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Changes to Pell Grant

student looking in microscope

Changes to Federal Pell Grant for 2012-2013 Award Year

What has happened?

In December 2011, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74). This law has significantly impacted the Pell Grant Program. Beginning in Fall 2012, students are now limited to 12 semesters (or 600%) of Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. This change affects all students regardless of when or where they received their first Pell Grant. Students that are currently receiving the Pell Grant in the academic year 2011-2012 and have already used 600% of their Pell Grant eligibility will no longer be eligible to receive a Pell Grant starting Fall 2012.

How do I know if this affects me?

If you have attended college for 4 years or longer, receiving the Pell Grant each year, you are likely to exhaust or have already exhausted your lifetime limit of 12 semesters of Pell Grant eligibility during the 2012-2013 school year.  If you have attended college and received the Pell Grant for 4 years or less, you will likely not surpass the lifetime limit during the 2012-2013 school year.

Whether you have used all of your Pell Grant eligibility or only half, please be conscious about the lifetime limit of the Pell Grant when scheduling classes.

Can I see my lifetime Pell Grant used? 

You may view your Pell Grant used by logging into (click on Financial Aid Review).

How is the percentage used calculated?

The percentages are based off the annual award at fulltime enrollment status. For students with an annual award for 2011-2012 academic year, at the maximum award, $5,550 and attended 12 or more credits in two semesters (Fall and Spring for example), the percentage used for the 2011-2012 academic year is 100%. If you only attended 9 credits for two semesters, your percentage used for the academic year is 75%.

If have questions about this, who do I call?

Our Office of Financial Aid staff is available to review the change in the lifetime Pell Grant eligibility with you. Please call us at 630-889-6518 or e-mail us at