Pell grants available Spring, Summer

MCCC students can now receive Pell Grants for the Spring and Summer Semesters.

Under the newly revised financial aid system, students may qualify for Spring and Summer semesters financial aid on top of what they received during the Fall and Winter Semesters.

“I think that’s pretty cool, because I’m a student that borrows money,” student Brandon Chick said. “So that is really helpful, because now I don’t have to borrow as much money. It makes it more attractive to go to school in the Spring and Summer.”

Students enrolled full-time for Fall and Winter must be enrolled for at least six credit hours in the Spring and Summer Semesters.

If they choose to enroll part-time for Fall and Winter, they will still be eligible for financial aid at a prorated amount in the Spring and Summer.

“It had the biggest impact on students who attend full-time in the Fall and Winter,” Valerie Culler, director of Financial Aid, said. 

“The reason for that is, now that they will have Pell Grant money available for Spring and Summer, it’s more likely they’ll be able to attend classes in Spring and Summer and they’ll earn their degree faster.”

Under the old system, students were given financial aid to cover one academic year. That was normally almost used up by the Spring Semester if the student attended classes full-time in the Fall and Winter.

Now, instead of receiving 100 percent of financial aid and using it before the Spring Semester, students can get 150 percent to be used throughout the year.

“I think it’s great that that’s something they can do,” Samantha Bartley said. “It gives the students who can’t afford it the opportunity to complete school quicker.”

The amount of money students may get for the 2017-2018 school year can range from $606 to $5,920. This is an increase from last year’s range of $598 to $5,815. 

This award amount is based on how much money the student’s family can contribute, which is called the ‘Expected Family Contribution’ or EFC.

The EFC is calculated by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. Students can find the link to the FAFSA website, additional information on Pell Grants, and other types of financial aid under the Financial Aid section of the MCCC website.

Under this section, students can also find a Pell Grant schedule that estimates the amount of money they may be eligible for, which is based on their EFC and enrollment plans.

The change comes after a Congressional decision impacting all schools eligible for Federal Title IV financial aid, Culler said.