To apply for a Federal Pell Grant, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Grant amounts are dependent on your expected family contribution (EFC). The maximum Pell Grant award for the 2019-2020 award year is $6,195, and the corresponding maximum Pell Grant eligible expected family contribution (EFC) is 5576. Federal Pell Grants are restricted to students pursuing their first undergraduate degree. You may not receive Federal Pell Grant payments concurrently from more than one institution, even if enrolled part-time at each institution.  

Beginning in 2017-2018, students enrolled at least half-time may receive 150% of their Pell award each aid year. For example, a student with a zero (0) Estimated Family Contribution would qualify for a maximum Pell award of $6,195. A full-time student would receive $3,098 or 50% of Pell award for fall 2019, $3,097 for spring 2020, and if enrolled at least half-time in summer 2020 would be eligible for additional 50% of Pell award of $3,097.  

Federal regulations restrict lifetime eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant to 12 semesters (or 600% Lifetime Eligibility Used or LEU) from the prior maximum of 18 semesters. When you’re awarded a Pell Grant, you are given an annual Pell Grant award. If you attend full-time for a semester, you use 50% of your annual Pell Grant award.

For example:

Type of enrollment % of Pell LEU Used
Full-time enrollment (12+ units) per semester 50% per semester
Three-quarters enrollment (9-11 units) per semester 37.5% per semester
Half-time enrollment per semester 25% per semester

Each semester you receive a Pell Grant adds to your total LEU. When your total reaches 600%, you’re no longer eligible for the grant. This total includes all Pell Grant awards received at all institutions attended – and it is retroactive. You may receive Pell Grant funds from only one school at a time. You cannot appeal this federal regulation or request an extension.

To read more about the LEU and how it’s calculated, including examples, click on the link below from the U.S. Department of Education:

Visit the NSLDS web site to determine the percentage of Pell grant you have received: Your LEU will be found on the “Financial Aid Review” page.

A student who believes there may be an inaccuracy in the underlying Pell Grant data that is part of the student’s Pell Grant LEU calculation may dispute that information by contacting his or her current school. The student must have filed a FAFSA for the current award year so as to ensure that the current school can view the student’s Pell history.

In order to file a dispute, a student must provide all documentation to the current school in support of the student’s assertion that there is an inaccuracy in the Pell Grant data. This documentation must include a signed and dated statement from the student that provides:

  • The name of the student’s current school to whom the student reported the alleged inaccurate data;
  • The name of the school that reported the alleged inaccurate information;
  • The award year and disputed amount; and
  • The reason the student believes the Pell Grant data are inaccurate.

The current school will provide the student with a response once the case has been investigated.

Pell Recalculation Policy

The Pell Recalculation Policy only applies to Undergraduate students eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant.

Undergraduate students eligible for the Federal Pell Grant who make enrollment changes during the semester may be subject to Pell Recalculation which requires an adjustment to the Federal Pell Grant based on the change in the student's enrollment.