The United State Congress recently enacted changes to the Federal Pell Grant.
Congressional leaders reached an agreement on HR 3671, a bill that outlines the spending for the rest of the fiscal year. According to this bill, the maximum amount students can receive for Pell Grants remains at $5,550.
In order to afford greatly increased demand for Pell Grants, Congress agreed that they need to put further restrictions on funding eligibility. Additionally, Congress plans to temporarily stop the interest subsidy on student loans during their six-month grace period following graduation.
Specifically, students who do have high school diplomas or GEDs will no longer be able to apply for the grants by taking the "ability to benefit test." Furthermore, degree seekers will only be able to receive Pell Grants for six years, as opposed to the current limit of nine years (12 semesters as opposed to the current 18.)
Students without a high school diploma or equivalent credential will also be barred from receiving Pell Grants, and the family income at which the government would expect a recipient of federal financial aid to contribute nothing to the cost of his or her education would drop from $30,000 to $23,000 per year.
If you receive an inquiry from the public or from another state agency, please direct those calls to the Federal Student Aid Office at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or to the Federal Student Aid Office Ombudsman at 1-877-557-2575.