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Change In Pell Grant Disbursement May Reduce Time In College


A change in disbursement policies at the Department of Education may potentially reduce the time required to complete a postsecondary education by as much as a year. Beginning with the 2010 Summer Semester, students who are eligible for Pell Grants will have the opportunity to utilize those benefits for the summer semester. Previously, the Pell Grant was only available to cover the fall and spring semesters for qualified students. Students who elected to attend classes over the summer semester were required to seek other funding or pay for the cost out of pocket.

“Consider a student who previously was not attending college during the summer due to the inability to pay for the classes. He may now take twelve hours covered by a Pell Grant. That simple change could accelerate his entry into the workforce by as much as a year,” says Helen McAlpine, President of Drake State. “That benefit is increased exponentially when you consider the impact on a student enrolled at a four year institution.”

The following requirements apply to students who are already receiving PELL Grant funding and desire to utilize PELL Grant for summer classes:

  • Students must have completed a total of twenty-four semester hours during the fall and spring semesters.
  • Certificate or diploma seeking students must complete the equivalent of twenty-four credit hours based on Title IV calculations.
  • Students must enroll in six or more hours for the summer semester.
  • Students who enroll in the minimum (24) credit hours required for fall and spring, but do not complete the required minimum hours with a passing grade, will not be eligible for summer disbursement.

Students who have questions regarding this change may contact the Financial Aid Office at 256.551.3127

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