Got an undergraduate who could benefit from summer school? Did she receive a Federal Pell Grant in the fall/spring? If so, here’s good news — Pell Grants will be available this summer!
Undergraduates who earn bachelor’s degrees in 4 years or less borrow 35% less in student loans, so this presents an opportunity for your student to speed her time to degree and reduce her college debt.
A new law funding the government through September includes an exception to rules prohibiting Pell Grants for most summer students. So summer Pell recipients may get up to the same amount they received for a single semester or quarter earlier this academic year.
Summer Pell Grants rules are due by July 1, so we’ll have to wait for the actual terms and conditions of these grants. Also, Pell funds may not be available until early July, so your student should contact the financial aid office to explore short-term options (emergency loans, payment plans, etc.) for covering summer expenses until then.
Other things to remember about Pell and summer school . . .
Enrollment Status: To receive federal student aid for which she’s eligible, including Pell, your student must be a regular student in an eligible program of study. So she probably needs to take summer classes at the institution where she’s pursuing her degree, not at a community college as a “transient” student.
Grant Amount: Pell amounts are based on enrollment status — i.e. undergraduates enrolled full-time (generally 12 or more hours) get 100% of what they qualify for; students enrolled three-quarter time get 75%; half-timers get 50%; and those enrolled less-than-half-time get 25%.
Summer Costs and Other Summer Aid: Make sure your student avoids the trap of enrolling in summer courses but lacking sufficient funds to finish them despite her Pell Grant. The aid office’s website displays summer costs. Check out whether your student can get federal loans or other aid for summer — many Pell recipients use up their annual loan eligibility during fall/spring and some schools award all their work-study and state/institutional aid during fall/spring. Have your student call the aid office to see what’s available for summer.
This Summer Only: Summer Pell is currently available for 2017 only. Whether it’s there for future summers depends on what Congress does.
Affordable summer enrollment where she’s getting her degree may benefit your student more than summer employment or community college summer school. Check it out!
For strategies on getting the most out of the financial resources available to your student, contact College Affordability Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 366-5354.