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Changes to Pell Grant announced

William Cannon

William Cannon

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The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administration announced that the Senate’s version of the Labor, Health, Human Services and Education 2018 school year funding bill included a proposed $100 increase to the maximum Pell Grant award.

“We recently were informed that the Pell Grant for 2018-2019 will be $6095,” the University of South Alabama’s Office of Financial Aid stated.

“Summer financial aid is also now available for students. Year round Pell Grant will allow students to receive up to 150 percent of their Pell Grant funds in one academic year, if eligible.”

“Summer aid and the Pell Grant increase is eligible to all students, depending on their Student Federal Aid Status. In order to be eligible for the third disbursement, students must be eligible for Pell Grant as determined by the Department of Education and must be enrolled at least half time (six hours) for the summer semester.”

Money taken to increase the Pell Grant was primarily taken from Pell Grant reserves fund, according to the Washington Post.

“Still, the Senate bill would pull out $2.6 billion in reserve funds from the program on top of the $1.3 billion cut sustained in the scal 2017 budget agreement,” Danielle Douglas-Gabriel stated in her article.

While this could be bad news in the future, as the Pell Grant reserve funds are constantly depleting, according to e Washington Post, it is fortunate for today’s college student all USA students are eligible for an increase in their annual Pell Grant.

According to the USA Office of Financial Aid, the full summer grant will be $2,960. To receive any portion of the Summer Pell amount, you have to be enrolled in at least six credit hours and already be eligible for nancial aid. If you only take six credit hours, your maximum Summer Pell Grant amount will be $1,480.

It is also important to note that a student may only receive federal aid for 12 semesters, and using summer aid depletes that number.

The requirements for a federal Pell Grant are as follows, according to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrator: You must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in a degree or certificate program, maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate, have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent such as a GED certificate, be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (i.e. U.S. national) and must have a valid Social Security number.

Students can apply for summer aid at fawebsrv.usouthal.edu/ SummerApplication or view their nancial aid status on PAWS. All questions about the Pell Grant increase should be sent to USA’s Office  of Financial Aid [email protected]

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The University of South Alabama's student news site
Changes to Pell Grant announced