Education Year-round Pell Grants available to students for first time since 2011 | CullmanSense

Education

Year-round Pell Grants available to students for first time since 2011

Registration for summer classes now underway at WSCC

HANCEVILLE - An eligible student may now receive a full federal Pell Grant for the summer semester, even if he or she received a full federal Pell Grant award during the fall and spring semesters, according to Wallace State Community College.  A majority of students will qualify for some amount of financial aid.

Students still have time to register for financial aid at Wallace State and to register for summer classes. Classes for the summer regular term and mini-term begin May 23.  Mini-term II begin June 27.

Congress’s authorization of year-round Pell means that students can receive up to 150 percent of a regular grant award over the course of the academic year so that they can continue taking classes in the summer and finish their degrees faster than they would otherwise. Previously, students could only receive the equivalent of a full Pell award for two of the three semesters in an academic year, so that eligibility was often used up during fall and spring semesters.

“In years past, many students were forced to pay out of pocket for summer semester, and those who couldn’t afford to do that had to sit out a semester,” said Becky Graves, director of financial aid at Wallace State Community College. “We know that sitting out a semester reduces momentum and persistence. The likelihood students will finish on time, or finish at all is negatively affected. Students who don’t attend year-round may miss classes that are offered in sequence in programs like nursing. And there’s the chance that during a semester off that life will intervene, or a student will become committed to a job that pays less than they could command had they finished their degree.  Summer Pell is a huge advantage for our students who are motivated to get through quickly and on to a university or a career.” 

The condensed schedule during the summer semester generally provides for smaller classes and a more relaxed atmosphere. Students use it to catch up, stay on schedule and to get ahead. Meeting with an advisor is key to establishing a plan of study.

Three criteria must be met for a student to be eligible for additional Pell Grant funds. First, the student must be otherwise eligible to receive Pell Grant funds for the payment period. Second, the student must be enrolled at least half-time in the payment period or six credit hours during the summer term. Third, the student must maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Students interested in using year-round Pell should contact Wallace State’s Financial Aid Department. Visit www.wallacestate.edu/financial-aid, call 256-352-8182, stop by the Lion Central one-stop center for enrollment services in the Bailey Center on the Wallace State-Hanceville campus, or inquire at the Wallace State-Oneonta campus.  Go to www.fafsa.gov to complete the 2017/2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for summer funds. The 17/18 FAFSA deadline is June 30, so it is not too late to take advantage of the opportunity for summer.

All students applying for financial aid will need to complete a FAFSA.  Go to www.wallacestate.edu for a schedule of summer classes and additional information.