If anyone has received a Pell Grant for the 2011-2012 school year and is planning to take summer classes, they might want to ponder about how they are going to pay for it because they may not receive another Pell grant for summer school.
On Feb. 24 the Tyler Junior College Financial Aid Office sent an email to students who filled out the FAFSA announcing that due to changes in federal funding, a second Pell Grant award is no longer offered during summer sessions. However; students who did not use their entire maximum award during the Fall and Spring semesters may be eligible to receive those funds during the Summer of 2012 period.
According to Financial Aid Director Devon Wiggins, Congress eliminated the year-round Pell grant.
“It was a cost savings measure for the federal government to help manage their budget crisis,” said Wiggins.
Last Summer approximately 1,100 students received some form of financial aid. Wiggins expects the number of students receiving financial aid in the Summer to decrease by half.
To be considered a full-time student in the Summer semesters, students have to take at least six credit hours. Last year, students also had to take six credit hours to be considered full time and eligible for a second Pell grant.
Some students feel like the change is inconsistent with last year and that students who are Pell grant-eligible should be able to receive a second grant for the Summer.
“If they give it to you one year, they should give it to you the next,” Layneshia Evans, sophomore and medicine major said. “It is only a two-year college.”
The email sent to students that filled out the FAFSA also stated that the Financial Aid Office will be awarding student’s Summer financial aid on April 1, 2012 for students who have not exhausted their maximum eligibility.
Wiggins has advice for students who were depending on the Pell Grant this Summer to pay for their tuition.
“Students cannot count on receiving summer aid, so they should set aside some of their refunds from Fall and Spring financial aid to pay for their summer classes,” Wiggins said. “There will be some grant funds available that will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis so students should register as soon as registration starts.”
Students must be registered in a total of 6 credit hours for the entire Summer period to receive any loan funds. The 6 hours can be a combination of Maymester, Summer I and/or Summer II classes. If a student is eligible to receive loans then he or she must complete the Summer aid form and fax the form to the Financial Aid Office.
Students must register for all summer classes by June 6, 2012 in order to receive any aid for the Summer courses.