Federal Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grants are the leading source of federal grant money and are designed for students who demonstrate financial need. They also don’t have to be repaid. You’ll be automatically considered for a Pell Grant when you submit your FAFSA.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

  • Undergraduate students without a Bachelor’s degree
  • U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens
  • Students who are eligible to complete a FAFSA
  • Meet other basic eligibility criteria

Annual Amount

Varies, awarded to students based on need and the Expected Family Contribution on your FAFSA. Don’t forget that you must submit the FAFSA annually to continue receiving Pell Grant funds. Because the information entered into the FAFSA may change year to year, a student's EFC may change, leading to different Pell Grant award amounts.

Lifetime Limit

  • Six years, the equivalent of 18 terms
  • Includes terms used at other colleges
  • Includes summer terms

Enrollment Requirements and Census Date

  • 12 or more units = full amount
  • 9-11 units = ¾ of the amount
  • 6-8 units = ½ of the amount

Your enrollment status determines your grant eligibility and census date plays a big part. We encourage you to review your enrollment requirements to plan appropriately.  Learn more

View our deadlines.

More Information

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education. For more information on eligibility, visit their website:

Did you receive Pell Grant at full-time enrollment?

At the end of the term, we will verify that you attended all of the courses for which you were paid Pell Grant funds. If you did not attend one or more courses, we will reduce your grant amount accordingly and you will be billed. Receiving one or more non-passing grades with no record of attendance may also result in your Pell Grant being revised and could also result in a bill. Check the requirements for FAFSA applicants.

What happens if I need to repeat a class?

If you enroll in a repeat course to make up a grade of D- or above, you will be allowed to count these units toward Federal Pell eligibility, but only the first time you repeat it.

Duration of Eligibility (Lifetime Eligibility Used)

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited to the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%. For more information, visit U.S. Department of Education.