pell Grant may be used only for students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree. You have used your Pell Grant eligibility and will not be eligible for additional Pell funds for any term in pursuit of a second degree. At the time that your second school awarded your Pell Grant, it is likely that the fact that you had earned your first degree had not yet posted to the national database and the financial aid office at your school may have been unaware of that previous degree. However, now that the school is apprised of that very important information, federal regulations require that they cancel the Pell Grant. It is normal that they would ask you to repay any Pell funds already disbursed to you and for which you are not eligible. Until those funds are repaid in full, your school is prohibited by federal regulations from disbursing to you any other monies for which you are otherwise eligible such as Stafford or PLUS loans, etc.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, January 24, 2014

Monique:

No. Schools have time frames within which they may refund Pell Grant monies. Funds that are not returned to the student within those federally regulated time frames are returned to the Pell program itself.

Name: Lucia Perez
Time: Friday, January 24, 2014

A student did not withdraw classes on time, hence she has to pay back Pell. However, the school closed, does she still have to pay back Pell, even with the school closed?

Name: Sheryl Taylor
Time: Friday, January 24, 2014

I was recently told that since I started in the spring and received half of a pell grant that I could still possibly receive last semesters half of the pell grant as well to help with summer classes, etc. Am I able to do this?

Name: Kentella Carmouche
Time: Saturday, January 25, 2014

I didnt get a pell grant for last semester but on my account this semester says I received one last semester. Will I get that one this semester?

Name: Bianca Moreno
Time: Saturday, January 25, 2014

I am due to recieve my pell grant money in march. But i finished my program early. I am curious how if possible i can request to recieve my money earlier.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lucia Perez:

If the student withdrew the school was required to perform a calculation to determine that portion of her aid the school could keep and that portion that must be returned by the school and the student to the Pell program. This formula is part of the Pell Grant regulations, and all schools use the same calculation to determine how those Pell monies are returned. If the school determined that the student is required to return some portion of her Pell Grant funds, she is responsible to return those fund to the Department of Education, regardless of the fact that the school subsequently closed. For additional information on the school closure, the student should contact the Department of Education for the state in which the school is located. As for the repayment of Pell Grant funds, the student should contact Debt Resolution Services by calling 1-800-621-3115 or by writing Debt Resolution Services at the following address: U.S. Department of Education Debt Resolution Services P.O. Box 5609 Greenville, Texas 75403.

Name: Mary
Time: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My 2013-2014 FAFSA was changed in January of 2014 and my award letter stated I would receive a pell grant for the spring 2014 semester. It also showed a pell grant award for the previous semester, but I already used loans for that semester. Where does that money go? Will they apply the entire pell grant to the spring semester?

Name: Victoria H
Time: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I received my Federal Pell Grant for the fall semester and decided to take a semester off of school (spring semester). I checked online and I will be receiving my pell grant for my refund this spring. What should I do? I do not think this is right and my schools financial advisor is on leave for a while.

Name: Alex
Time: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I was registered in a class that required a lab. With that class I was full time. I wasn't able to get into the lab so I had to drop the class...hours later I got an add slip for another class bringing me back to full time. on that same day I got an email saying I had recieved my financial aid but since for that day it no longer showed that I was full time it only gave me half of the financial aid that my award letter said I should have been awarded. I went to the school and they said they had no control and that it was a federal issue. I was 3 credits short for literally less than a day and lost 1400 dollars now that I'm full time again I need that to help pay my tuition and books. How do I explain this and who do I explain this to? Thank you.

Name: Mary
Time: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I had a change in circumstances and my school filed a change to my FAFSA. I got the award letter for the Spring 2014 semester that shows I am eligible for a pell grant. It also shows a pell grant award for the Fall 2013 semester, but I already paid for that semester. What happens to the grant for that time. I was told that the school can't apply both funds for the same semester.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Victoria:

In response to your query that was posted on January 29, 2014:

If you are not enrolled for the Spring term, then you may not receive Pell Grant funds – or any other federal financial aid – for the Spring period. If no one in your financial aid office is available to address your concern, we would urge you to contact the Bursar or business office on this matter to ensure that the school’s records correctly reflect your enrollment status (not enrolled) and that the school does not charge your school account or post federal financial aid to that account during a period when you are not enrolled.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mary

In response to your queries that were posted January 29:

Federal regulations require the school to pay Pell Grant funds on a term-by-term basis - they cannot pay the entire annual amount for only a single term. If you are entitled to Pell Grant funds for the Fall term, that amount will be applied to your school account and used first to pay any outstanding charges for the Fall and Spring. If, after paying those charges, a credit balance remains on your account, you may receive those funds in the form of a check or other method as designated by the school. You need to check with your financial aid office to determine specifically how those funds will be handled.

Also, while you will need to check with your financial aid office for specifics, a Pell Grant is generally awarded for each term (semester in this case) in the student’s academic year. Pell-eligible students are awarded one amount for the entire year – and the school determines the per-term amount of eligibility based on that annual amount and the student’s enrollment status for the term (full time, half time, etc.). Therefore, if you were enrolled in both the Fall and Spring terms, you may be eligible for those funds for both of those terms. But only your school’s financial aid administrators can explain exactly how funds are awarded and when your school disburses those awards.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, January 30, 2014

Alex:

In response to your comment that was posted January 29:

Federal policy requires that you begin attendance in the courses or the same number of courses for which you were awarded federal funds. If you did not begin attendance in sufficient courses to equate to full-time, then the school is correct that federal policy requires a reduction in aid. However, how the school records attendance is a function of school policy. Federal regulations and policy do not tell the school when or how to determine each student’s enrollment status except to require that it make that determination before it disburses federal Title IV funds such as Pell Grants or Direct Loan funds. If the school’s policies require that it record attendance and disburse aid based on its enrollment status records on a single date – some schools call it a “census” date – then a single-day change in enrollment status could result in a change like the one you describe in your federal aid amounts. It’s important to note that while the attendance-taking policies are developed and implemented by your school, federal policies do require the school to enforce its own published policies consistently.

With respect to how you may obtain the remaining aid that you were expecting, there is no federal agency or contact to whom you might appeal. As the attendance policies are implemented solely by your school, you might check to see if the school has an appeal or review process that you might pursue.

Name: Cantrell Cornelius
Time: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I was awarded 4,995 (pell) and my first semester i took 9 hours and my total after everything added up was one thousand and some dollars. This semester (spr14) everything totals out to $1,314 (12 hours). The school has received $1,665 which leaves $351 or so that will be given to me. . .When i checked on the fafsa website it says that $2,300 (not exact math) is amount to be disbursed. So my question is will i be getting that money since my tuition and things are all paid for?

Name: Mariah christian
Time: Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My balance is at zero and I have a 2000 refund that is suppose to be given to me through my school . It's been a month since school has started and I haven't got my refund I really need the money I used my credit card to buy my books . Is it OK for my school just to hold the money for how long they feel is necessary?

Name: shelby
Time: Saturday, February 8, 2014

I am graduating with my Assoc. of Science in May, but I am only 8 credits short of my degree my last quarter, but I am trying to petition for 21 credits, because I need prerequisites to get into UGA's education school for my 4 year. Will FASFA/HOPE cover these extra courses??

Name: Jocelyn
Time: Saturday, February 8, 2014

I was wondering what would happen if you didn't use the money for school expenses like books? Because I've already gotten the things I need for this semester with my financial aid. And also I am a single mother and I'm trying to get an apartment closer to school to save gas money. Could I use the money I have left over from financial aid to help me with the things I need for the apartment that I do not have the money out of pocket to use? Would that be considered using the money I get back the right way since it's benifiting me in a way I can be closer to my school and closer to my sons babysitter so I'm able to go to school?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cantrell Cornelius:

In response to your query that was posted Feb. 4, 2014:

It is impossible for us to say how much of the funds that you see as potential disbursement of spring-term funds will be disbursed directly to you to cover other education-related expenses. The amount of any disbursement to you, how much is applied to school expenses, and how much if anything is returned to the federal programs from which those funds are drawn is determined by your school. To get a good sense of what you should expect to happen with your spring funding, we encourage you to contact the financial aid professionals at your school.

Name: meghan
Time: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I have received the Pell grant for Spring 2014 and have already applied for FAFSA 2014-2015 as well as 2013-2014. IF I dont go in the summer semester 2014, will I still receive a pell disbursement for Fall 2014 which is when I will be continuing?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sheryl Taylor:

In response to your January 24, 2014 post:

Provided you have Pell Grant eligibility remaining for the award year, that is correct. Pell Grant awards are also tied to your enrollment status for the term – full time, half time and less than half time. However, for specific information you should check with the Financial Aid Office at your school.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mariah Christian:

In response to your February 5, 2014 post:

Federal policy requires schools to pay credit balances (or what you refer to as a refund) of federal student aid funds within 14 days of when the credit balance was created. However, if you signed an agreement with the school for it to hold your credit balance for budgeting purposes, then the school may keep the credit balance for a longer period of time. Also, if the funds in your refund are not from Title IV sources (such as an institutional grant or outside scholarship), then the 14-day rule does not apply. We recommend contacting your school’s financial aid office for additional information about your refund.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shelby:

In response to your February 8, 2014 post:

A student may qualify for Direct Loan funds to cover up to 12 consecutive months of preparatory coursework required for admission. The preparatory coursework must be part of a regular program at your current school. If you complete your Associate's degree, you would need to enroll in another eligible program of study in order to qualify for federal aid for the preparatory coursework. Additionally, your current school may require documentation from UGA to confirm the additional courses are required for your admission into the new program. Because you wish to take the preparatory coursework at another institution from the one in which you plan to enroll, we encourage you to contact the financial aid offices at both institutions to discuss the necessary processes to obtain funds.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Jocelyn:

In response to your February 8, 2014 post:

Your cost of attendance includes both direct educational expenses, such as tuition and books; but also indirect costs, such as housing, food and transportation expenses. You may use federal financial aid to pay for any expenses included in the cost of attendance. The types of costs included in housing expenses are not explicitly defined in federal policy. Additionally, the school also may include child care expenses in the cost of attendance, for which you can use your federal financial aid. We encourage you to discuss your individual situation with your school’s financial aid office.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kentella Carmouche:

In response to your January 25, 2014 post:

You will need to check with your school’s financial aid office to determine if you received a Pell Grant for the prior semester. If you did, it is possible that the entire amount was applied to the charges you owed to the school for that term. If, in fact, you did not receive Pell funds for the prior term, the school will be able to explain what you are seeing on your account and – if necessary – remedy the issue.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bianca Moreno:

In response to your January 25, 2014 post:

The short answer is – it depends. It depends on what term those March Pell Grant funds are meant to cover. If they are meant to cover a term in which you will not be enrolled, then you would not be able to receive those funds. You need to check with your school’s financial aid office to find out what term those funds are intended to cover.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, February 13, 2014

Meghan:

In response to your February 12, 2014 comment:

Likely yes. If you meet all of the eligibility requirements for Pell Grant funds and if you enroll next fall, then your school will likely award you Pell Grant funds for the fall term. You may also have to complete verification before your school can determine your Pell Grant eligibility. However, Meghan, the criteria to receive a Pell Grant take up a number of pages in federal regulations. Only the financial aid professionals at your school can do the work to look at your FAFSA information and the other factors related to your eligibility and give you a real answer based on your specific facts. We encourage you to contact your financial aid administrator for additional information about your aid eligibility.

Name: Jonathan
Time: Friday, February 14, 2014

I go to a Technicle school that was approved for Federal aid and grants. I have attended since January 6th 2013 and still attend. I applied on the FAFSA for 2013/2014. It was processed and my info was sent to my school. My tuition is paid in full. It was my understanding that the school gets the grant and writes me a check or makes a deposit to me directly. I planned on using Pell Grant for transportation costs, school supplies and living cost. My schools financial aid officer told me that my tuition was paid so that money has nothing to go towards. She told me that the school doesn't provide living quarters or living expenses so I don't qualify. So the school wouldn't apply for it for me. This sounds different then what I have been told and read. Does this sound accurate?

Name: Patrick Shahbol
Time: Saturday, February 15, 2014

During Fall semester of 2013, I was on track to get my Pell Grant money for Spring 2014. After Fall ended, my Pell Grant for Spring was no longer on my financial aid page. I decided to wait and see what happens because my school was probably just processing things again, and sure enough it came back a few days ago. But the first disbursement date was January 6th 2014, and the next one is March 17th. I need the first disbursement money to buy books. Will it come to me ASAP now that my financial aid has been processed or do I not get anything at all until March? I would ask my school, but campus is closed until Tuesday, which is the start of the Spring semester for me.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, February 17, 2014

Jonathan:

In response to your February 14, 2014 post:

Actually Pell Grant funds are an entitlement for the student. That means if you qualify for Pell Grant funds – based on your enrollment status, your cost of attendance and your expected family contribution – the school cannot deny those funds and must disburse the applicable amount to you or to your student school account. This is true even if your school costs (tuition and fees, etc.) have been paid in full by other means. Even if the school does not provide on-campus housing for its students, it must include a “room and board” cost in the student’s budget. We suggest that you contact your financial aid office again to request additional information.

Name: Joy
Time: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I have yet to graduate with my first BA degree in pre-law, but I wanted to enroll in a nursing program at a technical institution. Would I still have the Pell Grant to pay for the nursing program?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Patrick:

In response to your comment/query that was posted February 15, 2014:

Schools may choose to make multiple disbursements of federal financial aid during a single semester, such as one at the beginning of the term, and another in the middle of the term. However, there is a provision requiring schools to provide funding to certain Pell-eligible students by the seventh day of the term specifically to purchase books and supplies. Not all students qualify for this provision, but it is something to discuss with your school’s financial aid office. We have a fact sheet detailing the requirements of this provision (http://www.usafunds.org/USAFunds%20ResourceLibrary/BooksSupplies.pdf) for you to share with your financial aid administrator during your discussion.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Joy:

In response to your comment/query that was posted February 18, 2014:

Likely yes. Generally, Pell Grants are available to students who have not yet earned their first bachelor’s degree. There is a limit, however, on how many Pell Grants a student can receive over the course of her undergraduate career. Also, if you are still enrolled in the pre-law program and want to enroll simultaneously in the nursing program, you will be able to obtain Pell funds for only one program of study. You cannot receive separate Pell Grant awards for concurrent programs of study. We encourage you to discuss your educational history and future plans with your school’s financial aid office.

Name: Deidre
Time: Thursday, February 20, 2014

I was checking my account on the AES website and saw that there were instances where I was approved for grant funds, but never received it. Only once did I see grants cancelled due to my enrollment status. Should I be concerned about this? I am asking because I know that a student is only eligible to receive the Pell Grant for 12 semesters and I do not want this to interfere with my financial aid in the future.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, February 21, 2014

Deidre:

In response to your comment/query that was posted February 20, 2014:

Because we do not have access to your enrollment and Title IV aid records, we cannot determine why the Pell Grant funds may have been cancelled. We encourage you to talk with the financial aid office at your school for more information about your individual situation.

Name: Michael Kromrie
Time: Monday, February 24, 2014

According to the NSDLS my school was disbursed a total of $2775 from the pell grant for the 2012-2013 school year but my student account is missing a total of $925. I contacted my schools financial aid dept and was told that I did not know what I wasa talking about and that they recieved no such amount equal to the $925 that I was refering to. To this day the NSDLS still shows that the same amount was disbursed but they school is still trying to tell me that they never recieved any such amount and that I still don't know what I am talking about. They are insisting that if they recieved it the grant money would be reflected on my account, which it still is not. I am left to believe that the school did in fact recieve the grant money but instead of disbursing it to me have kept it for themselves somehow seeings how my account still shows no record of it ever being disbursed but the NSLDS still shows that it has been. What I am wondering is if there is someone that I can contact to report this to and be able to actually recieve what was owed to me?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Michael Kromie:

In response to your comment/query that was posted February 24, 2014:

The school is allowed to retain Pell Grant funds to cover a student’s educational expenses, such as tuition and fees, before disbursing the balance to the student. It is possible that the $925 was used for this purpose. We encourage you review your student account charges. If you and the school continue to be at an impasse, you may contact the FSA Ombudsman at fsaombudsmanoffice@ed.gov for additional assistance to resolve this issue.

Name: mindy
Time: Thursday, February 27, 2014

I am just wondering about what semesters the Pell grant covers. I am approved for the grant, and I would like to start on my classes this June. I was told by a friend of mine that the Pell grant would only cover fall and spring semesters. I just need to have this cleared up.

Name: Ali
Time: Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hi I have received pell grants for 2 years. If I end up quitting at the end of the second year, will I have to pay back the pell grant money since I didn't continue and get my BS degree.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mindy:

In response the comment/query that was posted earlier today.

Pell Grants apply to an award year. But how the school disburses the funds depends on a number of factors, most of them governed by federal regulation. At a school that uses traditional fall/spring semesters, you will usually receive all of your Pell award during those two terms. However, that’s only “usually.” Sometimes you will have some Pell funds left over from the amount you’re eligible to receive that year, and the school may award them for your summer term. There are other factors that sometimes result in some Pell eligibility paid from Pell funds from upcoming award year as well. But only your school knows your full enrollment, financial and grant eligibility status. We strongly encourage you to have a conversation with the financial aid professionals at your school to discuss your enrollment plans and these details of how financial aid can help support them.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, February 28, 2014

Ali:

In response to your comment/query, which posted on February 27, 2014:

No. Pell Grants, since they are grants, require no repayment unless you received more funds than you were eligible to receive. Pell Grants impose no requirement that you complete your degree in order to retain the grant funds.

Name: Angela Lyons
Time: Saturday, March 1, 2014

i have about 500$ left over in student loans after the school took their fees out and all of my pell grant which is about 4000$. will i receive this in a check? Is it a wait for first time borrowers? If i am going to receive it in a check when are the schools suppose to refund me? i go to mercer county college in new jersey.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, March 3, 2014

Angela:

In response to your blog comment/query that was posted March 1, 2014:

Schools are permitted to refund credit balances to students in any number of ways, including paper checks and via EFT to the student’s designated personal bank account. Only your school can tell you which method they use. If you are a first-year undergraduate who is a first-time Stafford loan borrower, the school may not credit your Stafford loan funds to your school account until 30 days after the first day of class. The school must issue any resulting credit balance within 14 days after the date the credit balance was created. We suggest that you contact the financial aid office at your school; they can advise you of the method they use and when you can expect to see the refund.

Name: kyra
Time: Thursday, March 6, 2014

ok i went to two different schools last year and im told by the 3rd school im trying to get into says i need transcripts from both schools because of the new federal grants laws that they have to have a transcript from these schools even tho NONE of my hours obtained will transfer. what is the wait time, under the new federal law, have to be in order for me not having to use those transcripts? my adviser said two years but he wasn't really sure

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, March 7, 2014

Kyra:

In response to your comment/query that was posted March 6, 2014:

Your question appears to deal with a process schools now must follow when certain students have received Pell Grant funds at multiple schools over the prior three award years. When the U.S. Department of Education identifies students whose enrollment pattern matches certain criteria, they instruct schools to obtain academic records from the students’ prior schools showing that the students earned academic credit – in other words, they completed hours at those prior schools. This provision is not affected by whether the hours from the prior schools are accepted by the new school. The Department of Education does not publish its editing and identification criteria so we cannot say how long you may need to wait to regain financial aid eligibility if you choose not to provide the requested transcripts.

Name: Kate
Time: Monday, March 10, 2014

I received a letter from FAFSA stating that I most likely will not be receiving any financial aid for the 2014-2015 school year because I reached my maximum financial aid allowance. I am three classes away from graduating with my Bachelor's degree and I also took a semester off in between transferring schools. So I did not receive any financial aid in that time. Is there a way for me to appeal this so that I can get financial aid for the Fall semester and graduate? If not, what steps can I take? Thanks.

Name: jerina davis
Time: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

If the school dont give you a refund but your account says your money is there but not released what will the school do with the remaing money, my tuition is paid also

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Kate:

In response to your blog comment/query posted on March 10, 2014:

Students are limited to a specified number of terms that can be paid for with Pell Grant funds for their undergraduate studies. The communication you received implies that you have reached that limit. You may review your NSLDS record to confirm that it correctly reflects the terms for which you received Pell Grant funds. If you identify a reported grant that you did not receive, you may discuss the necessary correction with the school at which those funds were awarded. However, if the NSLDS record is accurate and you have in fact used the maximum Pell Grant funding, there is no appeal as the limit was established in law by Congress and implemented by the US Department of Education. We would note that Pell Grant funds are not the only federal financial aid available to otherwise eligible students. The use of the maximum Pell funding does not eliminate your eligibility for Subsidized or Unsubsidized Direct loans. You should check with your school to determine if state or campus alternate financing methods are available to help pay for your final classes.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jerina Davis:

In response to your blog comment/query posted on March 12, 2014:

If the balance of funds that you see on your school account comes from federal financial aid, then the school may use those funds only to pay school expenses. These expenses sometimes include more than just tuition, such as book or lab fees, activity fees that the school assesses, etc. Again, if funds are from federal financial aid then typically the school pays those funds to the student within 14 days. However, only your school can explain to you what its policies are and the sources of funding that you see reflected as a balance on your student account. We encourage you to contact the financial aid professionals at your school and discuss with them your questions.

Name: Aimee
Time: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

This was probably answered somewhere in this thread but there are just way too many to look through! I just saw that my Pell Grant for the 2013/14 aid year has a "Remaining Amount to be Paid" and an amount in it. Is this amount something that can be transferred to the 2014/15 school aid year or is the maximum amount of $5730 for that aid year the max you can get? Thanks!

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Aimee:

In response to your blog comment/query posted on March 12, 2014:

Federal Pell Grant funding is awarded on an annual basis under rules established in federal law, and your school may not transfer funds awarded for the 2013-2014 award year forward to cover costs for the 2014-2015 award year. If you attend school in the upcoming award year and are otherwise eligible, the school will award Pell Grant funds to you from that new award year’s funding. If your school pays you additional Pell funds for this year and you, yourself, can save some portion of them, then you may use those to pay education expenses for the upcoming school year.

Name: sandy
Time: Friday, March 14, 2014

I have qualified to receive the pell grant for 2014/15 year.Can a student receive their stipend early,or will I receive it in June?

Name: Joey G.
Time: Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hello. I'm going to be a new student on March 25th at Ashford University, taking courses online. I applied for aid, and I had to apply for the 2013-14 year. However, based on my taxes and efc, it stated that I was not eligible for a pell at this time. The one question I have is, if I could show that the income I make now is half of what I made in 2012, would there be any special reconsideration based on proof that I no longer make the wages I did when I was at a specific job in 2012? Thank you for your input!

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, March 17, 2014

Sandy:

In response to your blog comment/query that was posted on March 14, 2014:

The earliest the school may disburse the Pell Grant funds is 10 days prior to the first day of each term. However, not all schools make these early disbursements. Therefore, you should contact the financial aid office at your school to find out when the first Pell installment will be paid. Also note that these funds will likely be applied to any education charges you have at the school – such as tuition and fees – before any remaining amount is paid to you. Please note, too, that Pell Grant funds must be paid at least once for each term in which you are enrolled. Therefore if you are enrolled, for example, in a summer session and later in a fall and/or spring term you could receive some amount of Pell Grant for each of those periods.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Joey G:

In response to your blog comment/query posted on March 16, 2014:

The school may (but is not required to) allow an adjustment of your income through professional judgment. Each school must establish its own policies and procedures for using professional judgment, so we recommend contacting your school’s financial aid office to discuss your situation.

For more information about professional judgment, you may want to read the CollgeUp.org Blog article, "When and Why Financial Aid Officers Exercise Professional Judgment," at: http://blog.collegeup.org/when-and-why-financial-aid-officers-exercise-professional-judgment.

Name: Amberline Lopez
Time: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I wanted to know why i didnt recieve my pell check this semester when i always do. they said my pell check went straight to my tuition and that im not getting money back which i found strange because my tuition is always the same amount and i always get a 2000 check from pell so why am i not getting it this semester??

Name: Anah
Time: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hi, I am currently in school finishing my second semester. I had family issues first semester, so much so that it affected my studies but this semester Im up to a GPA of 3.7+ but because of my poor first semester, the financial aid application says my financial aid cannot continue. Will my second semester resolve this issue?

Name: A. FERNANDEZ
Time: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I just completed my 2014-2015 fafsa application. I am currently receiving post 9 11 gi bill scholarship which pays for everything, and I just realized that I was eligible for pell grant. Can I still claim the full amount per semester even though the semester is almost over? do you think my school will give my money back?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, March 20, 2014

Amberline Lopez:

In response to your blog comment/query that posted on March 19, 2014:

We do not have access to your information and thus are not aware of your exact situation. However, we encourage you to check with your Financial Aid Office for that information; this may have happened because your costs for this semester are higher than for the one prior – or you received less aid for this term than for the prior term. You also may want to check with the Bursar/Business Office at your school – they can show you the charges and credits on your school account that should help you understand why this has happened.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, March 20, 2014

Anah:

In response to your blog comment/query that posted on March 19, 2014:

We are not certain what your situation is – it could be that your financial aid eligibility is lost due to not meeting the school’s “satisfactory academic progress” standards. If this is the case, the school’s policies determine your eligible status and only that school can tell you how to regain your eligibility for financial aid. You really need to address this with your Financial Aid Office for the specific reasons and for guidance on exactly how and when you need to take the steps to regain financial aid eligibility.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, March 20, 2014

A. Fernandez:

In response to your blog comment query that posted on March 19, 2014:

If you are eligible for Pell Grant funds, the school must award those funds to you – Pell Grant is an entitlement. The amount of Post-9/11 funds you currently receive will not affect the amount of your Pell Grant.

Name: sandy lee
Time: Wednesday, March 26, 2014

i have a bachelors from 1989 and received Pell grant. Am applying to Empire Beauty school for cosmetology degree can I receive Pell grant?

Name: April G.
Time: Friday, March 28, 2014

Hi, my Pell grant question is; I am wanting to attend two different colleges in the fall, will I be able to split my Pell grant between the two schools? If so, how many credit hours do I have to take at each? I'm wanting to only take one course at a different college. Thank you.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, March 28, 2014

Sandy Lee:

In response to your comment/query that posted on March 26, 2014:

No. Any student who previously earned a bachelor’s degree is no longer eligible for Pell Grant funds.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, March 28, 2014

April G:

In response to the comment/query you posted on March 27, 2014:

No. Pell Grant regulations explicitly prohibit the awarding of Pell Grant funds at two schools at the same time. If the two schools have made certain written agreements to accept credits earned, then in some cases, one of the schools may be able to award Pell funds to support your attendance at both schools. But you will need to check with the financial aid professionals at your schools to find out if the schools have or would be willing to enter in an agreement that would provide that benefit.

Name: aleah
Time: Saturday, March 29, 2014

I applied for a summer semester at my college and applied for the 2013-2014 fafsa. However, starting in fall it will be 2014-2015 fafsa. i was eligible for the full award. Will I only recieve 1/2 my payment?

Name: Den Ly
Time: Saturday, March 29, 2014

I will be transferring to FIT in the fall of 2014. I was offered the Pell grant with my original aid package and accepted it, but I notice it is no longer listed in my aid account. My GPA is a 4.0. at my prior school and i am enrolled full time for the upcoming school year. I am a independent with no family help with o.o for EIC. So i am not really sure why it is no longer listed, especially when i performed and meet all requirements and that earlier I was offered it, accepted it. Can a school take it back?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, March 31, 2014

Aleah:

In response to the blog comment/query you posted on March 29, 2014:

It depends. Your school may have a policy to award Title IV aid for the summer term as part of the 2013-2014 award year, or the 2014-2015 award year. Any funds received during the 2013-2014 award year thus far may also affect your summer award amounts. We recommend contacting the financial aid office at your school for additional assistance regarding your awards for the summer and fall terms. However if your school takes the summer Pell from 2014-2015, then the amount you will have for the rest of that year may be reduced.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, March 31, 2014

Den Ly:

In response to the blog comment/query you posted on March 29, 2014:

If you meet all the eligibility requirements for a Pell Grant, a school must award you those funds. However, there are scenarios outside of your EFC or GPA that may affect your eligibility for Pell Grants, namely an unusual enrollment history or the lifetime eligibility limit. We recommend that you contact the financial aid office at your school for additional assistance regarding your Pell Grant eligibility.

Name: Katherine Carrillo
Time: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I'm starting school on May 27th, 2014 and graduating on February 2015. I applied for fafsa 2013-2014 and got a pell grant for $5,495. I also applied for fafsa 2014-2015 and got $5,580. My question is if my tuition cost $12,600 will I be able to receive both full amount pell grants to cover my tuition?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, April 3, 2014

Katherine Carrillo:

In response to the comment/query you posted on April 2, 2014:

Pell Grant funds are awarded to cover an award year – July 1 of one year through June 30 of the next year. And Pell funds are paid to the student on a per-term basis. Therefore, the 2013-2014 award year will end on June 30, 2014, so you will not be able to receive the full $5,495 for the remainder of this period since you will only be enrolled for a short time. However, your school will be able to tell you, based on your enrollment status, exactly how much Pell Grant you will receive for the term that begins in May and how much you should receive for the next year based on the terms in which you enroll and your enrollment status for each of those terms. Check with your financial aid office for specific information on those amounts.

Name: Crystal
Time: Friday, April 4, 2014

I filled out my fasfa and my efc was 0. But i didn't get a grant. Can you explain why?

Name: Alanah S
Time: Sunday, April 6, 2014

I had went over my financial aid award for my previous school yr 2012-2013 and calculated the refunds I did receive, which does not equal up to what I should have received for the school yr. Why is that? Can I still get back the amount that wasn't refunded?
Also, in my current financial aid award, under the break down of what I should be receiving for each quarter, that also does not total up. Plus, it says I "accepted" the summer quarter award but I did not attend summer quarter and neither did receive any financial aid for it but for this upcoming spring quarter that I AM enrolled in, my financial aid under that column is blank. Will I receive no money for my spring quarter?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, April 7, 2014

Crystal:

In response to the comment/query you posted on April 4, 2014:

There could be a number of reasons, but the one that first comes to mind is that you already have a bachelor’s degree or have already reached your Pell Grant lifetime limit. However, the financial aid office at your school will have the real answer – you should contact them to discuss this issue.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Alanah S:

In response to the blog comment/query you posted on April 6, 2014:

The way your school calculates your aid eligibility has a lot to do with school costs and the types of aid that your school awards. Similarly, only your school understands the way it billed those costs and calculated the refund due to you. The financial aid professionals at your school can assist you in understanding the way in which they determined your financial aid eligibility for last year and how and when they disbursed that aid and your refund.

It sounds as though you also have questions regarding the award letter you received from your school for this year’s financial aid. Each school develops and uses a different award letter format, and only that school’s financial aid staff can help you understand the data that populates the information that you’re reading. We encourage you to schedule some time with one of the financial aid administrators at your school to discuss both your questions about the aid you received for last year and this year’s award letter.

Name: Andrew A
Time: Thursday, April 10, 2014

I was awarded a pell grant that was split between Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. I didn't attend during the Spring but will be attending in the Summer. Is there away to apply that grant to my summer semester?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, April 11, 2014

Andrew A:

In response to the comment/query you posted on April 10, 2014:

Perhaps. There are a number of factors that your school must consider to determine your eligible financial aid award for the summer term. So you may be eligible for the full amount of any undisbursed Pell Grant funds or only a portion, or in some cases, none. Only the financial aid professionals at your school can look at your school account and give you specific information to help you plan.

Name: Courtney G
Time: Friday, April 11, 2014

I started out this year attending a technical school, but dropped out before the "last drop date" and transferred to a community college. I was approved for the pell grant in the amount of $5642. The technical school disbursed half of my pell grant in the amount of $1882 even though I dropped.

The community college also gave me an acceptance award for the amount of $2645 for the entire semester, but then took it away because they said the technical college already gave it to me.

If the award was $2645, then why would did they at least not give me the other half? And could I be approved for the remaining year pell grant disbursement next semester which is the summer intercession?

Name: Tom Vanaskie
Time: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Pell grant was disbursed in August of 2013 for the Fall Semester. The student transferred to another 4-year university for the spring semester. On April 8, 2014, the Pell Grant at the first university for the Fall semester was reversed. How can that happen?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Courtney G:

In response to the blog comment/query you submitted April 11, 2014:

First of all, a student cannot receive a Pell Grant payment from two schools for the same period of enrollment. There are additional considerations related to a student’s Pell Grant eligibility when transferring from one school to another. One of those factors is not only the amount of your Pell Grant award received at the prior school, but also the percentage of your Pell Grant eligibility from that school. For example, you may have received 50 percent of your Pell Grant eligibility from the technical school, which means the community college can only award you the remaining 50 percent of your award, and those funds must be paid in a different period of enrollment. We strongly encourage you to discuss your Pell Grant eligibility with the financial aid administrators at the community college.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tom: Vanaskie:

In response to your blog comment/query that was posted on April 15, 2014:

There could be any number of reasons why the first school returned the Pell funds. For example:

•The school determined that the student was not enrolled or did not begin attendance for the fall semester at the first school in all or some of the classes for which the grant was awarded.

•The school determined that the student was in some manner ineligible for the Pell funding such as instances where the student had already reached the Pell Grant lifetime limit.

Only the financial aid officers at that first school have specific information about how that school determined to reverse the Pell award and can confirm that was the correct transaction.

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