Many Penn College students receive Pell Grants to help cover college expenses.
The maximum 2019-20 annual award is $6,195 or $3,098 a semester, for full-time enrollment.
To be eligible, you must:
- be enrolled as a degree- or certificate-seeking student in any of our majors,
- have not completed the requirements for a baccalaureate or graduate degree,
- not be in default of a federal loan,
- not have reached the Pell Grant lifetime eligibility limit,
- maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of your degree or certificate, and
- not have a Pell Grant from another college during a concurrent term.
There is no separate application to complete other than the FAFSA. You might also have to complete Federal Verification. Beginning in late winter, we will inform all students with a completed FAFSA if they are eligible or not for a Pell Grant for the upcoming academic year. Eligible students will see their award amount (based on full-time enrollment) on the Financial Aid Award Summary page in the Financial Information section of the Student Information System (SIS).
Pell grants are prorated for part-time students, based on the number of enrolled credits. Proration is as follows:
- Full-time (12 or more credits) = Full semester award
- 3/4-time (9-11.9 credits) = 3/4 of full semester award
- Half-time (6-8.9 credits) = 1/2 of full semester award*
- 1/4-time (fewer than 6 credits) = 1/4 of full semester award*
*Students with annual Pell awards less than $2,545 may not be eligible for part-time awards, especially if enrolled less than half-time.
Pell awards are adjusted, if needed, based on your enrollment status (full-time, etc.) at the end of the drop-add period.
For example, Chris begins a semester with 13 credits and a full-time Pell Grant award of $2,000. If Chris drops a 3-credit class in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd week of the semester, his enrollment status changes to 3/4-time (10 credits) and his Pell Grant award is reduced to $1,500. The College will also reduce the cost of the course by 70%. If Chris withdraws from the course after the 3rd week, there will be no reduction in his Pell Grant.
Summer Pells – Students taking summer classes will be awarded Pell as long as they meet all eligibility requirements. However, any refund directly the result of your summer Pell Grant (or any other grant) is typically not available until July.
Year-round Pell – Pell-eligible students attending year-round can be awarded up to 3 full-time semesters of Pell Grants per award year, including summer. Students who are full-time for the first 2 semesters when awarded a Pell Grant must be enrolled at least half-time (that's 6 or more credits) for the 3rd semester.
Some examples, to help you understand:
Jasmine has a $5,000 annual Pell Grant. She is enrolled full-time all 3 semesters. She is awarded $2,500 in Pell funds each semester for Summer, Fall and Spring Semesters, which effectively increases her annual award to $7,500.
Shawn has a $5,000 annual Pell Grant. He is enrolled in 7 credits (half-time) in the Summer Semester, and is awarded $1,250 in Pell funds. If he is full-time (12 or more credits) for both Fall and Spring semesters, he will receive $2,500 for both semesters, which takes his annual award to $6,250.
Lucinda also has a $5,000 annual Pell Grant. She is a half-time student for all 3 semesters, and is awarded $1,250 each semester. Because she does not use all of her annual Pell Grant award, she is not impacted by the year-round Pell policy.
Your eBill may show a different Pell Grant amount than that shown on SIS. Possible reasons include: a) you are enrolled as a part-time student and the amount initially awarded was based on full-time enrollment; b) your Pell Grant has a status of 'Hold,' signifying that there is no Pell credit on your eBill; and c) we may have previously adjusted your semester award for part-time enrollment, and you have subsequently changed your number of credits.
Credit Balances – Students with a ‘Pending Credit Balance’ on their eBill resulting from Pell (or any other aid) can use that credit balance to purchase required textbooks and supplies during at least the first seven (7) days of a semester by presenting their Penn College ID card at the College Store.
Refunds – Typically, a Pell Grant award reduces your College charges and you will not receive it as a refund. However, if the sum of your Pell Grant and other aid is greater than your eBill charges, the extra amount is refunded to you to use in meeting your other educational expenses, such as off-campus room and board, books, and transportation. Refunds from Pell and other grants are not issued until after the Add-Drop period ends.
Lifetime Limit – Pell Grants may be awarded for no more than twelve (12) full-time semesters (or the equivalent for part-time students) over a student's lifetime. The U.S. Department of Education will notify you (via your FAFSA Student Aid Report) when you are close to or have reached your lifetime limit. You will also be notified by Penn College though, in some cases, we are notified after we have already awarded the Pell for the award year, prompting us to reduce or remove Pell Grant awards and possibly resulting in a balance due on your current or next eBill. Learn how the Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) is calculated.
If you do not expect to graduate before you reach your lifetime Pell Grant limit and you prefer to 'decline' a semester of Pell in order to conserve some of your eligibility for a future award year, you can submit a written statement to the Financial Aid Office telling us so with your full name, Penn College Student ID#, phone number and email address. If it is a paper statement, you must sign it in ink. The statement can also be sent from your Penn College email account.
Learn more about the Federal Pell Grant Program from the U.S. Department of Education.