Pell Grant Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

The Pell Grant is a great option for students that need additional money to pay for their education.  The Pell Grant is administered by the Department of Education and is meant to assist low-income students pay for their post-secondary education.  In order to receive the Pell Grant, students must complete and submit the FAFSA application, which can be completed online or through paper form.  When a student becomes eligible to receive the Pell Grant, they must continue to meet satisfactory academic progress in order to continue to receive the Pell Grant.

There are three components that will determine if students are maintaining their satisfactory academic progress:

Course Completion
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Maximum eligibility

The requirements in each area vary according to a studentís status (such as undergraduate, graduate or professional student), the school/college of enrollment, and a studentís enrollment status (full-time, half-time, or less than-half-time).

Pell Grant Course Completion Requirements

A studentís enrollment status is reviewed at the end of each academic year to verify that they have earned the required minimum number of credits during fall and spring semesters. Students are required to complete at least 70% of all attempted hours of coursework each academic year. Repeated coursework may not be used in the calculation of your completion ratio.  Also, grades of ĎFí (Fail), ĎIí (Incomplete), U (Unsatisfactory), UW (Unofficial Withdrawal), NR (Never Reported) will count against the studentís completion ratio.

Pell Grant GPA Requirements

Studentís cumulative grade point average (GPA) will be reviewed at the end of each academic year of attendance for all undergraduate students. Students that have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 following the completion of the first academic year (fall and spring) will be placed on financial aid probation, unless the student has been suspended from their school for two consecutive semesters of a GPA below 2.00. This means that you will be at risk of losing your Pell Grant for the upcoming school year if you GPA does not improve.  Students that are suspended from school will automatically not receive the Pell Grant for the upcoming school term. 

Students that have completed two years or more of school must have at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA or your Pell Grant eligibility will be suspended. 

Pell Grant Maximum Eligibility

Students that receive the Pell Grant are eligible to receive up to 12 semesters.  Once the 12 semesters have been completed, students can no longer receive Pell Grant funding.  An undergraduate program usually takes four years or 8 semesters to complete, so the federal government is giving additional time in case it takes the student longer.  The Pell Grant will no longer be given to eligible students once the 12 semesters have been completed. 

Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress

There are three main factors that determine Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  Itís important that students with a Pell Grant maintain satisfactory standing or they may lose their Pell Grant eligibility status.  If you are having difficulties meeting the GPA requirement then you should contact your financial aid office to determine the available options to improve your grades.  Students that believe they will need more than 12 semesters to complete their program should contact a school counselor to review their options to complete sooner.
Pell Grant Requirements