TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Due to a recent change in the Federal Pell Gr ant Program, students are eligible to receive up to 150 percent of their scheduled Pell Gr ant award, starting in the 2017-2018 academic year. That means eligible students can get three semesters of Pell Gr ant funds per academic year.
Many two and four-year colleges and universities, like Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, are working to make sure students know about this ahead of the summer semester.
Previously, most students would use Pell Gr ant funding for Fall and Spring semesters, but not summer. Shelton State Dean of Student Services Amanda Harbison says the funding for a third semester will help students get out of school more quickly. Harbison says this is an economic advantage for many Shelton students.
"They need to get out quickly, they need to be able to go to work a lot of times, to feed their families," Harbison said. "We have a lot of non-traditional age students that are looking to go work, retool, get a new job, get a better career, change their career."
Harbison said year-round Pell also benefits Shelton students who plan to continue their education.
"We have a lot of college-age students, as well, that are looking to go to the next level, go to a four-year university, and that just allows them to get out of here more quickly and reach that goal."
Pell Gr ants are need-based. To know if you qualify, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at fafsa.gov.
Harbison reminds students that this application is free and to visit the correct website. She also says students wanting to receive the Pell Gr ant for the upcoming summer semester should fill out the 2017-2018 FAFSA form.
Find out more information here about year-round Pell Grants.