NAICU Washington Update

Department Publishes Pell Tables Early to Accommodate October 1 FAFSA

October 19, 2016

As expected, the Department of Education moved up the release of its Pell payment and disbursement schedules for the 2017-18 award year. The change in timing reflects the earlier availability of the FAFSA. The FAFSA, which was previously made available on January 1, will now be available three months earlier, on October 1. The revised Pell timetable supplements this effort.

The maximum grant will be $5,920, an increase of $105 above the 2016-17 maximum of $5,815.

The move to publish the Pell schedules is particularly interesting because Congress has not passed a final appropriations bill for the Pell Grant program. That will not happen before the post-election lame duck session, or even before the next calendar year, if Congress decides not to pass a permanent funding bill during the lame duck session. However, the Administration is confident Congress will fund the $5,920 Pell Grant as Appropriations Committees in both the Senate and the House have approved this level. And, with a program surplus, there should be no political pressure to force a cut.


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