Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility
In December 2011, President Obama signed into law the consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74). This law has significantly impacted the Federal Pell Grant Program. Beginning in Fall 2012, students are now limited to 12 semesters (or 600%) of Federal Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. This change affects all students regardless of when or where they received their first Federal Pell Grant. Students that are currently receiving the Federal Pell Grant in the academic year 2011-2012 and have already used 600% of their Federal Pell Grant eligibility will no longer be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant starting Fall 2012.
How Do You Know If This Affects You?
If you have attended college for 4 years or longer and received the Federal Pell Grant each semester of attendance, you are likely to exhaust or have already exhausted your lifetime limit of 12 semesters of Federal Pell Grant eligibility during the 2012-2013 school year. If you have attended college for 3 years or less and received the Federal Pell Grant each semester of attendance, you will likely not surpass the lifetime limit during the 2012-2013 school year. Whether you have used all of your Federal Pell Grant eligibility or only half, please be conscious about the lifetime limit of the Federal Pell Grant when changing majors and/or scheduling classes.
“How is the Percentage Used Calculated?”
The percentages are based off of the annual award at full-time enrollment status. For example: A student attending in the academic year 2011-2012 at full time status and receiving their maximum annual award, the percentage used for 2011-2012 is 100%. If the student attends only 9 credits (3/4 time) for each semester, the percentage used is 75%. If the student attends only 6 credits (1/2 time) for each semester, the percentage used is 50%.
“How to Know If You Have Reached or Are in Danger of Reaching The Lifetime Eligibility?”
In mid-April 2012, the Department of Education will begin sending e-mail messages to all 2012-2013 FAFSA applicants who appear to be Federal Pell Grant eligible and have reported Federal Pell Grant disbursements that are in excess of 450 percent of their Federal Pell Grant lifetime eligibility. This process will be repeated weekly until July for FAFSA filers and filers making corrections to their FAFSA information.
More Information About Available Federal Aid Programs
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is the largest federal need-based aid program and does not have to be repaid. Eligibility for this program is determined by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is calculated from information you and/or your parents provided on the FAFSA. Currently, you would be eligible for a Pell Grant if you have an EFC below 4617 and have not yet received a bachelor's degree. Once initial eligibility is determined, the number of credit hours you are enrolled in is taken into account to determine the amount of Pell Grant you qualify for. Even though you may initially be eligible for the Pell Grant, the number of hours you are enrolled in may reduce the Pell Grant award to zero. For the 2009-2010 academic year, Pell Grants range form $488 to $2,675 per semester based on EFC and enrollment status.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program (TEACH)
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program or TEACH grant provides up to $4000 per year in grants for undergraduate and graduate students who intend to teach full-time in high need subject areas for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families. To be considered for this grant students must declare a TEACH grant eligible major and meet one of the listed academic achievements. Please click on the links below for more information concerning the TEACH grant.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
This is a campus-based federal aid program with limited funds that do not have to be repaid. To be considered for this grant, you must have the FAFSA processed by our early application deadline of March 1. To be eligible, you must have an exceptionally low Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA, be enrolled at least half-time and have not earned your bachelor's degree. Eligible students at Southeast currently receive $300 per semester.
Federal Work Study (FWS)
FWS is a campus-based federal work program with limited funding. To be considered for FWS, you must have the FAFSA processed by our early application deadline of March 1, have indicated on the FAFSA an interest in student employment and have financial need. Once you have been awarded FWS, it is your responsibility to find on-campus employment. (More information regarding on-campus employment can be found on our Student Employment page). FWS funds are earned through employment and are paid through bi-weekly paychecks. FWS earnings are not applied to your University account.
Federal Perkins Loans
This program provides students with significant financial need the opportunity to borrow money for their education at a low-interest rate (5 percent). Students are not required to pay interest or to begin repaying the loan until nine months after they graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. This is a campus-based federal aid program with limited funding. Therefore, to be considered, you must have the FAFSA processed by our early application deadline of March 1 and have indicated on the FAFSA an interest in student loans. Half-time enrollment is required for eligibility. Southeast awards a maximum of $4,000 per academic year.
Information for Federal Stafford and Federal PLUS Loans
Federal Student Aid will provide a new tool to help students and their families plan for college. FAFSA4caster will estimate eligibility for federal financial aid, including grants and can reduce the time it will take to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA4caster only provides an early estimate. You must complete the FAFSA to apply for federal aid. Students can access the FAFSA4caster at www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov/.
To be eligible for any of the federal aid programs, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (For more information see our Applying for Financial Aid page). Federal aid is regulated by the U.S. Department of Education and is funded by the federal government. However, the amount and type of your award may vary based on the school you attend, the date of your application and your enrollment. To be awarded the most aid you are eligible for at Southeast, you must have your FAFSA processed by our early application date of March 1.