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Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Limit
Financial Aid

There is a new federal law effective with the 2012/13 school year that limits the amount students can receive in the Federal Pell Grant. Because the new Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) includes all awards received prior to the 2012/13 year, some students will already be ineligible at the start of the year. Others will have some eligibility but not enough to receive 100% of their award. It includes any Pell Grant award received at any school and it’s a limit to receive it at any school. You can’t transfer and receive additional awards at another school. There are no exceptions and it isn’t possible to appeal. The school has no legal ability to award students beyond the limit.

The limit is 6 years of full time attendance. It’s prorated for part time students. It’s calculated based on 600% of annual awards. When you’re awarded a Pell Grant, you are given a maximum annual Pell Grant award. If you attend full time for two semesters you receive 100% of it. If you attend half time for two semesters you receive 50% of it. Each semester you receive a percentage. When that total reaches 600% you’re no longer eligible for the grant. To receive the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant you must also receive the Pell Grant, when you reach the limit you aren’t eligible for either grant.

Updating of individual LEU’s will be complete by mid July 2012 on the NSLDS web site. NSLDS is where you can find and track your financial aid history. You’ll need your federal PIN to access your history. It’s the same one you use to sign your FAFSA. See Tools for Students.

To read more about the LEU and how it’s calculated including examples click on the link below for a message from the U.S. Department of Education: