Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds eligible student may receive over their lifetime is limited by a new federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Students may receive Pell Grant funds for no more than 12 semesters of full-time enrollment or the equivalent. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%. For further information, please visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/pell/calculate-eligibility.

How is your Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used calculated?

Scheduled Award: The maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive is calculated for an “award year.” An award year is a period from July 1 of one calendar year to June 30 of the next calendar year. Your “scheduled award” is partially determined by using your expected family contribution (EFC) that is calculated from the information you (and your family) provided when you filed your FAFSA. Your scheduled award is the maximum amount you would be able to receive for the award year if you were enrolled full-time for the full school year. Your scheduled award represents 100% of your Pell Grant eligibility for that award year.

Percent Used: To determine how much of the maximum six years (600%) of Pell Grant you have used each year, the Department compares the actual amount you received for the award year with your scheduled award amount for that award year. If you received the full amount of your scheduled award, it would that you have used 100% of the Pell amount for that academic year. Some students do not receive their entire scheduled award for an award year. There are a number of reasons for this, the most common of which are that the student was not enrolled for the full year or the student was not enrolled full-time for the term, or both.

If you did not receive the full amount of your scheduled award, we calculate the percentage of the scheduled award that you did receive. For example, if your scheduled award for an award year was $5,000 (or $1,250 per term) and you enrolled full time for only two terms within the academic year, you would receive $2,500. Therefore, you would have received 50% of the scheduled award for that award year. Or if you received only $3,750 for the award year because you were full time for three terms within the academic year, you would have received 75% for that academic year. 

Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU): The Federal Department of Education keeps track of your LEU by adding together the percentages of your Pell Grant scheduled awards that you received for each award year. You can determine how much Pell you have used and what you have remaining at https://www.nsldsfap.ed.gov/nslds_FAP/default.jsp.