Financial Aid: Year Round Pell Grant

Date of Original Implementation: July 2010

Date of Last Revision: February 2011

Summary

Cambridge College has developed a policy concerning year round Pell Grant to meet the Federal Department of Education’s requirements that all colleges have a policy explaining how students may be eligible to receive up to two consecutive Pell Grant scheduled awards during a single academic year.

Year Round Pell Grant:

In order for a student to receive the Second Scheduled Pell Grant Award they must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • Student is otherwise Pell eligible.
  • Enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) for the semester that will apply to the second award.
  • Received 100% of the first scheduled award.
  • Student must demonstrate academic year acceleration which is defined below.

Acceleration:

Acceleration is defined as at least one credit in the payment period that must be attributable to the student’s next academic year. The calculation for total credits in one academic year is any credits already earned, not attempted, in the academic year plus the credits that the student is enrolled in for the semester in which the second Pell Grant will be awarded. If a student fails a class it will not count towards the total credits for that academic year.

Earned Credits from the first 2 semesters +Credits enrolled for the 3rd semester = total credits for the academic year

In terms of Cambridge College the academic year is defined by 36 credits, therefore, a student must have a total of 37 credits or greater in order to be eligible.

For example:

Student A earns 15 credits in the fall semester, 15 credits in the spring semester, and is taking 9 credits in the summer. Student A is eligible for the second scheduled Pell Grant award for the summer semester since his credits total 39.

Student B earns 15 credits in the fall semester and 15 credits in the spring semester but in the summer he only takes 6 credits. Student B is NOT eligible for the additional award because the total credits are only 36.

Credits that are not applicable to acceleration and may not count towards the academic year total are:

  • Advance placement
  • International baccalaureate
  • Testing out
  • Life experience
  • Portfolios
  • Other similar competency measures Remedial credits DO count.

The Financial Aid Office can waive the completion requirement upon appeal if:

  • It is determined that the student was unable to complete the hours of the first academic year due to “circumstances beyond the student’s control”.
  • Circumstances may include but are not limited to
    • Student withdrawing from class due to illness or illness of a close family member.
    • Student being unable to register for classes necessary to complete his or her eligible program because those classes were not offered

Appeal forms will be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid. The Director will approve or deny the appeal based on the information provided. All decisions are final.

Transfer Students:

If a student received 100% of the first scheduled award at a prior institution(s), it can be assumed that the student completed the first academic year. If the student received less than 100% the College will use the same ratio to determine the % of the academic year completed at that the other college, always rounded down. The College may use actual credits earned at the prior college, even if the credits do not transfer to the College and/or they are not related to the academic program.

Cross-Over Payment Period:

The cross-over payment period is any payment period that includes both June 30th and July 1st. The College must award from the award year with the highest award amount for the payment period for the student. The Pell Grant can be awarded in a different award year than other Title IV aid.

If the following academic year’s FAFSA is received after the Pell Grant award for the cross over payment period has been determined, it must be reviewed for possible recalculation due to changes in eligibility. The Federal Department of Education will set a cutoff date after which this will not have to be completed. This date has not been determined as of yet but most likely will be set for sometime in mid-September. After the cutoff date is determined a comparison will not have to be performed for any following academic year FAFSA’s received after that date.

 

Individual Responsible for Revision and Implementation: Vice President for Finance and Administration and Director for Financial Aid