Pell Grants are awarded based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and are available only to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's or professional degree. Pell is a federal grant, not a loan, and does not need to be paid back. Beginning in the summer of 2012, students are limited to a maximum lifetime limit of 600%, or the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters of eligibility. This limit applies to all students.
The Pell Grant award maximum and requirements can change each award year and depends on program funding. The amount you receive will depend not only on your FAFSA results, but also on your status as a full-time or part-time student.
Initial Pell calculations are based on the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and projected enrollment status. Once the initial calculation has been made, the amount of the Pell Grant will not be recalculated, except in instances where a student's EFC has changed or when a student does not begin attendance in all classes within a term.
The Pell Grant requires you to begin attendance each trimester in which you are awarded and the grant may be adjusted if your actual enrollment does not correspond to your projected enrollment status. Students are not permitted to receive Pell grant funds at more than one higher education institution for the same enrollment period.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
Undergraduates who have exceptional financial need may be eligible for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program. This program assists Pell Grant recipients with the lowest EFCs. Like Pell grants, the FSEOG does not have to be repaid. Eligible students can receive up to $1000 per academic year.