Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility

Eligible Pell Grant recipients are now capped on the number of years they can receive a Pell Grant over their lifetime.  Eligible students can receive the Pell Grant for up to six years.  The maximum Pell Grant amount that can be received each year is 100%, so the six year equivalent is 600 percent.  Itís important that students know their Pell Grant lifetime eligibility, since they will no longer be eligible to receive a Pell Grant after theyíve completed six years of eligibility, even if they still meet all Pell Grant requirements and qualifications.

Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Calculation

The Department of Education compares the actual amount the student will receive for the school year with the studentís scheduled award amount for the school year to determine how much of the maximum six years has been used.  Students that receive the full Pell Grant scheduled award amount will have used 100 percent of their award amount.  There may be times when students donít use their full Pell Grant award amount, which include the following

1)When the student is not enrolled for the full school year (July 1 to June 30 consists of a full school year)

2)When the student is not enrolled in school as a full-time student.

3)When a student is not enrolled for a full school year and the student is not considered a full-time student.

The Department of Education will calculate the percentage of the scheduled Pell Grant amount that is received for the awarded year for students that do not receive the full Pell Grant amount.

Example: If you are eligible to receive a $5,000 Pell Grant amount for the current school year, but you enrolled half-way in the school year then you will receive $2,500 and 50 percent of your scheduled award is received. 

Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used

The Department of Education has record of your Pell Grant lifetime eligibility used, which is often referred to as LEU.  They will add the Pell Grant scheduled award percentage together to determine your Pell Grant eligibility status.

If your Pell Grant "Lifetime Eligibility Used" equals or exceeds 600% then you will no longer be eligible to receive a Pell Grant.  While you will be eligible for a Pell Grant for the next award year, if your LEU is greater than 500% but less than 600%, you will not be able to receive a full scheduled award.

The Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility was established to limit the number of years a student is eligible to receive the Pell Grant.  It was established during the 2012 - 2013 school year due to the continued federal budget deficits.  Students are now required to complete their undergraduate education within six years or they face the possibility of no longer being eligible for a Pell Grant award.
Pell Grant Requirements