Federal Pell Grants

Pell Grants are awarded based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and are available only to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's or professional degree. Pell is a federal grant, not a loan, and does not need to be paid back. Students are limited to a maximum lifetime limit of the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters of eligibility. This limit applies to all students.

The Pell Grant award maximum and requirements can change each award year and depends on program funding. The amount you receive will depend not only on your FAFSA results, but also on your status as a full-time or part-time student and your plans to attend Kent State for a full academic year or less. Initial award amounts are based on the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and projected enrollment status. The Pell Grant requires you to begin attendance each semester and may be adjusted if your actual enrollment does not correspond to your projected enrollment status. Students are not permitted to receive Pell grant funds at more than one higher education institution for the same enrollment period.

Basic Eligibility Criteria

  • You are enrolled in a regular degree program.
  • You are a U. S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • You are making Satisfactory Academic Progress. (See Informational page for academic progress)
  • You are not in default on any federal student aid.
  • You are eligible based on the results of the FAFSA (EFC determines eligibility)
  • You have NOT previously earned a bachelor’s degree.
  • You have not reached your lifetime eligibility limit of the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters of eligibility.

Get more information from the U.S. Department of Education

Enrollment Activity May Affect Your Pell Grant

  • Students must start a course in order to qualify for Pell Grant funds.  If a course is dropped prior to its start date, or a professor marks a student as "Never Attended-Failed" then the Federal Pell Grant will be calculated.
  • Pell will be calculated each term after the last day of 100% tuition credit.  Students schedules should be fixed by that time for Pell Grant fund calculation.
  • Determine how changes in enrollment activity and repeating classes may affect your Pell Grant

Get more information about repeating coursework

Federal Pell Grant Limit

The Federal Pell Grant is limited to a total of 12 full-time semesters (or its equivalent).  The calculation of the duration of a student’s eligibility will include all years of the student’s receipt of Federal Pell Grant funding. This affects all Federal Pell Grant recipients and is not limited to the students who received their first Federal Pell Grant on or after the 2008-2009 award year.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

  • Children of U.S. military veterans may be eligible to receive the maximum Federal Pell Grant award if their parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of performing military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. The student must have been under 24 years of age or enrolled in college at the time of the parent or guardian's death. In addition, the student must already be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant award under the original determination of eligibility.

Get more information on the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Year Round Pell

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 allows a student to receive Pell Grant funds for up to three full-time semesters during an award year.  

  • To be eligible for the year round Pell Grant funds, a student must be eligible to receive the Pell Grant and must be enrolled at least half-time in the third semester for which the student will receive the additional Pell Grant funds.
  • Any additional Pell Grant received will be included in determining the student's Pell Grant duration of eligibility and Lifetime Eligibility Usage (LEU).  Students can receive only 6 years (12 full-time semesters) of Pell Grant funding.
  • Additional funding will always be awarded from the current aid year.  This institutional crossover payment period applies to all students without exception.

Transfer students:  A student who transfers into a different academic program or to a different institution may still receive up to the three full-time semesters of Pell Grant funds.  The student must otherwise be determined as Pell Grant eligible, have remaining Pell eligibility (up to the three full-time semesters). For the additional term of eligibility, students must be enrolled at least half-time.