Pell Grant Disbursement
There ware several ways that financial aid offices can complete a Pell Grant disbursement. They can either:
1) Credit the studentís account for any outstanding expenses
2) Pay the student directly by check or EFT, or cash dispensed to the student for which the school gets a signed receipt.
The school must have authorization from the student to pay him or her by EFT. Usually, a school will use the Pell funds to credit the studentís account for any unpaid charges for tuition and fees (and room and board, if provided by the school), and then will pay the remaining Pell funds (if any) to the student for remaining living expenses.
The school can use a studentís Pell Grant to pay charges for tuition, fees, and room and board without the studentís permission. The school may apply Pell Grant funds to other educational expenses besides tuition and fees or room and board provided by the school only if the student gives written authorization (a school may not require a student to authorize payment). As with any FSA funds, payments can be made only for education expenses.4 If a credit balance remains after the Pell Grant is credited to the studentís account, the balance must be returned to the student unless the student provides written authorization for the school to hold the funds.
A school can pay a student before the beginning of a payment period if the studentís already registered for that payment period. The earliest a school can disburse a Pell Grant is 10 days before the first day of classes in the payment period. Remember that in a clock-hour program or a non-term or nonstandard term credit-hour program, the school canít pay a student until he or she has completed the coursework for the previous payment period.
If the school disburses the Pell funds before the payment period begins, but the student never actually begins attending any classes, the school must return the money to the Federal Pell Grant account. If the student begins attending some but not all of his or her classes, the school may have to recalculate the award.
The school must notify the student of the amount he or she will be paid and the method of payment (by credit to the studentís account or directly to the student). If the school will be paying the student by check, it must tell the student when the check will be available and where to go to pick it up.