Federal Pell Grant Award
The maximum Pell Grant award for the 2007-08 award year (July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008) is $4,310. The maximum award for the 2008-09 award year (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009) is $4,731. The maximum can change each award year and depends on program funding. The amount you get, though, will depend not only on your financial need, but also on your costs to attend school, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
Your school can apply Pell Grant funds to your school costs, pay you directly (usually by check), or combine these methods. The school must tell you in writing how much your award will be and how and when you'll be paid. Schools must disburse funds at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter). Schools that do not use semesters, trimesters, or quarters must disburse funds at least twice per academic year.
If the Pell Grant award amount isn't enough for college then there are other options that are available. One Option is the Parent (PLUS)Loan, which is where parents are able to qualify for a loan to pay for their child's education. For more information on the Parent Loan and to see if you or your parents qualify for this program.
IMPORTANT AWARD UPDATE - FEBRUARY 2009
The Federal Stimulus Package that was passed by the senate on February 13, 2009 will increase the Pell Grant award amount. According to the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who indicated on February 12, 2009 that the maximum Pell Grant award will increase by $500 to $5,350 in 2009 and $5,550 in 2010.
IMPORTANT AWARD UPDATE - MARCH 2010
The federal government has passed a landmark Healthcare and Student Loan bill, which will add an additional $36 Billion in funding towards the Pell Grant Program.
The maximum Pell Grant award amount has increased for the 2010-11 award year (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011) and is now $5,550. The maximum Pell Grant amount will be $5,550 through the 2012-2013 school year and then will increase up to $5,975 by 2017.
All future increases after the 2012-2013 award year will be based on the CPI, or Consumer Price Index, which is the index that gauges the rate of inflation. The increase is due in part from the Student Loan Reform Bill passed in 2010, which calls for a $36 Billion increase in Pell Grant spending.
IMPORTANT AWARD UPDATE - December 2011
The federal government has passed the federal budget and have left the maximum Pell Grant the same at $5,550 for the 2012-2013 school year. The government did stop the “Year-Round” Pell Grant program, so students will no longer be able to receive the Summer Pell Grant. Students taking summer school must now use other financial aid resources to pay for the summer school education.