A new provision in the Federal Pell Grant Program gives eligible students the option of accessing additional federal funds to cover the cost of summer classes.
“It’s a provision called Year-Round Pell and it presents students already receiving Pell money with an excellent opportunity to take advantage of summer classes and stay on track toward graduation, even complete their degrees faster,” said Kelly Prater, director of financial aid at Amarillo College.
“Pell is the best form of financial aid,” Prater said, “because it is not a loan and does not need to be paid back.”
Approximately 41 percent of students at AC rely on the Pell Grant for financial aid. Previously, students could only receive Pell Grants for fall and spring semesters. Money that was leftover (unused) during those semesters could be applied toward summer classes, but additional funding was not available.
Additionally, students who attended college on a full-time basis during both the fall and spring semesters previously exhausted their available federal funds until the start of the ensuing fall semester. Now, however, additional Pell funding is available for students who enroll in at least six credit hours over the summer – whether they have any carryover Pell funds or not.
Students taking only one summer course (fewer than six credit hours) are not eligible for additional funds, but they can apply whatever carryover money they may have toward the single class.
All Pell Grant funds received, no matter in which portion of the academic year they are utilized, are counted toward a student's overall lifetime eligibility limits.
Summer classes begin May 21 at Amarillo College.
Amarillo ISD is launching a district-wide summer literacy focus.
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