Pell Grant Lifetime Limit

Pell Grants are knows to be one of the best source of paying for your college without having to repay back the borrowed amount. In this article, learn about pell grant lifetime limit, how it works, and much more.

Updated by Sreelekha R K on 26th March 2020

The simplest, as well as the quickest answer to your doubt, is that you are qualified to receive a pell grant that is equal to 6 years of your education. You will be considered to be qualified to receive the highest outlay of this kind of financial aid every year during the entire 6 years’ time.

Here is an article to provide complete details regarding the pell grant lifetime limit and other important topics related to it.


What is a Federal Pell grant?

It is considered to be one of the need-based aids. It is monetary support that is provided to learners who are in need of it to pay for college and it is basically a provision by the federal government of the U.S. which you ​do not have to repay until and unless you drop out of the university for any of your reasons by giving them the proper explanation for the act of yours.

To be able to receive this grant, you will certainly have to meet a few criteria since it is a federal aid program. Your eligibility will be determined by FAFSA.


How does the lifetime limit for the Pell Grant works?

Your lifetime limit for the Pell Grant is completely a hundred percent of your full-time award per year for over six years. The limit for 2019-20 is $6,195. This is an increase of $100 from the 2018-19 limit of $6,095.

The grants that you are eligible to receive each year depend on three factors which are as follows.

School’s cost of attendance (COA)

In discussions of the cost incurred for college in the United States, the cost of attendance is a term for the calculated rational cost of finishing a full educational year as a full-time student.

Expected family contribution (EFC) 

EFC is an estimation of a student's parents or guardian’s capability to pay the costs inculcated to provide good education.

Registration status

To be qualified for 100% of this award, you will have to be registered as full time for the whole academic year and you will also have to meet EFC and COA conditions which are set by the Department of Education (D.O.E).

Since the DoE changes the maximum award available each year, the amount you receive will not remain the same, it varies every year, even if your family’s economy and COA be the same.


Things you should be aware of pell grant lifetime limit

It is a limit to the total amount of Federal Pell Grants that a student may receive. Here are a few important points you must know.

  • The information regarding these grants is informed in the form of a report to the National Student Loan Data System and it is displayed on the student's record as a percentage.

  • The reward you get depends on your monetary requirement, cost of attendance, full-time or part-time state and your intentions to attend school for the full educational year.

  • These grants are distributed based on the concept of first come first serve (FCFS). 

  • The U.S. Department of Education disseminates grant money directly to the schools, which will be further given to students who prove their level of financial need.


How to reach the pell grant lifetime limit if it fully completed per year?

There are chances of you reaching your grant lifetime limit before six years are up if you get enrolled full time in fall, beginning and summer courses. At that time, you will receive 150% of your annual award which is known as a Year-Round Pell Grant

As these grants are entirely completed at 600% of your allowance each year, you can only receive up to four years of year-round Pell Grants.


What is the Pell Grant’s Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU)?

The L.E.U is the percentage of your lifetime limit which you have already received through the Federal Pell Grant Program while an award period. 

It is based on what the D.O.E considers your programmed award or the amount you would receive if you were registered full time for the autumn and spring semesters. It mainly depends on two things which are as follows.

The number of semesters per year 

  • Your LEU is 50% if you take the one-semester full time.

  • Your LEU is 100% if you take a full academic year of courses. 

  • Your LEU is 150% if you register in the summer semester.

Registration state

  • Your LEU is 75% if you are enrolled three-quarters time

  • Your LEU is50% if you have joined half time

  • Your LEU is 25% if you are registered for less than half-time.

Your maximum LEU is 600%. If your LEU is over 500% for your last year of school, you won’t be able to receive your full scheduled award, even if you’re enrolled full time.


How is the Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) calculated?

To determine how much of the maximum six years (600%) of Pell Grant you have used each year, the US D.O.E compares the actual amount you received for the award year with your scheduled award amount for that award year. 

The Department of Education keeps track of your Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) by adding together the percentages of your scheduled grant awards that you received for each award year.  Once your total reaches 600%, you have reached your Federal Pell Grant eligibility.

The Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used percentages and their meanings that are given by the government of the U.S. are as follows.

<51%

The student has received Pell Grants for the equivalent of up to one-half of a school year.

51% - 100%

The student has received Pell Grants for the equivalent of between one-half and one school year.

101% - 150%

The student has received Pell Grants for the equivalent of between one and one and one-half school years.

151% - 200%

The student has received Pell Grants for the equivalent of between one and one-half and two school years.

201% - 250%

The student has received Pell Grants for the equivalent of between two and two and one-half school years.

251% - 300%

The student has received Pell Grants for the equivalent of between two and one-half and three school years.

301% - 350%

The student has received Pell Grants for the equivalent of between three and three and one-half school years.

351% - 400%

The student has received Pell Grants for the equivalent of between three and one-half and four school years.

401% - 500%

The student has received Pell Grants for the equivalent of between four and five school years.

501% - 600%

The student has received Pell Grants for the equivalent of between five and six school years.

>600%

The student has received Pell grants for the equivalent of more than six school years.