In December 2011, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74). Some students who received the Pell grant in the past may no longer be eligible for the reasons below:

  • Students are limited to 12 semesters (or 600%) of Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. Once a student has received 600% (equivalent to 12 semesters of full time enrollment), they are no longer eligible to receive a Pell grant regardless of their EFC.

How Do I Know If The Lifetime Limit Affects Me?

If you have attended college for 4 years or longer, receiving the Pell Grant each year, you are likely to exhaust or have already exhausted your lifetime limit of 12 semesters of Pell Grant eligibility.

How Is The ‘Percentage Used’ For the Lifetime Limit Calculated?

The percentages are based off the annual award at fulltime enrollment status. For students with an annual award and attending 12 or more credits in each semesters (Fall and Spring for example), the percentage used for the academic year is 100%. If you only attend 9 credits for two semesters, your percentage used for the academic year would be 75%.

How Will I Know If I Am Nearing My Lifetime Limit?

You may view your percentage of Pell grant used by logging into

Please be conscious about the lifetime limit of the Pell grant when changing majors and/or scheduling classes.

Who Do I Call If I Have Questions About This?

Please contact the Student Business Center located in the University Center or send your questions to

Note: It is possible that students may be awarded Pell grant for the academic year before final determination of eligibility.  If you are awarded Pell grant funds and later found to have exceeded the lifetime limit, the award will be cancelled and you could be responsible for any resulting balances.