Got Pell Grant Questions? We’ve Got Answers

Key Facts About Federal Pell Grants

Editor's Note:  Please read Mandy Sponholtz's 2014 Pell Grant FAQs. She's added three new questions, including one about the new and complicated rule governing Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility.

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 Senior Policy Analyst at USA Funds in Lawrence, Kansas.

Last updated August 7 2014.

Related posts:

Demystifying Pell Grant Awards for Transfer Students

10 Frequently Asked Questions About Federal Pell Grants

Financial Aid Finality Part I – Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility

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.

Name: Carter
Time: Thursday, May 1, 2014

If I have money left in my higher one account from my first year, will that money remain the account to continue to assist me for my second year?

Name: Kendrick
Time: Thursday, May 1, 2014

If I've accepted the Pell Grant, is the any way to give it back??

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, May 2, 2014

Kendrick:

In response to your comment/query that was posted on May 1, 2014:

Yes. A student who determines that she does not need all or any portion of the Pell Grant funds her school awarded may return those funds to the Pell Grant Program by working with the financial aid officers at the school. The Department of Education requires that you provide to your school a written statement signed by you, and advising the school to return Pell funds already disbursed to you or that you wish to decline Pell funds that that your school awarded but has not yet paid. You must request the return of funds within the award year in which they were paid.

Name: Barb F.
Time: Saturday, May 3, 2014

If I have 2 teenagers going to college at the same time will they only get 1 Pell grant to split between the 2 of them?
Ex: award is $5730, would that be each teenager or $2865 each one?

Are 2 people in 1 household able to get a Pell grant at the same time?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, May 5, 2014

Carter:

In response to your comment/query that was posted on May 1, 2014:

Perhaps. The school must make credit balances of Title IV funds available to you by the end of the year. That already may have been accomplished through the “higher one” account you reference. Your best source of information about this question is your school’s financial aid office.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Barb F:

In response to your blog comment/query that was posted on May 3, 2014:

Both of your children may receive Pell Grant funds at the same time if they are both eligible for those funds; they are not required to split the Pell award amount. Pell Grant eligibility is determined by the student’s expected family contribution, along with their cost of attendance and enrollment status. The school(s) at which your students are enrolled should be able to provide you with an estimate of their Pell Grant eligibility if they have filed their FAFSAs for the award year.

Name: Matt
Time: Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My question is if I'm currently enrolled in two different instituions one with 5 credit hours and the other with 7 credit hours. Can I use the Pell grant that I was awarded with at each institution? Since one school only shows me receiving 705.00(5cr. hour) and the other one showing 1470.00(7cr. hour). I only accepted the one from the 5cr. institution and was unsure if I could go ahead and accept the other from the 7 cr. school.
Thank you.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Matt:

In response to your blog comment/query that you posted May 6, 2014:

The short answer is, “No.” Federal regulations prohibit students from receiving Pell Grant funds from more than one school for the same period of enrollment. We strongly encourage you to talk with each of your schools to make sure they know you are enrolled at the other. You will need to decide then which school you want to pay your Pell Grant award.

Name: Jessie J.
Time: Friday, May 9, 2014

I recently began college in the Spring of 14. After meeting with my advisor, I enrolled in Summer classes, because she explained, due to me not attending classes in the Fall of 13, I could receive my pell grant for those summer classes. I have checked with the FAFSA website and my college's campus connect, and I cannot find the answer to my question: I am enrolled in Summer I and Summer II, which both cost $345.00- due at different times. Will my pell grant be granted once for both or divided between the courses? I am concerned, because according to my school's campus connect, it was awarded 4/30/2014- but my tuition has not been covered yet. I may be stressing for a nonexistent reason, but I thought this would be the place to get a correct answer. Thank you for you help!!!!

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, May 9, 2014

Jessie J.:

In response to your blog comment/query, which you posted May 9, 2014:


Because Pell Grant funds are paid on a term-by-term basis, then the school may credit Pell funds to the payment of charges for Summer I and Summer II separately (in accordance with when fees are due), or it may credit the amount for the entire “term” amount at the beginning of the term. We suggest that you contact your school’s financial aid office to determine the Pell Grant amount you are due for the summer period and to learn how the school credits those funds – when fees are due for each module or at the beginning of the summer term. We hope this helps!

Name: Joshua
Time: Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hello,

I'm graduating with my A.A. degree from a community college this summer and I've begun the application process to transfer to UCF for a bachelors degree. I've received pell grant for every term thus far in the maximum amount, yet this year I received an email that my EFC= 010829 and I am not eligible for a pell grant. Is it because I will have attained my associates degree? suggestions would be appreciated.

Name: josh
Time: Thursday, May 15, 2014

I am 19 and have a daughter. I went 1 semester and received Pell grant. I was awarded it on my fasfa. I want to go to a different school. They are saying I need to go back and and parents to fasfa because I live there but I work and pay child support. I also have joint custody. How can one college let me use my Pell and another say I can't when fasfa says I can because I support my daughter 50%. I even sent my court papers showing I pay child support. They said because I made under 4000.00 a year I can't be independent

Name: Bianca C.
Time: Friday, May 16, 2014

Last week I checked online and my grant for 2014/2015 for fall and spring were the same, but today I checked and was shocked to see that only the fall grant is estimated for $1,000 less and for Spring 2015 the amount was $0.00. Is there a reason why this would happen? I am a full time student and registered full time for the fall.My SAP is satisfactory.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, May 16, 2014

Bianca C:

In response to the blog comment/query you posted on May 16, 2014:

There could be a number of reasons why you are not scheduled to receive Pell Grant for the spring term – one of which is that you have met your federal Pell Lifetime Eligibility Limit. However you will need to check with your school’s financial aid office to determine the actual reason for this change.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, May 16, 2014

Joshua:

In response to that blog comment/query you posted on May 14, 2014:

Congratulations on earning your AA degree!

No. The change in your EFC is not based on the fact that you have received an associate’s degree. The EFC is calculated based on the information you provided on your FAFSA, such as household size and income for the family. If your family’s situation has not changed from prior years, you may want to review the information on your Student Aid Report to make sure it was correct as reported. You also should consult with the financial aid office at your school for additional information.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, May 16, 2014

Josh:

In response to the blog comment/query you posted on May 15, 2014:

We cannot say with any certainty which school is correct in their interpretation of your current situation as we do not have access to all of your information. And each school may have a different policy that guides how it looks at this information. Generally speaking, if you can demonstrate that you provide more than half of your daughter’s support for the year, you are considered independent. It appears that your new school did not determine that you provide more than half of her support. However, if you receive other funds for your daughter – such as TANF or SNAP or support from her father – you should provide that documentation to the new school.

Name: Phoebe
Time: Sunday, May 18, 2014

In order to maintain my pell grant, do I need to take at least six credit per semester?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Name: melissa gantt
Time: Sunday, May 18, 2014

will my pell grant pay for a class that i have already taken?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, May 19, 2014

Phoebe:

In response to the comment/query you posted May 18, 2014:

Pell Grants are available to students who are enrolled on a less-than-half-time basis. However, your eligibility as a less-than-half-time student also is based on your EFC (Expected Family Contribution), as calculated by the U.S. Department of Education, and the cost of attendance at your school. You need to check with your financial aid office for information specific to your inquiry.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, May 19, 2014

Melissa Gantt:

In response to the comment/query you posted May 18, 2014:

It depends. If you remain enrolled at the school, and are inquiring about a previously-completed period at your school, then the answer is “Yes, provided you were eligible for the funds.” If you no longer are enrolled at the school, then the answer is “Maybe, if you qualify for a late disbursement of funds.” You should check with the financial aid office at your school for the specifics.

Name: teresa
Time: Monday, May 19, 2014

I was awarded a pell grant for fall/ spring but I will be taking classes in the summer. The grant was changed to summer and fall, will I be ineligible for a pell grant in the Spring 2015 or do I need to reapply?

Name: Kaylin
Time: Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I just graduated with a professional degree and while completing my exit counseling I found that during my sophomore year at my undergraduate university ('07-'08), I was awarded $1260 in a Pell Grant and only $560 was disbursed and the nslds.ed.gov website says $700 is the remaining amount to be paid. I was still eligible to receive 2 more Pell Grants the next two years and that same academic year I had to take out a loan to cover my remaining tuition. Am I still able to collect the remaining $700 to put towards my loan repayment?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Teresa:

In response to the comment/query you posted on May 19, 2014:

Pell Grant funds are awarded to cover a period that begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year. So in the scenario that you describe, your summer funds are drawn from either the 2013-2014 or 2014-2015 award years. Your fall-term Pell comes from your 2014-2015 FAFSA information and applies to that award year. Only if your Spring 2015 term begins on or after July 1, 2015, or crosses the July 1 threshold and your school wants to use that next year’s funding for that term, will you need to reapply with a new 2015 FAFSA. When your Spring term begins prior to July 1, and ends on or after July 1 of the next year, the school has the option to use Pell funds from either year. Therefore we encourage you to consult with you financial aid office for more specific instruction on this issue.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kaylin:

In response to the comment/query you posted on May 20, 2014:

It is possible that even though NSLDS reflects that you were eligible for those funds, your enrollment status or other factors did not permit the school to pay those funds to your student account. You will need to check with the applicable school(s) to learn the exact reason(s) why the funds were not disbursed. However it is unlikely that the funds can be disbursed at this point.

Name: Renee
Time: Thursday, May 22, 2014

Is it possible to become eligible again for the Pell Grant? I was a freshman fall 2013 spring 2014. Being my freshman year I did not stay as focus as I should have and as a result had to drop a couple of classes to maintain my GPA. I recieved a letter from my University that now I did not quality for the coming year for the Pell Grant because I did not meet the 67% pass rate. Will I be able to regain the Pell Grant? If so when would I be able to do so?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, May 23, 2014

Renee:

In response to the comment/query that you posted on May 22, 2014:

The issue you encountered was actually due to your failure to meet the school’s standards for “satisfactory academic progress.” Because you did not meet the school’s standards you became ineligible for all types of federal aid, including a Pell Grant. If you can again meet the school’s progress standards you will regain your eligibility for federal aid. Your school’s own policies will provide information regarding how you can regain eligibility. We encourage you to consult with your financial aid office to determine what steps you must take.

Name: chelsea
Time: Friday, May 23, 2014

my money for summer got refunded today into my account. i should have been receiving the same amount i got for spring. i only got half of that. does financial aid split the money into two transactions or is there something else wrong?
thank you!

Name: Samuel O
Time: Friday, May 23, 2014

Hello, I have a question. I was looking at my award history and noticed though my school has offered me a refund it doesn't seem to be the full amount. By this I mean they offered X amount to be covered from FALL 2013 to SUMMER 2014, though a new cycle begins in FALL 2014 there will still be Y amount of money left over from FALL 2013 - SUMMER 2014. My question is, will this sum then be refunded? I am a full-time student with no holds or financial aid probation.
I noticed during this SUMMER 2014 semester I am enrolled full-time but am not receiving the "refund" that's left, but a portion. From my understanding, once you are a full-time student (12 credit hours or more) you receive full PELL. Since I have PELL left over I was under the impression that it would be refunded.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Chelsea:

In response to the comment/query you posted on May 23, 2014:

Pell Grant funds are paid based on a specific amount for the award year (July1-June 30). So if you had only a small portion of your Pell funds left to cover the summer that would account for the decreased amount. The amount of your Pell award also is based on your enrollment status for the term. So if you are enrolled for fewer hours for summer than you were for spring, that also could account for the difference. However, we encourage you to consult with the representatives in the financial aid office at your school, since they are the ones you can directly address your concern.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Samuel O:

In response to the comment/query you posted on May 23, 2014:

Pell Grant funds are paid based on a specific amount for the award year (July 1-June 30). A student who is enrolled full time receives up to 50 percent of their annual amount per term. Thus, if you received your full 2013-2014 annual Pell award for two terms in which you were enrolled full time, then you would have no Pell funds left for the summer from your 2013-2014 award. However if you were less than full time during one of those terms, then you would have some Pell Grant funds left to apply to the summer. If not, then the school could award you Pell for your summer term from your 2014-2015 Pell award. However, you will need to check with your school for specific information on this issue.

Name: Meghan
Time: Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Because the class I need is not offered until Spring 2015, that is when I'll be continuing with my school and my last semester enrolled was Spring 2014. I looked at my financial aid and it shows that I will receive a disbursement for this summer 2014 even though I'm not enrolled in any classes for summer 2014 or Fall 2014. Why am I still receiving a disbursement? The other thing I read about is that the Pell Grant is only available for 12 semesters total. I have only taken classes during 2 semesters so far and my final classes will put my total semester use up to 4 semesters. Is the automatic disbursement going to count as another semester paid even though I didnt enroll? The reason I'm asking is because I plan on going back to college again at a later time and really would need the remaining 8 semesters from the Pell Grant.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Meghan:

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

The school generally may not disburse Pell Grant funds for a period during which you are not enrolled. We suspect that the disbursement was scheduled for summer before the school knew you would not be enrolled at that time. And you are correct that the Pell Grant Lifetime Limit is for the equivalent of no more than 12 semesters of full-time enrollment. Because you will not receive a summer Pell disbursement, it will not count toward the limit. However we encourage you to check with your financial aid office to ensure they know your enrollment plans for the summer period.

Name: Susan
Time: Sunday, June 1, 2014

I filled out the FAFSA, which shows an EFC of around $11,000. The total amount we will owe in tuition for our son after merit scholarships, federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans, will be around $22,000. We were not awarded any Pell grant, though. Can you please tell me if this is possibly an error that I should talk to the school about, or why were we not eligible for a pell grant? Thanks for your help.

Name: Taylor Evon
Time: Monday, June 2, 2014

I received a Pell Grant and will have extra money left over. I plan on living on campus, but I will need a car to get to and from home on holidays and to go to a store if I need to buy any supplies. Can I use the extra Pell Grant money to help buy a car? I've been told that I can, but I want to confirm it. My main question is if I use the extra Pell grant money for a car, will I have to report that amount on my taxes and be taxed on it?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, June 2, 2014

Susan:

In response to the comment/query you posted on June 1, 2014:

While you always may talk with the financial aid office at your son’s school about this or any other financial aid-related issue, the EFC you note likely is not an error, provided the information you listed on the FAFSA is accurate. You should review the Student Aid Report your son received to ensure that the information you and your son provided is correct. If you note any errors you may correct those online at fafsa.gov. An EFC of 11,000 is not a Pell-eligible EFC. However, if your circumstances for the current year have changed substantially from those reported on the FAFSA – e.g., loss of employment, etc., we encourage you to talk with the school about any alternative approaches they may offer.

Name: Shylee Wheatley
Time: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hi how many credit hours in summer time do I need to take for my pill grant to pay for my classes

Name: afriendnamed_C
Time: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I have an AAS degree in Law enforcement technology but do not have all my academics to transfer to a 4 yr university. I want to pursue a BA degree in criminal justice but will have to go back to my local community college in order to get the required academics to transfer to 4 yr college. can I still get the pell grant at the community college enven though I have my AAS degree?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Afriendnamed_C:

In response to the comment/query you posted on June 3, 2014:

If you are otherwise eligible for Pell Grant funds, the answer is, “Yes.” However, once you receive a bachelor’s degree you are no longer eligible to receive Pell Grant funds should you choose to continue with additional studies.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Shylee Wheatley:

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

Some students who are enrolled less than half time may be eligible for Pell Grant funds, assuming they are otherwise eligible. We encourage you to contact your school's financial aid office. The financial aid administrators at your school can tell you for certain. Only they have access to all of the important information needed to answer this question, including your aid eligibility as determined by the FAFSA that you completed and information about the school’s enrollment opportunities.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Taylor Evon:

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

Title IV funds, such as Pell Grants, cannot be used for the purchase of a car. We provide text that is excerpted from a U.S. Department of Education publication that defines certain costs of attendance for which federal aid can be used – in this case, the student’s cost of transportation: "This allowance may also include costs for operating and maintaining a vehicle which is used to transport the student to and from school, but not for the purchase of a vehicle."

As to your questions regarding the taxable status of the grant funds, we cannot provide a definitive response to that part of your concern. We encourage you to consult with a tax professional regarding the taxability of any grant or scholarship funds you received, in the context of your other sources of income, to determine which of those funds is or may be taxable at either state or federal levels.

Name: Amanda
Time: Saturday, June 7, 2014

I have a question. My school has accepted $5,595.00 in pell grant money for the 2013-2014 year. I have been paid to date $4,197.00. When the fall semester starts the grant money for the 2014-2015 year will kick in. I was wondering were the extra $1,398 dollars will go from the 2013-2014 year? Does it go back to the government or is my school just keeping it to line their pockets? If it was accepted then I assume my school already has that money in their possession.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Amanda:

In response to the comment/query you posted on June 7, 2014:

It is possible that the amount of Pell Grant was reduced due to your enrollment status; $4,197 is 75 percent of the $5,595 listed above, which would indicate that the school reduced the Pell Grant award amount due to your being enrolled three-quarter time, rather than full-time. There may be other reasons for the difference as well. Your best source of information will be the school’s financial aid office, so please contact them for further details.

Name: Daphna
Time: Friday, June 13, 2014

I am a new undergraduate student enrolling in the 2014 summer semester at a local community college. I completed a FAFSA for 2014-2015. The Financial Aid Specialist advised to also complete a 2013-2014 FAFSA since I was actually starting college this summer. My SAR indicated I am eligible to receive a Pell Grant of up to $2,495.00 for 2013-2014. I am taking 12 units this summer. Am I eligible to receive a grant award if I did not attend college in the Fall or Spring semester? And, If so, how much will I receive or how is it calculated?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, June 16, 2014

Daphna:

In response to the comment/query you posted on June 13, 2014:

If you are Pell-eligible, you can certainly receive Pell Grant funds for the summer period, despite the fact that you did not enroll in the previous fall or spring semesters. Pell Grant awards are calculated for each term of enrollment by the school in accordance with federal guidelines. Your enrollment status, Cost of Attendance, and Expected Family Contribution for the summer are used in making that calculation. Without knowing each of those data we are unable to provide you a dollar amount; you should contact the financial aid office at your school for an estimate of the summer award amount.

FYI, if you’re going to file the 2013-14 FAFSA, you need to hurry. To apply for federal financial aid for the 2013-14 financial aid award year, you need to file the 2013-14 FAFSA by June 30, 2014. You can file online at www.fafsa.gov.

Name: neisha
Time: Monday, June 16, 2014

I was approved for pell grant last year and this year coming in. I did not use all of my grant from last year. Fellow coworkers said their school refunded them the balance that was not used. When i contacted my school they told me they don't refund the previous year remaining balance and that it goes to a lifetime account that will eventually get used. Can they do that or are they supposed to give me the balance?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Neisha:

In response to the comment/query you posted on June 16, 2014

The school must use your entire Pell Grant award amount to pay educational expenses at the school and disburse any remaining funds to you, the student, to cover costs such as books, housing and transportation. If you signed an agreement to allow the school to hold the remaining balance for budgeting purposes, the school still must disburse the funds to you at a later date. We encourage you to investigate the “lifetime account” further and determine whether you signed an authorization for the school to hold your remaining Pell Grant funds.

Name: brittany
Time: Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I owe money from a previous semester due to withdrawing from a class. Do I have to pay out of pocket or can the amount be taken out of my upcoming semester award amount?

Name: drakus
Time: Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I had started college fall of 2013 and i decided to take up summer class. Well since i havent received my second half of my pell grant will i get that amount or will they reduce my refund since its a summer semester?

Name: lakeetha
Time: Thursday, June 19, 2014

Iwasnt eligible for pell grant 2013/14 because i was in default from 1997.i payed that off in april 2014. I started a technical school in January 2014. I withdrew because i was sick on june 15'2014' I go back tofinsh on august 19'2014 .I will graduate in December 2014.can i get money back from those past months when i was in default but enrolled fulltime. My tution was paid by vocational rehabilitation.I have childcare costs. I did fafsa for both years.2013/14 #2014/15 .

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, June 19, 2014

Brittany:

In response to the comment/query you posted on June 18, 2014:

According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon, this could be a possibility. Two things have to be in place for this to work:

First, the student has to owe the institution less than $200 from the most recent past term. In other words, it can’t be an outstanding balance from 2012. And, second, the student must have enough financial aid in the new term to not only pay for the new term, but have enough remaining to pay the outstanding balance.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, June 19, 2014

Drakus:

In response to the comment/query you posted June 18, 2014:

According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon, you may have eligibility for Pell Grant funding for your summer term assuming you did not attend college during the spring term. If you did not enroll anywhere for the spring term, that second portion of your Pell grant award may be available to you for the summer. The amount will be adjusted to reflect your enrollment status for the summer term, and the costs associated with summer attendance. You will want to contact your Financial Aid Office to discuss your summer term funding options.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lakeetha:

In response to the comment/query you posted June 19, 2014:

According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon, unfortunately, no, you cannot go back and receive financial aid funding for that time you were in default on your student loan. Financial aid is only available to you for the time forward after your default status was cleared. You may be eligible for financial aid for your final term starting in August 2014. You will want to contact the Financial Aid Office at your technical school to discuss your funding options for your final term.

Name: mary
Time: Thursday, June 19, 2014

I started school in the spring and I had no problems with my grant. but now that I am taking summer school which I am a full time student my pell grant has dropped. in the last week. I have a charged list that says it is one thing but when I got my refund it was different. is this common for summer school?

Name: Freedom
Time: Monday, June 23, 2014

I was wondering if someone could help me with something. I applied for the FASFA then Pell. However, I do not own a working printer and clicked on the option of sending it to me through the postal service. It's been about 2 weeks since I requested it, can someone tell me when it should arrive, because I'm getting kind of worried. Thank you.

Name: Jasimine
Time: Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How do you turn in your stuff that's required? Do I just mail/fax it to the office that handles the scholarships?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mary:

In response to the comment/query you posted on June 19, 2014:

According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert, Sue Allmon, the change in the amount of your Pell refund could be due to several factors, including:

1. The budget that your school uses for the summer term may be less than the amount for the normal fall/spring terms, and, thus, your eligibility would be reduced.

2. You could be reaching your maximum Pell Grant award limit, which could result in a reduction in your award. FYI, The amount of Federal Pell Grant funding you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years' worth of Pell funding. Find more information about the lifetime limit on Pell Grants at:

https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/pell/calculate-eligibility

3. If you attended a different school in the fall term, your new school may need to adjust your Pell award.

4. The reduction in your Pell award amount may reflect changes to your FAFSA information.

We suggest that you contact your school's financial aid office and ask to review your financial aid eligibility -- and the reason(s) for the change in your Pell award -- with a financial aid administrator.

Name: Paul
Time: Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Is there any government website where you can check the history of your Pell grant release date. My school is claiming they did not receive a Pell grant for me, but on the financial self service page it states that I accepted a Pell Grant.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Freedom:

In response to the comment/query you posted on June 23, 2014:

According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert, Sue Allmon, if you signed and submitted your FAFSA online and provided an email address on your FAFSA application, you can expect to be notified about your FAFSA results via email. This email, which should arrive within three to five days, will provide a link to a secure online service where you can view your Student Aid Report (SAR). If you did not provide an email address on your FAFSA application, your SAR will be mailed to you. In general, a student who elects to be notified via mail can expect to wait at least a couple weeks before his or her SAR arrives in the mailbox.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jasimine:

In response to the comment/query you posted June 24, 2014:

CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon says that, if your financial aid office has requested additional information, review that particular communication to see if the school provides instructions on just how to supply that information. Otherwise, Sue recommends that you contact the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend. Some schools will want you to mail copies of the requested information. Other aid offices will accept faxed copies or even scanned documents sent via email.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, June 27, 2014

Paul:

In response to the comment/query you posted June 25, 2014:

That's a good question, but the quick answer is "No." According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon, you may need to make an appointment with a financial aid administrator at your school to resolve the discrepancy. It is possible, for example, that you have already been awarded the full amount of the Pell Grant available to you for the financial aid award year in question (for example, if you received your full Pell award during the fall and spring semesters, Pell money won't be available for summer classes). In addition, you might want to review your Student Aid Report (SAR), which would have been sent to you after you completed your FAFSA for the financial aid year in question. The SAR will tell you if you have already reached the maximum, lifetime limit for Federal Pell Grants (you can receive Pell grants for up to six years).

Name: Jared Jeffers
Time: Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I am currently finishing up my Bachelors in September. I however am eligible for Pell for the 14/15 year. Do I still receive in refunded money, or will the Pell disappear. Thanks

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

Jared Jeffers:

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

According to financial aid expert and CollegeUp.org blogger Sue Allmon, once you have completed your first bachelor’s degree, you are no longer eligible for any additional Pell Grant funds. So, yes, the Pell award will "disappear."

Name: faviola
Time: Thursday, July 3, 2014

I was denied for fiancial aid for the fall 2013 because of my income tax figures. I was unemployed at the time I started college then my fiancial aid specialist completed an income adjustment. I attended winter 2013 and I just completed the spring 2014 and I am in summer school now. I was notified by my fiancial aid specialist that she made a mistake and that I was approved and I would get a disbursment how far will they re-emburse me?

Name: M
Time: Saturday, July 5, 2014

I was just wondering if pell grant would cover any car expenses I have including repairs and gas. This is because I go to a community college, and that I drive to school using my own vehicle

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

Faviola:

In response to the comment/query you posted July 3, 2014:

This is not a question we can answer for you. We encourage you to contact the financial aid office at your school to find out what academic terms were covered by the error and the amount of any disbursement to your account.

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

M:

In response to the comment/query you posted July 5, 2014:

According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon, the Pell grant is to be used for educational expenses. Once your bill is paid at the school, a refund may be issued to you to use for reasonable educational expenses. As part of the Cost of Attendance for your school, the financial aid office would have budgeted reasonable transportation costs for your commute to and from school. If you are issued a refund check, you may use those funds to assist with your vehicle expenses – for example, buying gas or paying for maintenance needs.

And, according to a U.S. Department of Education publication that defines certain costs of attendance for which federal aid can be used – in this case, the student’s cost of transportation: "This allowance may also include costs for operating and maintaining a vehicle which is used to transport the student to and from school, but not for the purchase of a vehicle.”

Name: Rochelle Michael
Time: Friday, July 11, 2014

If I attend a two year college and want to move on to get my last two years from another college do I have to pay out of pocket or can I still receive help to pay for my education?

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

Yes, you can still receive financial assistance to help you earn your first bachelor’s degree. You will need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which you can submit online at www.fafsa.gov. Make sure to provide the school code for the four-year school you plan to attend. Once your FAFSA is processed, the results will be sent to the school, as well as to you. The school's financial aid office can work with you to put together a financial aid package to help you pay for those next two years.

Name: Joshua P.
Time: Saturday, July 12, 2014

I have been award a pell grant for $5654 can you tell me if you all send the whole amount to the school or do you all do it in payments? Cause I looked on fsfsa and they told me that I would be getting a disbursed amount and I want to know if that amount is for me or the school.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, July 14, 2014

Joshua P:

In response to the comment/query you posted on July 12, 2014:

According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon, it looks like you received an award letter from your school stating that you had been awarded a Pell Grant in the amount of $5,654. FYI, the results of the FAFSA you submitted (your Student Aid Report) does not provide a dollar amount for a Pell Grant. If you received an award letter from your school, it should indicate to you how your Pell Grant funding will be distributed.

Depending on your enrollment status (full-time or part-time), the Department of Education will send a portion of your award to your school. Generally, if you are a full-time student, half will be used for the fall term and the other half for spring term. The Pell Grant award must be sent to the school first to pay any outstanding balance for any tuition, fees and other expenses billed directly by your school for the term (for example, the fall or spring term).

If there are any Pell Grant funds remaining after your school bill is paid, the balance of your Pell Grant can be sent to you to assist you with other educational expenses. A Pell “refund” is often provided in the form of a debit card. Some schools, however, will issue a check.

Name: Kallie Kennedy
Time: Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I am transferring to a new school in the spring and was wondering my pell grant federal loans can be transferred as well to help pay for it.

Name: Shelby
Time: Thursday, July 17, 2014

Can I take time off of school without having to pay back the Pell Grant?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, July 17, 2014

Kallie Kennedy:

In response to the comment query you posted on July 16, 2014:

We checked with CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon, and, the quick answer is, yes, your remaining financial aid may be available to be used at your new school once you’ve transferred. However, please understand that your current financial aid will not “transfer” per se to the new school. Your financial aid eligibility will be recalculated by your new school based upon a number of factors, including the new school’s Cost of Attendance; how many credit hours you’re taking; if you live on campus, off campus or with your parents; and how much financial aid funding you used during the fall term at your prior school. The school will then put together its financial aid award. Also, there are two key steps you will need to take to ensure that this happens correctly and on a timely basis.

First, you need to make sure your new school is listed on your FAFSA so it can get a copy of your results. If your school isn’t on your FAFSA, you can go online at www.fafsa.gov and add the code for your new school.

Second, you will need to contact the financial aid office at your new school to confirm that you are transferring and to learn if the school has any additional paperwork or steps you need to complete to finalize your financial aid records. (Although you're not required to contact the financial aid office at the school you're leaving, it would be a courtesy to let folks know that you're leaving.)

Also, do not assume that the amount and types of financial aid you are receiving now will be the same at your new school. If you work closely with your new school as you make the transition, you will have everything in place prior to starting at your new school and should be able to have all of your financial aid awards ready to go.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, July 18, 2014

Shelby:

In response to the comment/query you posted July 17, 2014:

According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon, if you complete your term and then decide to take time off, you will not have to pay back any of the Pell Grant you have received. However, if you decide to drop out during the term, without completing it, or you fail all your classes during the term, you may have to repay a portion of your Pell Grant.

Name: lizeth Gonzalez
Time: Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hi. I have a question. I was awarded a Pell grant for this previous year (13-14) but I was placed in suspension starting the Fall semester and including Spring semester because of my hours attempted exceeded my hours completed. So my suspensión was removed and I got my Financial Aid back. They were able to pay my Summer I and Summer II. But my question is, why did I only get paid $703 and not the amount it shows I was awarded for Summer II which was $2823? I was told before Summer I started, I wasn't going to have enough money to cover some courses for Summer II do I had to drop some courses now it shows I was awarded more than what I was told.

Name: Jennifer Williams
Time: Monday, July 21, 2014

If I was awarded the Full Pell Grant amount and only have one semester left, I understand I will only recieve half the award, but half the reward is not even enough to cover my tution, let alone materials and living expenses for school. I am concerned since this is my final semester and I am afraid I won't be able to finish my degree due to the costs... what can be done?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, July 21, 2014

Lizeth Gonzalez:

In response to the comment/query you posted July 19, 2014:

According to Sue Allmon, a financial aid expert and contributor to the CollegeUp.org Blog, your Pell Grant award is based upon the number of factors, including the number of credit hours for which you are enrolled each term, your school's Cost of Attendance, and the balance of your Pell Grant award for the financial award year. You will need to contact your school’s financial aid office to determine why the actual amount credited to your account does not match your initial award letter.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, July 21, 2014

Jennifer Williams:

In response to the comment/query you posted on July 21, 2014:

We referred your query to Sue Allmon, a contributor to the CollegeUp.org Blog and a financial aid expert, and she offered this advice: The U.S. Department of Education requires schools to split the Pell Grant award into two terms. If you are a full-time, you receive half of the award in one semester and the second half in the second semester. Since you are graduating at the end of this semester (congratulations by the way!), your school can only award you half of the Pell Grant funds due to you. Unfortunately, the school cannot give you more of your Pell Grant funding just because your expenses are more than the half of the Pell Grant award you have received. You should contact your financial aid office and discuss with them other grant and scholarship opportunities that might be available to you. The financial aid office may have other resources you can pursue to assist you with your final term. Best of luck!

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, July 21, 2014

Jarrod:

In response to the comment/query you posted July 21, 2014:

Yes, you will need to complete the FAFSA form with income information for both you and your spouse, according to Sue Allmon, a regular contributor to the CollegeUp.org Blog and a financial aid expert. Since you have filed your tax return under the "married filing separately" option, you will be unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to download your income information into the online FAFSA. Thus, you will need to refer to both your tax return and your spouse’s tax return and combine the requested income information shown on the returns. If you need assistance in completing the FAFSA form, you may contact the financial aid office where you plan to enroll, and the staff there can assist you with completing the form accurately.

Name: Richard Kaplan
Time: Monday, July 21, 2014

My daughter has a Pell Grant as well as a Portable Tuition Benefit from my employer, NYU. The agency administering the NYU grant has claimed they have a right to consider Pell to be a tuition benefit, and therefore to deduct it from their liability. Is this legitimate? My daughter's financial aid director has said she has never heard of a tuition benefit program construing a Pell Grant in this way.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Richard Kaplan:

In response to the comment/query you posted July 21, 2014:

We asked CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon about your query, and this is her advice:

"Unfortunately, the agency administering the NYU grant can set the rules for how it wishes to distribute its funding. Perhaps the agency does not understand that the Pell Grant award is not a ‘tuition specific’ award and can be utilized for any educational expense. It may be helpful for your daughter’s financial aid office to contact the agency to explain how the Pell Grant is being utilized. If the financial aid office is unable to assist, you also can be an advocate for your daughter and provide the agency with information that explains what the Pell Grant program is and how it operates. You can learn more about Pell Grants at www.CollegeUp.org or at the U.S. Department of Education’s website (https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/pell). Again, it is up to the agency to set its own rules for distributing the agency's funding. You may not be able to sway the agency's position, but it won’t hurt to try."

Name: Shaun
Time: Thursday, July 24, 2014

I received pell for the first time in my college career for this summer semester, which happens to be my last semester. Do they issue me the balance of what I was rewarded. The summer semester was paid off on July 3.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shaun:

In response to the comment/query you posted on July 24, 2014:

We shared your question with Sue Allmon, a CollegeUp.org Blog contributor and student aid expert, and this is her response:

"First, let me congratulate you on your graduation. Unfortunately, the college cannot release to you any additional Pell Grant funds. The U.S. Department of Education requires schools to split the Pell Grant award for the year into two separate installments, which are paid over two semesters. You received the first portion of the award for your summer term. If you had not graduated (assuming you have graduated with a bachelor’s degree), you would have had access to the second portion of the Pell Grant for the fall term. Since you are not enrolled, the portion of your Pell Grant award you did not use must be returned to the Department of Education to be reallocated to another student."

Name: Daniel
Time: Sunday, July 27, 2014

Is there a law or mandate on when a college has to issue the grant refunds each semester, or can they wait and issue them any time they want to during the semester?

Name: Vicky
Time: Monday, July 28, 2014

So I was attending a school for spring 2014. I was approved for financial aid and the pell grant, however I didn't get anything because they were waiting on my transcript. They finally received my transcript but it was a couple weeks after the semester had ended. Since I paid out of pocket to start school, will fafsa pay the remaining balance to get my account off hold so that I can register for fall semester?

Name: Y.Sierra
Time: Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I am working on my A.S. degree in Nursing; however, I was told I had all the credits needed to get an A.A. degree this fall, is it possible to get the A.A. while continuing to work on my A.S. in nursing, and eventually a B.S.N. - Thank you.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vicky:

In response to the comment/query you posted on July 28, 2014:

According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon, if your outstanding balance is from the spring term, you may be able to utilize your Pell Grant that was awarded to you for that term to assist with a balance due from that term. If the outstanding balance is from a summer term, then, no, those funds cannot be used to pay off a summer bill. You will want to talk with your financial aid office to determine if the Pell Grant can be used and, if so, what you need to do to obtain permission for that to occur.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Y. Sierra:

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

First congratulations on having the credits to receive you’re A.A degree! According to Sue Allmon, a contributor to the CollegeUp.org blog and financial aid expert, you can accept the A.A. degree while working on your A.S. degree, and you will still be able to be considered for the Pell Grant program through your A.S. and your B.S.N.

Name: Daniel
Time: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Thank you for your response! I was not aware of that. Let me ask you this then. My school now waits until 6 weeks after the semester starts to "deposit" the grant money and half of the loan money into our accounts. Then they wait until a week after "midterm exam" week to deposit the other half of the loan money for disbursement. It used to be 4 weeks after the start of the semester. Is this within their right to do? It makes it hard for someone taking 4 or 5 classes per semester that is also raising a family as well, to survive during that long wait period. It’s bad enough that they reduced the cap of total award allowed from roughly 15k to 14k a year. There is no way the cost of "attending" and cost of living has reduced from one year to the next, especially since they raised the tuition rates.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Daniel:

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

We checked with Sue Allmon, an experienced financial aid administrator and a regular contributor to the CollegeUp.org blog. This is her response: "Yes, once a Pell Grant award has been posted to your account with the school's bursar, if there is a refund due to you, the school must issue that refund to you within 14 business days after the award was posted to your bursar account."

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Daniel:

In response to your follow-up comment/query you posted on July 30, 2014:


According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert, Sue Allmon: “Yes, the school is within its rights to set the policy on how and when financial aid awards are posted to your account and, thus, when any refund is issued to you. However, once a Pell Grant award has been posted to your account, the school must, within 14 business days, send you any Pell refund owed to you. Please also understand that your Cost of Attendance (COA) is calculated each year by the school (that is the ‘15k to 14k’ you reference). The COA is an estimate of the expenses students can expect to incur by attending a particular school during a full school year. Because costs will be higher for some students and lower for others, the school calculates an average COA that is used for all students.”

To learn more about Cost of Attendance estimates and how they are calculated, please visit our blog article, “Just What's in That Cost of Attendance Estimate?” at: http://blog.collegeup.org/just-whats-in-that-cost-of-attendance-estimate.

Name: Lex
Time: Thursday, July 31, 2014

If i got approved for a pell grant and am waiting to get into a waitlisted class but i am #1 on the wait list, will i still receive my award when i get in?

Name: Patricia Scherschel
Time: Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lex:

In response to the commnent/query you posted on July 31, 2014:

According to Sue Allmon, a financial aid expert and regular contributor to the CollegeUp.org Blog, you should contact your financial aid office to confirm your Pell eligibility. However, based upon the information you have provided, the amount of your Pell Grant award is based upon the number of course credits you are taking for the semester. Right now, your school has based your award on your registered hours. Once you are no longer waitlisted for that class and are added to the class roster, the financial aid office will receive notification of that addition and will review your financial aid package and make adjustments as needed to match your new enrollment status.

Name: Rebecca Batchelor
Time: Friday, August 1, 2014

What can you do if when you had finished your classes and you were supposed to get a refund and they told you did not have one?Then you find out a few years later you did?

Name: Henny
Time: Saturday, August 2, 2014

I I've had the federal pell grant for one full year and my school told me i've almost used up all my eligibility for it, but upon reading, i thought the life span of the grant is at least 4 years of full time credits, or until you get your first BA degree, I am getting my first AS degree, and I wanted a second so i'm bummed to think I won't be getting anymore aid if I try to go through with the 2nd major next year, they told me to reapply and change major though, an that might change something. but i have this sad feeling that i'm only eligible for like 2 more classes worth of aid, at least at my 'campus' , maybe have to pick a new community college, but the one I go to is pleasant on the eyes. The other ones in Hawaii arn't exactly my type of environment.
So anyways my question is, can a school limit you to only getting the grant less then two years? Or is it just relating to how many credits I have to finish the first degree? which im one class away from finishing, need a stupid math credit....
if someone could reply or email appreciate.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, August 4, 2014

Rebecca Batchelor:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 1, 2014:

We shared your query with Sue Allmon, who is a regular contributor to the CollegeUp.org Blog and an expert on financial aid. This is her response:

"If you believe you were due a refund and one was not issued to you, your first step is to contact the school you attended and speak to someone in the Business Office to determine when and where the refund was sent. If they give you a date and location, inform them that you never received the funds and request a copy of the cancelled check or transmission that shows you accepted the funds. Someone else may have intercepted your refund, or the school could be in error and the money was never sent to you. Once you learn the details and you can prove that you never received the refund, you can request that the school re-issue the refund to you."

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, August 4, 2014

Henry:

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

According to CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon: "The school is not limiting you on the duration of your Pell Grant eligibility. Several years ago, Congress passed legislation that limits the amount of Pell Grant funding you may receive. The amount of Pell Grant money you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive in a year is equal to 100 percent, the six-year equivalent is 600 percent.

"According to the U.S. Department of Education’s website, you can log into the National Student Aid Data System (NSLDS) at www.nslds.ed.gov to view your Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU). You’ll need your Federal Student Aid PIN to access your information on NSLDS. To see your LEU, go to the Financial Aid Review Page. To learn more about the Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility rules, click this link: https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/pell/calculate-eligibility.

"A second issue you may be facing is called the “Maximum Timeframe” (MTF). This is part of the satisfactory academic progress policy on your campus. If you have already acquired more than 150 percent of the number of credit hours required to earn your associate’s degree, you will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid -- even if you have not yet graduated because you have not yet fulfilled all of the individual course requirements needed to complete your degree program. For example, if you are enrolled in a program that requires 60 credit hours to earn an associate’s degree, the 150 percent rule would allow you receive federal financial aid to help pay for up to 90 credit hours. If, after attempting 90 credit hours, you haven’t satisfied your degree requirements, you will be cut off from additional federal aid.

"FYI, if you’re a transfer student, the 150 percent rule includes coursework you completed at your previous school, if those credit hours were transferred to your new school.

"You should contact the financial aid office at your school and sit down with a counselor to review your financial aid history. The financial aid office can help you understand what is affecting your aid eligibility and can recommend the appropriate next steps."

Name: Aisha
Time: Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Last year I applied for financial aid and received the award for the whole year, yet due to difficulties I had to take two semesters off. I'm wondering what happens to the financial award of 2013-2014 do I lose the money or can I use them towards my 2014-2015 school year?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Aisha:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 5, 2014:

We shared your query with Sue Allmon, a regular contributor to the CollegeUp.org Blog and a financial aid expert. This is her response:

"I am sorry to hear you had to suspend your studies for the 2013-14 year, but I'm glad that you will be returning for the 2014-15 school year. Any 2013-14 federal grant awards have been returned to the U.S. Department of Education and cannot be used for your upcoming year. Federal financial aid funds are to be used within the specified award year. The 2013-14 award year began July 1, 2013, and ended June 30, 2014. Because you did not enroll during that timeframe, the funds awarded for 2013-14 are forfeited. If you have not done so already, you should file a 2014-15 FAFSA to be considered for federal and other financial aid programs for the 2014-15 financial aid award year. Good luck!"

Name: Amy
Time: Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I was awarded the full $5,730 for the 2014-2015 year and it is split in half for each semester, as well as a $200 grant from the state I live in also split in half for each semester. The total of the grants for each semester is $2,965. I am enrolled in 8 credits total, which is considered part time. Will I receive the full $2,965 for each semester or will that be reduced because it isn't considered full time? Is there a way to find out exactly how much of the grants you will actually get? The financial aid section of the website shows that the $2,965 was offered for each semester and that amount was accepted for each semester. I just want to make sure that I am going to have enough to cover classes and at least the books for those classes.

Name: Ernest
Time: Thursday, August 7, 2014

I am returning to school after 15 years. I applied at my old college and initially was to receive financial aid. However, I was later denied the pell grant due to completing more than the maximumamount of units allowed. So I applied at another community college. Will I be denied the pell grant there as well? If it helps, I'm an undergraduate student with no degree and the community college is in California

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, August 7, 2014

Amy:

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

We shared your query with Sue Allmon, CollegeUp Blog contributor and a financial aid expert, and this is her response:

"You are correct. Your Pell Grant will be adjusted to reflect your enrollment status of half-time (8 credit hours). The financial aid office at your school should be able to tell you what your new Pell Grant award will be. It should be in the neighborhood of $1,433 -- half of the half-time Pell award for the year ($2,865), but do check with your financial aid office for confirmation. As for your state grant, you can also can check in with your financial aid office to see if your half-time status will impact that award. In some states, if the student is not enrolled on a full-time basis, the grant is rescinded for that semester."

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ernest:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 7, 2014:

Sue Allmon, a financial aid expert and a regular contributor to the CollegeUp.org Blog, suggests that you talk to the financial aid office at the community college you are thinking of attending. According to Sue: "There could be a couple of factors going on here:

"First, at your old college, you may have run into the Maximum Timeframe rule. This rule states that you can only receive aid up and until you reach 150 percent of your intended degree. For example, if you were pursuing an Associate Degree that was 60 credits in length, you would be allowed to receive aid up and until you had attempted 90 credits. This may be the case at your old college – you have attempted too many hours towards the degree. If this is the case, depending on how many credits from your old college transfer to the new community college, you may still have eligibility at the new school.

“Second, you may have run out of Pell Grant eligibility altogether. The amount of Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive is each year is equal to 100 percent of the annual Pell Grant award, the six-year equivalent is 600 percent. The Student Aid Report (SAR) you received after filing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will tell you how much Pell Grant funding you have received and how much of the 600 percent maximum remains potentially available to you.”

Name: Alexis
Time: Friday, August 8, 2014

I was awarded a pell grant for my freshman year of college. They split the grant up in half. Half the first semester the other half the second semester. Due to family situations i was unable to return to school the second semester and i was unable to enroll because of it. So who gets the second half of the grant?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, August 8, 2014

Alexis:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 8, 2014:

First, we’re sorry that you were unable to return to school and hope that in the near future you will be able to re-enroll.

Second, as for who received the second half of your grant, no one did. Because you did not return to school for the second semester, you were not eligible to receive the second half of your Pell Grant. The school is required to return to the federal government any Pell Grant funds that cannot be posted to the recipient’s account.

Name: Andrew Fisher
Time: Sunday, August 10, 2014

I am a disabled student and I was attending school full time for a few semesters and I noticed that I was reciecving 1000 dollars instead of 1500 and this was going on for a few semesters before I figured out that they had me as a low income student not a disabled student living off ssi. I was wondering is there any way to get the back pay on that lost income?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, August 11, 2014

Andrew Fisher:

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


If you are asking about your Social Security benefits, you will need to contact the U.S. Social Security Administration about your benefits and any adjustment that may have occurred.

Name: Sharon Clark
Time: Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I've been awarded a Pell Grant for the 2014/2015 Year for the maximum amount. My question is this, I will be finished with my classes as of Oct 2014 and was able to use part of the Pell to pay for my summer semester. However, because I will be finished w/ my program and will not have any classes going forward for the Fall semester I was told that the remainder funds could not be applied to my outstanding balance. I'm confused of this because I was awarded the max and because there will be a balance it should be applied so the school gets paid in full. I've spoken with my financial aid advisors and they made me aware that because I will not be enrolled in the fall semester they have to send the funds back to the state. What's confusing is that it's funds that I was approved for to pay for school. I'm now in a position to where I may not graduate in January because I'll have a balance. With that being said what avenues do you suggest I take to payoff the balance that doesn't involve me taking out a loan that needs a co-signer because I have none. Your guidance would greatly be appreciated.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sharon Clark:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 13, 2014:

We checked with Sue Allmon, a regular contributor to the CollegeUp.org Blog and an expert on financial aid issues. This is her response:

“The Pell Grant award you received is the amount awarded for an entire year, but this amount must be split between semesters. You cannot receive 100 percent of the Pell Grant money in a single semester. Because you have been given the first half of the award and because you will be graduating in October, the second half of the Pell award cannot be released to you because you will not be enrolled for the next semester. The fact that you have an outstanding balance owed to the school is not a factor in determining when Pell Grant money can be awarded.

“As for options to pay off the balance you owe, I would recommend you contact your financial aid office to discuss other possible grants or scholarships that you may apply for and use for this final term. Also, you may be eligible for a Federal Direct student loan. The Direct loan is provided by the federal government and does not require a credit check or a co-signer. There is, however, a limit on how much you may borrow each year.”

Name: Kellie
Time: Wednesday, August 13, 2014

If I were to pay my tuition, then was given a pell grant afterwards, would I still receive a refund?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kellie:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 13, 2014:

According to financial aid expert and CollegeUp.org blogger Sue Allmon: "Yes, if you are eligible for a Pell Grant and your balance due to your school is zero, then the Pell Grant monies would be refunded to you to assist you with other educational expenses such as books, transportation, rent and food."

Name: Katherine Quezada
Time: Thursday, August 14, 2014

I looked at my financial aid package for my school and Im not getting a Pell grant this year even though on my FAFSA it says my EFC is $200 and that I can be awarded up to $5,300 on it. Why would I not be eligible anymore? I have not completed my first bachelors yet I will be graduating this Decemebr

Name: Carter Miller
Time: Thursday, August 14, 2014

My brother and I both attend the same college. We received different Pell Grant amounts. Mine is very near the maximum and his is only 790 per semester. Why is there a difference? We submitted the exact same financial information and our permanent home address is, and has always been, the same. Could it be our ages? I am 21 and have one semester to complete my AA. He is 19 and beginning hi second year in college.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, August 14, 2014

Katherine Quezada:

In response to the comment/query you posted August 14, 2014:

According to Sue Allmon, a Collegeup.org blogger and financial aid expert, you will need to ask your school’s financial aid office why a Pell Grant is not included in your financial aid package. FYI, there is a limit to the amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive – no longer can you continue to receive Pell Grant awards until you earn your first bachelor’s degree. It is possible that you have exhausted your Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Limit. The amount of Pell Grant money that you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive in a single financial aid award year is equal to 100 percent of the maximum Pell Award for that year, the six-year equivalent is 600 percent. Your financial aid office can review your financial aid history with you and assist you with determining why a Pell Grant is not being offered to you this year.

You can read more about the Pell Grant Lifetime Eligiblity Limit at: http://blog.collegeup.org/10-frequently-asked-questions-about-federal-pell-grants.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, August 14, 2014

Carter Miller:

In response to the comment/query you posted August 14, 2014:

We shared your query with financial aid expert and CollegeUp blogger Sue Allmon. This is her response:

"There are many factors that go into determining a student’s eligibility for a Pell Grant. Did you and/or your brother work in 2013? Are you certain that every single response to the questions on your FAFSA are identical to the responses on your brother’s application? You both need to schedule an appointment together to meet with the financial aid office at your school, if you want the office to review and discuss both files. Federal law does not allow the school to discuss your brother’s situation with you, nor do the rules allow the school to discuss your financial aid with your brother. But be prepared: If the comparison of your two files does find some differences that can and should be corrected, it may impact both of you. The best case situation: His Pell Grant would increase to match yours. The worst case: Your Pell Grant would be reduced to match his."
 

Name: Sarah
Time: Friday, August 15, 2014

I know the amount of my Pell Grant and T.A.P. combined will cover my tuition. And I got a letter telling me the school owes me about $1300. 600 of that has been placed on a voucher for books. I plan to use the rest for help with meals and transportation as well as school supplies. But will I have to keep record of the money I use for the food, transport, supplies, etc. ? And what if by some miracle I have money left over?

Name: Vanessa
Time: Friday, August 15, 2014

I go to a vocational school and I was told that they do not do pell grant disbursements. I believe that the financial aid advisers said something about only borrowing what they needed to cover my costs, but I know that I qualify for more Pell Grant than they need for my expenses.
And, I got some notification on my finances page on our school website saying that my grant was credited to my account. It also said something like "Disbursement Amount" followed by a number as well as a check number.
Needless to say, I'm confused.

Name: Tony
Time: Saturday, August 16, 2014

If I paid out of pocket for a previous semester and then applied and was accepted for the Pell Grant afterwards, is there any way that I could be paid for that previous semester?

Name: Angel Klein
Time: Saturday, August 16, 2014

I was awarded $1,540 for fall semester but the pell grant only paid 770 towards my classes now I have to pay the rest out of pocket why is that?

Name: Pollerana
Time: Sunday, August 17, 2014

One of the benefits of attending community college over a 4 year university is to allow people to take multiple courses from many different areas. Financially it is a much smarter investment until I found out I will (probably) only be receiving loans to pursue my education at the 4 year university of my choosing. According to CSULA, CSUSB, UCR and UCLA my unit threshold has been reached. Mind you I was talking to student workers from each university. Is this correct? Will I no be able to receive any grant money? If so please explain, If not please fill me in on what these student workers might be talking about.

Name: Catherine Marshall
Time: Sunday, August 17, 2014

If you enroll in college as a part time full time student and then end up a part time student and lose eligibilty for part of your pell grant could you get it back once you reapply for full time.

Name: samy barbosa
Time: Monday, August 18, 2014

I enter a network support program november 4 2013 and i got approved for the pell grant.. i reapplied for the pell grant will i recieve anthore pell grant or do they only give 1 per program

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 15, 2014:

According to Sue Allmon, a regular contributor to the CollegeUp.org Blog and a financial aid expert, you do not need to keep a record of how you spend your refund for the financial aid office.

However, you should keep your receipts for your education-related expenditures with your tax records. When it’s time to file your federal and state tax returns, you may find you qualify for an education tax benefit such as the federal Lifetime Learning Credit or the American Opportunity Credit. To learn more about potentially valuable tax breaks, read IRS Publication 970: “Tax Benefits for Education.” You can download Publication 970 (currently available for 2013 federal tax returns) at: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf. Or, if necessary, consult a qualified tax preparer.

You can review our blog post on education tax benefits at: http://blog.collegeup.org/dont-forget-to-claim-your-education-tax-breaks-on-your-2013-tax-return.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Vanessa:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 15, 2014:


We shared your query with Sue Allmon, a CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert. She says you need to go see the financial aid office at your school. A Pell Grant is not a loan; it is an entitlement grant, which means that if you are eligible for a Pell Grant and your school participates in the federal financial aid program, you can receive the award. If the amount of your Pell Grant award is more than the direct costs billed by your school, the school must refund any remaining dollars to you. You can use your Pell Grant refund to pay for other educational expenses, such as transportation, rent, and food.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tony:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 16, 2014:

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

“It depends. If your previous semester falls within the timeframe of your Pell Grant award, then it is possible. The Pell Grant award year runs from July 1 to June 30 of each financial aid award year. For example, if you paid out of pocket for the Spring 2014 semester and filed the 2013-14 FAFSA prior to June 30, 2014, and you completed all of the necessary paperwork and any verification requests before your school’s deadline for 2013-14 financial aid awards, and the results showed that you would have been eligible for a Pell Grant award for the Spring 2014 semester, then your school can go back and make that award.

“However, if you filed the 2014-15 FAFSA and paid out of pocket for expenses incurred during the Spring 2014 semester, you cannot use any Pell Grant funds awarded for the 2014-15 financial aid award year to help pay for the Spring 2014 semester, because that semester is part of last year’s Pell Grant award cycle (the 2013-14 financial aid award year).”

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Angel Klein:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 16, 2014:

“The Pell Grant award is based upon the Cost of Attendance (COA) at your school as well as your enrollment status,” according to CollegeUp.org Blog contributor and financial aid expert, Sue Allmon, who adds: “I am going to assume that the $1,540 award was based upon your anticipated enrollment as a full-time student and that the $770 you have received is based upon your actual enrollment this term, which is less than full-time.”

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pollerana:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 17, 2014:

According to Sue Allmon, a financial aid expert and CollegeUp.org blogger, what you have heard may be accurate. The Pell Grant award has a “Lifetime Eligibility” limit and you may have reached that threshold. The amount of Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years’ worth of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive each year is equal to 100 percent, the six-year equivalent is 600 percent. To learn more about the Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility limit, click here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/pell/calculate-eligibility.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Catherine Marshall:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 17, 2014:

“No, you would not be able to receive that balance if you move up to full-time status in another term,” says Sue Allmon, CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert. “However, you might be able to use those ‘returned funds' for summer school enrollment. You should contact your financial aid office to learn how they process aid for the summer term to see if you can use the balance of your Pell Grant award for the summer of 2015.”

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Samy Barbosa:

In response to the comment/query that you posted on August 18, 2014:

We shared your query with financial aid expert and CollgeUp.org Blog contributor, Sue Allmon. Her response:

“You must apply for a Pell Grant on an annual basis, by filing a new FAFSA each year. It appears that you filed the 2013-14 FAFSA, which enabled you to receive a Pell Grant award for the November 2013 term. If you filed the 2014-15 FAFSA (using your 2013 income), you have probably been notified whether you are eligible for the Pell Grant program for the 2014-15 financial aid award year, which runs from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015. You are eligible to receive Pell Grant awards until you either reach your Pell Grant Lifetime limit or you receive your first bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first. You should make an appointment with the financial aid office at your school to review your financial aid awards and opportunities for this school year.”

Name: Joanna
Time: Thursday, August 21, 2014

I did not use all my grant funds for my undergrad only for 3 semesters. Does this mean I can use the remaining fund for my grad school?
(I want grant for my grad school and not loans)

Name: Anomously
Time: Thursday, August 21, 2014

I had to withdrawal from school because I was moving at the end of the semester and my professor would accept my work when I tried to turn in my work so that I would be successful in class. I end up moving by two days from the very end of the semester. Do I have to pay back pell grants because the school is telling me that I have to repay the pell grant because I did not graduated. Is that true?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, August 22, 2014

Joanna:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 21, 2014:

No. By law, Pell Grants can only be used to help pay for an undergraduate degree. Check with your school’s financial aid office to see if there are any grant or scholarship programs that may be available to you. Depending on your graduate program, there could be an opportunity to earn a tuition waiver or stipend by serving as a teaching assistant or research assistant.

Also, we suggest that you explore private scholarship opportunities via a scholarship search engine. You can link to several free scholarship search services at: http://www.collegeup.org/Pages/Where-to-Find-College-Scholarships.aspx.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, August 22, 2014

Anomously:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 21, 2014:

When students withdraw from all classes before the end of the semester, it is possible that they will be required to repay a portion of the Title IV aid they received, including any Pell Grants (see the third paragraph at this web page: https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships).

If you received Pell Grant funds for courses you did not attend during the semester, however, you also may have to repay funds once the school becomes aware of your non-attendance. (For example, you were awarded a Pell Grant for taking 12 credit hours, but you only took six credit hours.) That said, assuming you were paid for all the hours you attended, it is unlikely that you must repay Pell Grant funds if you withdrew only two days before the end of the term. We encourage you to discuss your situation with the financial aid office.

Name: Anthony
Time: Saturday, August 23, 2014

Is it possible to use my Pell Grant before it get to my account to buy books that I need now.

Name: Nene Yang
Time: Sunday, August 24, 2014

This is my 6th year of receiving FA. I am puzzled about pell grant because it states "12 full-time semesters or six years." I have 3 semesters of part-time so; I never did took the whole full-time through 6 years. Should I still received pell grant for my Spring 2014?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, August 25, 2014

Anthony:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 23, 2014:

Pell Grant-eligible students must receive an opportunity to purchase books and supplies by the seventh day of class. Schools may accomplish this by providing a book voucher for the bookstore or by disbursing, to the student’s account, a federal aid refund in the amount needed to cover budgeted books and supplies. Because the methods for handling book purchases can and do vary by school, we encourage you to contact your school’s financial aid office for additional information.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, August 25, 2014

Nene Yang:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 24, 2014:

Likely yes. The 12-semester provision allows students who attend part-time to have that attendance only be counted as using a portion of a semester. For example, if you attend six semesters at a half-time status, that is the equivalent of three full-time semesters, leaving you with nine full-time semesters of Pell Grant eligibility remaining. If you have additional questions about your Pell Lifetime Eligibility Limit, please contact your financial aid office.

Name: barbie
Time: Friday, August 29, 2014

Does federal grant pay for my summer class? ( the Full amount)
I recently took a summer class but only received half of the money I owed. Now I have to pay extra 200 dollars out of my pocket. I already spoke to the financial office at my school and they all look suspicious. I don't know where to get help. Thank you

Name: Nikki
Time: Saturday, August 30, 2014

What happens to what is left of a Pell grant when the school closes? My school is closing it's doors as of the 1st of Sept 2014. I had a pell grant with them and wanted to know what happens to the funds from the grant that was to pay for this year?

Thank you for your time in this matter.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, September 4, 2014

Barbie:

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

Students may receive a Pell Grant for the summer term, if they have not already used their full year eligibility. For example, if your total Pell Grant eligibility is $2,000, and you received $1,000 during the fall semester and $1,000 during the spring semester, then you would not have eligibility remaining for the summer term. If you did have eligibility remaining for the summer, your enrollment status may also affect the amount you can receive. For example, if you received $750 during the fall and $750 during the spring, you would have $500 remaining, provided you enrolled full time for the summer term. If you are only enrolled half time, you would only receive $250 for the summer. Your school’s financial aid office can further explain how it calculated your Pell Grant eligibility for the summer term.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, September 4, 2014

Nikki:

In response to the comment/query you posted on August 30, 2014:

Schools may opt to offer a "teach-out" program after the school closes. If that is available, you may still qualify for a Pell Grant. Otherwise, you may attend a different school to complete your program and can receive Pell Grant funds at the new school, provided you meet all relevant eligibility criteria. We recommend discussing your options with the school.

Name: Aleshia Boyd
Time: Monday, September 8, 2014

I have applied for Fafsa and i recieved my award but i was trying to apply for the 2015-2016 school year, but instead i applied for the 2014-2015 school however i do not want to loose my pell grant what are my options if anyone can help me. Please Thanks, Aleshia Boyd

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, September 8, 2014

Aleshia Boyd:

In response to the comment/query you posted on September 8, 2014:

First of all, we must applaud your initiative to complete your financial aid process early for next school year. The 2015-16 FAFSA will be available to complete on or shortly after January 1, 2015. We recommend completing your taxes before filing your FAFSA, as you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to populate your tax information. However, if your school or state has a priority deadline that occurs before you complete your taxes, please enter estimated income figures into your FAFSA; you'll have an opportunity to update or correct that information at a later date.

Also, you should continue to be in contact with your school (or schools) of choice regarding other financial aid opportunities, such as institutional grants and scholarship. Find out if there are any additional steps to complete, and make sure to submit all required application materials ahead of any deadlines.

Name: Diana Marquez
Time: Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hello, I currently have a maximum Pell Grant for my full time year of college. I had a question regarding the leftover money since I needed a deeper explanation. Right now I have left 771$ since It paid for my first semester. After I finish my first semester do they give me a check? or mail it to my house? Also in the article you said we cant use it for outside stuff only for school. So using the leftover money to get a used car for school is not allowed? or buying a computer for school? etc.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Diana Marquez:

In response to the comment/query you posted on September 9, 2014:

We shared your query with CollegeUp.org blogger and financial aid expert Sue Allmon. This is her response:

"You will need to talk to your financial aid or bursar’s office about receiving your refund. The timing of that distribution is set by the school, within guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education.

"Now, as to what you can use your refund to cover: The U.S. Department of Education requires that you use your financial aid for educational purposes. This means the money you have been given is to be used to assist you with the expenses you incur to attend college. For example, yes, you can use the funds to purchase a computer that will help you with your school work. No, you cannot use the funds to purchase a used car. However, you can use the funds to buy gas for your car so you can get you to and from classes if you are a commuter student, or to and from home for those holiday breaks if you reside on campus. Other ‘covered’ expenses include textbooks, reference books, pens, pencils, paper, computer ink and paper, and the occasional snack or meal."

Name: Kateria
Time: Thursday, September 11, 2014

School started at Concordia College-Selma on August 11,2014. Today is September 11, 2014. Our student portal says that our refund has been awarded and that it is in our student accounts. Several students have asked when will we receive our refunds. They are telling us that they don't know because thy have not set a date yet. Is there something that we can do, or do we just have to wait?

Name: Jim
Time: Friday, September 12, 2014

I graduated school 5/14. It is an hourly vocational school for LVN. The school states I still owe them $1420 and I still have unused $1336 in my Pell Grant account. The school states that they can not use those funds???? I cant get my diploma or take my state boards until I pay the school $1420, I cant afford it since I am not working as a nurse yet since I cant take boards or even get my diploma or even transcripts released to me. HOW CAN I GET THE FUNDS RELEASED TO ME TO FINISH PAYING SCHOOL?????

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kateria:

In response to the comment/query you posted on September 11, 2014:

Once the school uses Title IV financial aid to pay a student’s school charges, the school must pay to the student any excess funds remaining within 14 calendar days, unless the student provided written permission for the school to hold the balance. We encourage you to discuss your student account with your school so you fully understand your charges, financial aid payments and any excess funds remaining.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jim:

In response to the comment/query you posted on September 12, 2014:

Pell Grants are available to students for paying school-related expenses, but those funds do not work like a bank account. You must meet certain criteria to receive the funds, such as being enrolled in a postsecondary program, and the award amount may not be the same as your maximum eligibility based on the length of the program and your enrollment status. It is possible that you used your maximum allocation of Pell Grant funds for the LVN program already, even though your maximum award amount still has funds remaining, for example, if you decided to enroll in another educational program. However, if you have not yet used your maximum eligibility for the LVN program, you may still be entitled for funds through late disbursement provisions. We encourage you to discuss your situation with the school.

Name: Lauren
Time: Thursday, September 18, 2014

I have been getting a pell grant for 3 years now and I have never got a refund. All of my other friends have received a refund. Why haven't I?

Name: Gilbert
Time: Friday, September 19, 2014

Hi, I was accepted for a pell grant of about $2,400 per semester IF full time and during the time of my school's disbursement window they only went based on how many units I was actually enrolled in, which was 7, but I was on the waitlist for an additional 5 unit class. Even though I ended up being enrolled in 12 units by the add/drop late for my school, they still only gave me $600 instead of $1200. I am and was always intending to be full time, but because I had a class on the waitlist I only received half of what I should've gotten. Is there any way I can get the rest of the money I was awarded?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, September 19, 2014

Gilbert:

In response to the comment/query you posted on September 19, 2014:

Perhaps, but federal policy does not require the school to increase your Pell Grant award amount. The school has the option of doing so, but it must apply such a policy consistently for all students, and also must make downward adjustments in the same fashion. Additionally, the school may have a policy (also allowed by federal regulation) in which it will not make adjustments to a student’s Pell Grant award after a certain date in the term. Due to the multiple possibilities in this scenario, we encourage you use the information provided to discuss your question with your financial aid office.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, September 19, 2014

Lauren:

In response to the comment/query you posted on September 18, 2014:

There are many reasons a student may, or may not, receive a refund. Perhaps the other students paid for school with funding (scholarships, out of pocket, etc.) before the Pell Grant funds were applied to the account. Maybe the others’ charges were lower than the Pell Grant, which generated the refund. Or possibly, your Pell Grant amount was lower than other students. If your Pell Grant was higher than your school charges, and you believe you are entitled to a refund, please talk with your financial aid office.

Name: Michelle Gallavan-Orris
Time: Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I attended Community College 2008-2010 not using any financial aid, I also took some continuing education classes, during that time. I didn't do well then. I have re-enrolled this year,using financial aid. They have suspended my financial aid due to a GPA that is too low, because they are counting the classes I took over 4 years ago, my current GPA is good with out those old classes, what can I do so those don't count against me?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, September 25, 2014

Michelle Gallavan-Orris:

In response to the comment/query you posted on September 23, 2014:

Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements mandate that schools count all the courses a student takes throughout her academic career, regardless of whether the student received financial aid during that time. However, schools may offer students an opportunity to appeal their status to potentially receive Title IV aid on a probationary basis. We encourage you to discuss with your financial aid office whether an appeal is available to you.

Name: Annie Kile
Time: Friday, September 26, 2014

My son used the 9/11 GI Bill. He intended to then use the Pell grant complete his degree. He has been denied the Pell - told the 9/11 "counted against" the Pell?????? How can this be? Do we truly penalize Veterans for using their GI Benefit as his being denied the Pell means Veterans use their GI in lieu of, not in addition to, the Pell. This is so WRONG - we can't get any answers from the VA or his school - can ANYTHING be done to remedy this? Thank you. I am searching many sites to see if can get help - I hope you send emails when you respond to a comment.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, September 29, 2014

Annie Kile:

The Department of Education’s studentaid.ed.gov website clearly states, “The amount of any other student aid for which you might qualify does not affect the amount of your Federal Pell Grant” (See the last sentence of the “How much money can I get” section of this webpage: https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/pell). The reference to “any other aid” includes VA-administered programs, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill. We encourage you to work with the school to resolve this situation, but if you need additional assistance, the Department of Education provides information for discussing your circumstances with the federal government: https://www.studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/military#complaint.

Name: Dominique jenkins
Time: Monday, September 29, 2014

I got accepted to get the pell grant but I'm only going to school for 3 months do I get to recieve my money?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, September 29, 2014

Dominique Jenkins:

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

Likely yes. Your school must use your cost of attendance, expected family contribution and enrollment status to determine your Pell Grant award amount. Federal Pell Grants are available to students attending less than full-time, which may apply in your scenario. Additional information about the Pell Grant program is available online at: https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/pell. We encourage you to discuss your Pell Grant award amount with your school.

Name: Wendy Smith
Time: Saturday, October 25, 2014

My daughter started a semester at a state school but withdrew before the last day to withdraw. She didn't receive any money from her grants at all. The school says we owe FULL tuition for the semester (1827.00). She qualified for a small pell grant but never recieved it. Also appealed with Financial aid and it was approved but school still says she owes the money because she APPLIED for the pell grant but didnt complete the semester. Do we owe the school? This seems wrong to me.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, October 27, 2014

Wendy Smith:

In response to the comment/query you posted on October 25, 2014:

The school must have an official expected family contribution (EFC) on file before the student’s withdrawal date in order to make a “late disbursement” of Pell Grant funds. The government calculates the EFC based on the information provided on the FAFSA, so if your daughter did not have her FAFSA completed by the time she withdrew, then the school cannot, by law, pay her Pell Grant funds. If the FAFSA was completed, however, the school may still be able to make a late disbursement. Bear in mind that the amount of the grant disbursement may not be as much as originally awarded because she withdrew before the term was complete. Please talk with your school for additional information.

Name: Serah
Time: Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How can I receive my pell grant financial aid back after adding a class late? I was at 11 units during initial enrollment and my aid was cut, but I have 13 units now.

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

Sarah:

In response to the comment/query you posted on October 28, 2014:

Federal rules allow schools to determine if they will increase or decrease a student’s Pell Grant award after a certain date, based on a change to enrollment status. Because this is a school-determined provision, please contact your institution to discuss your situation.

Name: DC
Time: Thursday, October 30, 2014

My school is trying to take out 200 dollars out of my Federal Pale Grant refund. They said they are only allowed to take 200 dollars out of my refund? whats up with that?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, October 31, 2014

DC:

In response to the comment/query you posted on October 30, 2014:

It appears the school may be using this year’s Pell Grant funds to pay outstanding prior-year charges for tuition, fees, room or board. The amount the school may use from this year’s funds to pay prior-year charges cannot exceed $200. Additionally, the school does not need your permission to use current year funds to pay prior year charges. Please consult with your school about any outstanding charges you may have on your account and the use of your current year Pell Grant funds.

Name: Chris
Time: Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Can I get a Pell grant from the U.S. if I already have BA degree from another country???

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Thursday, November 6, 2014

Chris:

In response to the comment/query you posted on November 5, 2014:

Likely no. Students with the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree cannot receive Pell Grant funds. The U.S. school, however, must determine if your prior foreign degree meets the requirements of a U.S. baccalaureate degree. Please contact your school for additional information.

Name: Axli Malsack
Time: Friday, November 7, 2014

I am attending a vocational school and qualified for the pell grant. It still has not finished processing after 4 months and I only have 5 months left. What are the chances that I do not recieve it at all? If I do manage to get a payment or two, will it be refunded to pell when I graduate or does my school get to keep that money? I'm feeling at this point like I shouldn't have even bothered since I don't think I'll see it before I leave school.

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

Axli Malsack:

In response to the comment/query you posted on November 7, 2014:

You can likely still receive the funds, even after you graduate. Your school must:

1. Have a valid record of your FAFSA filing before you leave school, and

2. Disburse the Pell Grant funds within 180 days of that date.

If you have already filed your FAFSA, but you and the school are still resolving data issues (such as a verification request), then you already have the first step completed. Please continue to work with your school to complete your financial aid application in order to receive the Pell Grant funds.

Name: Bree
Time: Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I'm currently attending cosmetology school that requires 1600 clock hours. I transfered from one to another with continuing financial aid. I received a pell grant for $5645. $2823 was dispursed to my first school, and $2360 to my current school in June. I currently have 820 hours (780 remaining). The website that shows your dispursements shows I have a remaining amount of $462 to be paid...? The 2013-14 FA year is over, so what happens to that $462? Was it supposed to be refunded, returned to the government, or to my school?
Thanks in advance!

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

Bree:

In response to the comment/query you posted on November 12, 2014:

You cannot exceed 100 percent of your scheduled Pell Grant award during a single award year. The scheduled award is always based on the Pell payment schedules for full-time attendance, whereas the annual award is based on your actual enrollment status. We understand your logic in wanting to calculate your remaining Pell Grant eligibility using the dollar amount at your prior school ($5,645) when determining how much money you will receive at the new school. However, the federal government states that your new school must look at the PERCENTAGE of the Pell Grant, not the dollar amount, awarded by the prior school.

While it appears you have 50 percent of your prior amount remaining ($2,823/$5,645 = 50 percent), that percentage must then be applied to the Pell Grant award amount at your new school. Pell award amounts, however, may differ from school to school. For example, your prior school may have granted a professional judgment adjustment resulting in a different Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Or the cost of attendance at your new school could result in a different Pell Grant award amount. We encourage you to meet with someone from the financial aid office at your new school to discuss how they calculated your remaining Pell Grant award amount. Please bear in mind that it is possible for you to “lose” the additional $462 due to transferring from one school to another because of how the school must calculate your remaining Pell Grant eligibility.

Name: Luis
Time: Saturday, November 15, 2014

I had a disbursement question
I received $3280 for BOTH Fall and Spring. I understand that it gets disbursed HALF in the Fall and Half in the Spring. However, I received $820, which is half of the half. Will i receive the other $820 at the end of Fall?
This is how i thought it was:
$820 START of Fall
$820 END of Fall
$820 START of Spring
$820 END of Spring
Total for BOTH Fall and Spring semesters: $3280
Am I correct? or is it like this:??
$1640 START of Fall
$1640 START of Spring
Total: $3280

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

Luis:

In response to the comment/query you posted on November 15, 2014:

Schools have the authority to disburse Pell Grants to students in the manner they see fit. Schools must provide students with payment timeframes close to the time of disbursement, so we encourage you to contact the financial aid office to obtain this information.

Name: Nick
Time: Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I am starting college in January 2015 for the Spring Semester as a first time Freshmen. I qualified for a full Pell Grant and another type of financial aid loan. My question is: How will my Pell grant be distributed since it usually starts in the Fall Semester? I plan on attending Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters in 2015. Will I need to reapply for the Fall semester? Thanks

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

Nick:

In response to the comment/query you posted on November19, 2014:

Congratulations on beginning your postsecondary education! If your school operates on a traditional academic calendar, you can likely receive your Pell Grant from the 2014-15 FAFSA for the spring and summer terms, but you will need to complete a 2015-16 FAFSA to receive funding for the fall 2015 term. The 2015-16 FAFSA will be available online at www.fafsa.gov on January 1. It is possible, however, that your school operates on a different academic calendar, so we encourage you to discuss your question with your school for additional information.

Name: Starlyn Urena
Time: Thursday, November 20, 2014

this is my first semester at Borough of Manhattan Community College and I have been rewarded pell grant and by this time i haven't got not money. Im a full time student taking three remedia courses and my question is if am i getting the reward and when or not..?

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

Starlyn Urena:

In response to the comment/query you posted November 20, 2014:

Many reasons exist explaining why you have not yet received your Pell Grant funds, including missing documentation, the school’s established disbursement date, or your enrollment in remedial coursework. Depending on your program of enrollment, it is possible that you may not receive Pell Grant funds until you complete the remedial classes and begin classes in an eligible degree or certificate program. We encourage you to contact the financial aid office at your school to discuss your situation further.

Name: Jennifer Roberts
Time: Friday, November 21, 2014

Hi,
I've used half of my Pell for my fall tuition and I've applied for my school's available scholarships and a tuition fund program through my employer to pay for spring. If I receive those and use them to pay my tuition for the spring semester, can I request that the school hold on to my remaining Pell award to be used in the summer semester? My goal is to attend all 3 terms each year so that I can graduate sooner. So, would my school be able to use my other funds for spring and apply my remaining Pell to my summer tuition? Or will they automatically refund the Pell to me because it wasn't used for spring? If that's the case, would I be allowed to put it in my savings account until the summer registration begins, or would I have to return it to the Federal student Aid Program?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, November 24, 2014

Jennifer Roberts:

In response to the comment/query you posted on November 21, 2014:

You may do either option you outlined. You may either request the school cancel the Pell Grant funds for the spring term, in which case you would likely be able to use them for the summer term. Or you may retain the refund from the Pell Grant funds and use the money to pay for the summer classes yourself.

Please be aware that if you opt for the first option, your summer Pell Grant award amount may differ based on your enrollment status. For example, if you enroll full-time for the spring, but only half-time for the summer, you will receive a proportional amount of your Pell Grant amount for the spring. Please contact your financial aid office to discuss your options further before making a final decision.

Name: Alexandra
Time: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I applied to FAFSA and was awarded the maximum pell grant, split over two semesters at my University. I since applied and qualify for another scholarship in Norway (I have duel citizenship) that demands I receive no grants from a foreign federal aid for the semester I applied for (spring 2015). Is it possible for me not to accept the spring half of my pell grant if I already accepted the fall half?

Name: Destiny
Time: Friday, December 5, 2014

I may not be able to go to college next semester, I have a balance owed that will prevent me from applying for next semester. If i can't go next semester with that half of the federal loan be dispersed next semester?

Name: Jason C
Time: Friday, December 5, 2014

I just applied for financial aid today (12/4/2014). The Pell Grant estimate was over $5,000. I will actually be graduating this month and am wondering if I can still be awarded funds for the one semester I took classes in the 2014-2015 term and receive the funds after I have graduated. Also, have I applied too late? The deadline that I see is for 6/30/15 but I am not sure if that is for the 2015-2016 term. Thanks for this awesome site!

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, December 5, 2014

Alexandra:

In response to the comment/query you posted on December 5, 2014:

A student always has the ability to refuse any Title IV aid, including Pell Grants. We encourage you to discuss your situation with the financial aid office at your school so they may counsel you on the benefits and ramifications of declining your aid from the U.S. government.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, December 5, 2014

Destiny:

In response to the comment/query you posted on December 5, 2014:

You cannot receive any federal financial aid (including loans) unless you meet certain minimum enrollment requirements. When you return to school, you may need to reapply for financial aid because the funds are only available for one year at a time. Please discuss your situation with your school's financial aid office to determine if there are ways to pay your balance so you may remain in school, or to find out what options are available when you return.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, December 5, 2014

Jason C:

In response to the comment/query you posted on December 5, 2014:

We are glad you find the site helpful - it's truly our pleasure to provide this information. Now to your questionn: It is possible to still receive at least part of your financial aid for the nearly-complete fall term, but you may need to hurry. Please work closely with your school's financial aid office to ensure you meet all required deadlines.

Name: T
Time: Sunday, December 7, 2014

I registered for one class, 3 credit hours, a while ago, and so it's showing the estimated pell grant about based on that 3 hours. I added more classes now but even though it shows them, it still says I only have 3 credit hours worth of aid coming. Will this update eventually? Did I somehow wait too long?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, December 8, 2014

T:

In response to the comment/query you posted on December 7, 2014:

Federal rules allow schools to determine if they will increase or decrease a student’s Pell Grant award after a certain date, based on a change to enrollment status (such as adding a class at a later date). Because this is a school-determined provision, we encourage you to contact your institution to discuss your situation.

Name: Jonathan
Time: Friday, December 12, 2014

If I have always been a part time student do I still have to complete my degree within 12 semesters or can I graduate in more then 12 semesters as long as I don't reach the 600% rule?

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Friday, December 12, 2014

Jonathan:

In response to the comment/query you postec on December 12, 3014:

The Pell Grant lifetime maximum amount is 600 percent, which equates to 12 full-time semesters or the equivalent. As a part-time student, you can take longer than 12 part-time semesters to complete your program, provided you do not exceed the 600 percent limit. If you have further questions about how much of your 600 percent limit you already used, please contact the financial aid office at your school.

Name: Aaron
Time: Saturday, December 13, 2014

I was awarded 5,730 a couple days ago. Half of it was used to pay my tuition for Spring of 2015, however the other half (2,865) was never used for Fall or 2014 because my parents loaned me the money. Will I get that money disbursed from Fall of 2014, as well as the leftover from Spring of 2015 ? My "total account balance" says 3,100 but "balance" says $283. Basically just wondering if I will get the other half from Fall of 2014 that never got to be used.

Name: Patricia Scherschel, CollegeUp Blog Administrator
Time: Monday, December 15, 2014

Aaron:

In response to the comment/query you posted on December 13, 2014:

Even if you do not owe the school any money for the fall term, you are entitled to receive Pell Grant funds, provided you meet all relevant eligibility criteria. Please talk with your financial aid office about how you can expect to receive the funds from the fall term.

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