NAICU Washington Update

Guidance Issued on Reinstatement of Year-Round Pell Grants

June 20, 2017

The U.S. Department of Education has released a guidance document outlining how it intends to handle the implementation of year-round Pell Grants included in legislation just passed by Congress in May.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 instructs the Department of Education to allow a student to receive Pell Grant funds for up to 150 percent of the student’s Pell Grant Scheduled Award for an award year, beginning in the 2017-18 academic year. According to the bill’s accompanying explanatory statement, the changes are made in order to “maximize flexibility for institutions of higher education and avoid unnecessary administrative burdens while ensuring the best interests of students.” More details on FY2017 appropriations can be found here.
The recently-issued guidance from the Department specifies that to be eligible for additional Pell Grant funds, a student must be enrolled at least half-time in the payment cycle in which the student exceeds 100 percent of the Pell Grant Scheduled Award. The guidance also includes useful information for institutions offering crossover coursework that does not fall neatly into the July 1-June 30 federal academic year definition. In such cases, an institution must choose to account for the student’s supplementary Pell Grant in one academic year and may not span two different academic years. Such decisions can be made on a student-by-student basis in order to consider individual students’ circumstances and best interests – as dictated by the legislation passed by Congress.
Notably, because the appropriations specified that year-round Pell Grants would be effective beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, supplementary money may not be applied to the waning 2016-17 academic year. More information on crossover enrollment can be found in the guidance document, as well as information on transfer students, and a sample student scenario illustrating how and when payments should be awarded.  
Questions on the implementation and specific provisions contained in the guidance can be sent to the Department between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday by phone (800-433-7327) or email ( 

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