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Financial Aid

Grants

The Federal Pell Grant Program

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's or professional degree to promote access to postsecondary education. Grant amounts are dependent on: the student's expected family contribution (EFC); the cost of attendance (as determined by the institution); the student's enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.

In order to apply for a Pell Grant you must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can learn more about this process online at www.fafsa.gov.

The Pell Grant can be used to pay your tuition, or, if your tuition is covered by other means, help with your fees, books, supplies and transportation costs. A grant is an award that does not have to be repaid. Your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as noted on your Federal Student Aid Report determines your Federal Pell Grant award amount. The Pell Grant chart shows the amount of Pell Grant you may be eligible for in the academic year. Click here for the Pell Grant Chart for 2020-2021.

Pell-specific eligibility requirements are that the student either be an undergraduate or be in an eligible degree granting program, and not be incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution, be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, have a valid Social Security Number and be making satisfactory academic progress.

Eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant is limited to 12 terms of full-time payments or its equivalent. Semesters are counted based on the portion of a full-time equivalent, so that a half-time equivalent is counted as half a semester toward the 12-semester limit. Students can track their remaining Pell Grant eligibility on nslds.ed.gov/npas (National Student Loan Data System) or on www.studentaid.gov.

Year Round Pell

Pell grant is available for students who decide to take summer courses. Students are allowed to receive up to 150% of their scheduled award. This is called year-round Pell. The purpose of year-round Pell is to allow students to register for classes in the summer that will allow them to stay on track and graduate faster. Students are allowed a lifetime limit of 600% which is 12 full time semesters of Federal Pell grant. Year-Round Pell that is scheduled will be factored into a student's lifetime eligibility usage (LEU). A student can check their lifetime Pell Eligibility usage by logging in to https://nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/.

Here is an example of what Year-Round Pell will look like:

Fall Spring Summer
12+ credits 12+ credits Year-Round Pell—must register for at least 6 credits

What if I Was Not Registered Full Time in Either Fall or Spring?

While you may not be eligible for the Year-Round Pell, you still have left over Pell eligibility. Use the chart below to see how many credits you can register for this summer, and leftover Pell does not require a six-credit minimum to be utilized this summer. The below information is just some examples:

Fall Spring Summer
12+ credits 9–11 credits 1–5 credits of Pell remaining
12+ credits 6–8 credits 6–8 credits of Pell remaining
12+ credits 1–5 credits 9–11 credits of Pell remaining
12+ credits 0 credits 12 credits of Pell remaining

Q&A

The amount of Pell grant awarded is based on the number of credits you take, your EFC (expected family contribution), and whether or not you have remaining Pell eligibility.

Students can log into https://nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/ for more information and view their usage.

You can enroll for fewer than six credits and still get a Pell award, if you have remaining Pell LEU eligibility, have filed a 2021–2022 FAFSA, and completed all items on your “To Do” list in CunyFirst.

Please email or stop by the financial aid office if you have additional questions.