ED guidance on year-round Pell

The U.S. Education Department has issued a “Dear Colleague” letter that provides guidance on implementing the recently reinstated Year-round Pell Grant program.

The change in the Pell program will allow eligible students to receive up to 150 percent of their grant beginning with the 2017–2018 award year, which starts July 1.

To be eligible for the funds, students must be eligible to receive a Pell grant for the payment period and must be enrolled at least half-time.

Unless the student has remaining eligibility from the 2016-2017 award year, the department “strongly recommends that institutions award Pell Grant funds for this summer out of the 2017-2018 award year since the additional funding will be available later in the year (e.g., spring or summer of 2018),” according to the guidance.

Colleges have flexibility in selecting the award year Pell grants will apply toward when issuing them in the “crossover payment period,” which includes both June 30 and July 1 and therefore overlap two award years.

“An eligible student who is enrolled in the summer 2017 crossover payment period that the institution assigned to the waning 2016–2017 award year may not receive Pell Grant funds beyond 100 percent of the student’s Pell Grant Scheduled Award for the 2016–2017 award year,” according to the guidance. “However, a student who has exhausted his or her Pell Grant eligibility for the 2016–2017 award year and who is enrolling in the summer of 2017 should receive a Pell Grant award for summer based on their 2017–2018 Pell eligibility because the student will have additional eligibility later in the 2017–2018 award year.”

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