Federal Pell Grant

Pell Grants are awarded to low income undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's degree. Eligibility is determined based on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) results and enrollment status each semester.

To receive a Pell Grant, students must do the following:

  • Complete a FAFSA each year and be awarded a grant by the US Department of Education
  • Enroll as a degree-seeking undergraduate, pursuing a first bachelor's degree
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe a repayment on a federal grant
  • Remain otherwise eligible to receive federal student aid

Students who answer “yes” to the 2024-2025 FAFSA question “Parent Killed in Line of Duty’” may be eligible for receive the maximum Pell grant under a Special Rule in the Higher Education Act, Section 401(c). To receive a Pell Grant based on eligibility under the Special Rule, a student must be--

  • The child of a parent or guardian who died in the line of duty while (a) serving on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001; or (b) actively serving as and performing the duties of a public safety officer; and
  • Less than 33 years old as of the January 1 prior to the award year for which the applicant is applying (e.g., for the 2024-25 award year, a student must be less than 33 years old as of January 1, 2024, to be eligible).

Students who indicate that their parent died in the line of duty on the 2024-2025 FAFSA will receive notification regarding documentation our office requires to determine if they qualify for the Pell grant under the Special Rule. 

Pell grant determination will be based on the Student Aid Index (SAI) calculated from the  FAFSA.  The Pell grant amount will adjust based on the student’s enrollment. For example, if Pell is initially awarded based on a full time enrollment expectation (12 credits per term) but the student only registers for 9 credits, the Pell grant will be adjusted to reflect 75% of the award, rounded to the nearest $5.

The Pell Grant has a lifetime limit equivalent to 12 full-time semesters. Students who exceed the 12 semester limit will no longer be able to receive Pell Grant funds. Students may only receive a Pell Grant from one school during each term. Receiving a Pell Grant from two schools during the same semester may result in a delay of future aid and a repayment of disbursed aid.