Pell Grant Lifetime Limit

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Susan Kelly

Dec 28, 2022

Because the yearly restrictions are subject to change, no specific monetary figure is attributed to the Pell Grant lifetime limit. Pell Grants are available for up to the educational equivalent of twelve semesters of full-time study, which is about six years. If you attend courses over the summer, for example, you run the risk of reaching Pell Grant lifetime limit sooner than expected. Alternatively, if you are not enrolled in school full-time, it may take you longer than six years to reach the lifetime limit.

The maximum limit that may be awarded in Pell Grants for the academic year 2022-2023 is $6,895. Compared to the previous limit of $6,495 for the Pell Grant in 2021-22, this is an increase of $400. Financial need, the amount it costs to attend school, whether you attend school part-time or full-time, and whether you intend to attend school for whole academic year or a shorter period all contribute to the amount of aid you get.

The Pell Grant program operates on first-come, first-served basis for awarding grants. Students who can show that they are in need financially get grant money sent directly to their schools by the United States Department of Education (USDOE). The information you provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, often known as the FAFSA, is used each year to evaluate whether or not you are qualified to receive financial assistance.

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The maximum payout throughout a lifetime is calculated not in money but in years. If you attend school full-time, the amount of the award you get corresponds to the total percentage of Pell Grant funding to which you are entitled that academic year. Each year is worth 100%, with a maximum of 600% for each student's academic lifetime.

In any given year, you can use more than the maximum amount of the Pell Grant that you are eligible for. After you have surpassed the 600% limit, you will no longer be eligible for a Pell Grant at any institution. There is no provision for filing an appeal.

Your overall lifetime eligibility will be determined based on the percentage that you get (LEU). Connecting to the National Student Loan Data System with your FSA ID allows you to maintain tabs on your Pell LEU eligibility status. On the website for Financial Aid Review, you will be able to locate your LEU. You'll also be informed anytime you're approaching your lifetime limit, which we'll do by sending you a notification. The rule on the percentage was enacted to boost graduation rates and cut down on the amount of money spent by the federal government.

If you attend school full-time for the autumn and spring semesters of each academic year for up to six years, you will reach the lifetime limit in precisely six years. You may reach the lifetime limit of your Pell Grant earlier than or in more than 6 years, which will rely on various circumstances, including enrollment status. If you finish your degree in less than six years, you will not be eligible for Pell Grants if you decide to return to school for another undergraduate degree.

Withdrawal During COVID-19 Won't Affect Lifetime limits

Both coronavirus relief bills proposed waiving the maximum lifetime award for Pell Grants for students who drop out of school because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This implies that any money from a Pell Grant that you utilized for school during a semester that you withdrew from because of the pandemic would not count against the maximum amount you are eligible to receive over your lifetime.

How You May Hit Early Lifetime Limit

It is feasible to get 150% of Pell Grant award planned for you each year, but doing so would mean you may reach the maximum limit in less than six years. For example, if you utilized 150% of it during your first year of school, you would have 450% left over for the rest of your time there. You run the risk of reaching Pell Grant lifetime limit before you graduate if any of the following apply to you:

  • In addition to full course load during the autumn and spring semesters, you should consider taking some classes over the summer.
  • Spend more than six years getting your degree for one of the following reasons: moving schools, changing your major, participating in a dual-degree program, or another cause.

How Much Longer It Can Take You to Reach Your Lifetime Limit and Why It Matters

If you get less than 100% of what you are eligible for each year, it may take longer to meet your lifetime limit. Your eligibility for a Pell Grant may be reduced if you attend school part-time or do not enroll for the entire academic year. The amount of your prize for one year is $5,000. If you enroll for only one semester, you will get $2,500, equal to half of the Pell Grant amount for which you are qualified.


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