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Recent Pell Grant Changes

09 Jul
Cory

Cory

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College students relying on a federal grant program to pay for tuition will see tighter eligibility requirements in the upcoming academic year.  The federal Pell Grant program is instituting changes to harness spending that is in need of "financial stability" and ensure that the program continues to serve students most in need, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The changes reduce the window during which students are eligible for Pell Grants. Previously, students had up to 18 semesters of Pell Grants to complete their college eligibility. It's now been reduced to 12 semesters. Also, the changes do not "grandfather in" students who have already exhausted part of the Pell Grant eligibility.

Changes also prohibit the awarding of two Pell Grants in a single academic year, which translates into students stretching their maximum award of $5,550 over as many as three semesters.  The objective is to rein in federal spending on Pell Grants, which added up to more than $40 billion nationally, according to the Department of Education.

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