Year-round Pell Grants Reinstated After Six-year Hiatus
Article by: Michael Bratten
After a six-year hiatus, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has reinstated year-round Pell Grants, providing many full-time college students with federal dollars to pay for summer classes.
“The good news is that students can continue their academic career without any disruption due to financial aid,” said Dr. Rito Silva, vice president of Student Affairs at Del Mar College (DMC). “This results in a shorter time to completion of their degree or certificate program.”
Previously, students taking full-time course loads in the fall and spring would deplete their Pell Grants and have to seek other financial aid for summer classes. Only if they attended part-time during the fall and spring – six hours per semester, for example – would they have Pell funds left over for summer classes.
Now, Pell Grants can be awarded for full-time classes in the fall, spring and entire summer.
DMC students who are interested in Pell Grants and not currently receiving them must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found at www.fafsa.gov.
For further assistance, including help with filling out the FAFSA, students should visit or contact DMC’s Financial Aid offices in the Harvin Student Center on the East Campus (361-698-1293) or the Coleman Student Center on the West Campus (361-698-1726). Financial Aid staff can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nearly 4,000 DMC students – about half of them attending full time – received Pell Grants in fall 2017, generating more than $6.8 million in tuition, according to DMC Financial Aid records. Preliminary spring 2018 data shows just over 3,000 students receiving Pell Grants totaling more than $5.9 million.
Pell Grants do not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstances, according to the DOE’s Federal Student Aid website (https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/). They are usually awarded only to
undergraduate students, and the amount of aid a student can receive depends on financial need, the cost of attendance and other factors, the website states.
Briseño emphasizes that there are other types of financial aid available to students who don’t qualify for Pell Grants.
“If they’re not eligible for Pell Grants, they may be eligible for state grants that are reserved for the summer,” she said.
It’s important for all students to apply for financial aid who need it, Silva added.
“You’ll never know how much assistance you could qualify for if you don’t apply. It’s a great investment of your time. The effort can be life changing.”
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.