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 ED Issues Guidance on Implementing Year-Round Pell Grant 

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The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has just issued guidance on implementation of the newly reinstated year-round Pell Grant.

AACC has vigorously supported reinstatement of the year-round Pell Grant since its elimination in 2011.  This provision that allows students to receive up to 150% of their scheduled Pell Grant award is effective beginning with the 2017-2018 award year.  Otherwise, Pell Grant eligible students must be enrolled at least half-time for the payment period “for which the student receives the additional Pell Grant funds in excess of 100 percent of the student’s Pell Grant Scheduled Award.”

The Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) also addresses crossover payment periods (those that include both June 30 and July 1 overlapping two award years), transfer students, its application to the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant Program, and provides a scenario depicting the disbursement of funds to a student eligible for a $5,370 Pell Grant. 

In the case of crossover payment periods, the DCL clarifies that “an eligible student who is enrolled in the summer 2017 crossover payment period that the institution assigned to the waning 2016-2017 award year may not receive Pell Grant funds beyond 100 percent of the student’s Pell Grant Scheduled Award for the 2016-2017 award year. However, a student who has exhausted his or her Pell Grant eligibility for the 2016-2017 award year and who is enrolling in the summer of 2017 should receive a Pell Grant award for summer based on their 2017-2018 Pell eligibility because the student will have additional eligibility later in the 2017-2018 award year.”

A student who transfers to a different institution or into a different program in the same institution “may receive additional Pell Grant funds if the student is otherwise eligible, has remaining Pell eligibility up to 150 percent of the student’s Pell Grant Scheduled Award for the new program or new institution, and is enrolled at least half-time in the payment period(s) for which the student receives the additional Pell Grant funds.”

We welcome this guidance and hope that many community college students will benefit from year-round Pell.  For those who have questions about the guidance, the DCL provides contact information for Federal Student Aid’s Research and Customer Care Center Staff.  You may also contact Jim Hermes or David Baime at AACC.

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