A Federal Pell Grant is awarded to help Undergraduate students pay for their education after high school. For the Federal Pell Grant Program, an undergraduate is one who has not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. These Grants provide a “foundation” of financial aid for many students to which aid from other federal sources may be added. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid.
The PELL Grant award will depend not only on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), but on the cost of education, enrollment status, and whether or not attendance is for a full academic year or less. A part-time student's financial aid is adjusted each semester according to the number of credit hours in which the student is enrolled. For financial aid, the College defines a full-time and part-time student in the following manner:
- A student enrolled in 12 or more credit hours during the Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters is considered a full-time student.
- A part-time student is one who is enrolled in less than 12 credit hours during the Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters.
Students need to discuss financial needs with the Financial Aid Office well in advance of the semester in which enrollment is planned.
Federal PELL Grants are distributed on a per semester basis after educational costs are credited to the grant. Federal guidelines determine the fund disbursement schedule. Student aid awards are calculated based on academic load, cost of education, and the eligibility index determined by the uniform application for the grant.
If a student receiving financial aid merits a tuition refund due to withdrawal or a drop in the number of credit hours, the amount to be refunded shall be determined by the institution's refund policy. When tuition and fees are paid by a financial aid account, the refund is returned to that account and not to the student. Federal aid recipients who withdraw are subject to the federal return of funds regulations. A repayment of federal aid is required if a student withdraws before attending 60% of the semester. Students withdrawing or changing course loads should report this change to the Financial Aid Office.