The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has distributed revised Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules for the 2018-2019 award year. The new schedules were released with ED’s Dear Colleague Letter GEN-18-04 (DCL GEN-18-04) on April 10, 2018. The newly updated schedules were necessitated due to the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-141), which was signed into law on March 23, 2018.
Crux of the DCL and New Payment Schedules
The new maximum Pell Grant award for 2018-2019 is now $6,095. The minimum scheduled award for a full year for 2018-2019 will now be $650. The maximum possible expected family contribution (EFC) that an applicant may have and still receive some amount of Pell Grant for the award year, if otherwise eligible, is 5486. It is important that institutions ensure that all 2018-2019 Federal Pell Grant awards are made based upon the “revised” schedules included with DCL Gen-18-04.
(See the end notes at the bottom for links to the 2018-2019 “original” Pell Grant Award Schedule, (2) the 2017-2018 Pell Award Schedule, (3) and the 2016-2017 Pell Award Schedule.(4)
Considerations to Remember
Each year, when determining a student’s potential eligibility for a Pell Grant, it is important to recall several points that often may be overlooked:
- A student’s full nine-month EFC must be used in determining his or her eligibility, irrespective of the student’s actual time of enrollment during the award year.
- Similarly, the Title IV cost of attendance (COA) used in determining a student’s award must always be the COA that is based upon the costs of a full-time student for a full academic year whether the student is enrolled the full year or not.
- There are also restrictions to allowances applicable to some of the COA components for some students, e.g., less than half-time students’ COA only includes the typical components, except for room and board which may only be for a limited period of time (not more than the equivalent of three semesters), etc. (See Volume 3, Chapter 2 of the Federal Student Aid Handbook for more details.)
- A student may not receive more than 12 semesters (or the equivalent) of Pell Grant eligibility during his or her lifetime, and the amount of utilization must be monitored each year and payment period. This is referred to as a student’s Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU). See Dear Colleague Letter GEN-13-14 for more details, as well as Volume 3, Chapter 3, of the Federal Student Aid Handbook.
- Beginning with the 2017-2018 award year, students may be eligible for up to 150% of the annual Scheduled Award amount of Pell Grant in certain circumstances. This has come to be known as Year-Round Pell (YRP). See Dear Colleague Letter GEN-17-06 for more details about the YRP
The newly revised 2018-2019 Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules impact students who may be potentially eligible for a Pell Grant now, e.g., due to the increase in the maximum EFC, etc. Any students whose 2018-2019 FAFSA was submitted and processed prior to the integration of the newly revised Pell Grant schedules into the CPS System will need to be reprocessed to accommodate the revised schedules. This includes those students whose 2018-2019 FAFSA records were newly submitted, as well as those who had made recent corrections to previously submitted 2018-2019 FAFSAs/ISIRs. ED will make the financial aid community aware of when this happens via an Electronic Announcement on IFAP.ed.gov. For more information on the impact of implementing the newly revised Pell Payment and Disbursement schedules, please see ED’s Electronic Announcement dated April 13, 2018.
Should you have any questions related to the newly revised Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules, please feel free to contact Customer Service through the Client Solution Center.
 Dear Colleague Letter GEN-18-04, U.S. Department of Education (ED), April 10, 2018.
 Dear Colleague Letter GEN-18-01, U.S. Department of Education (ED), January 31, 2018.
 Dear Colleague Letter GEN-16-19, U.S. Department of Education (ED), October 18, 2016.
 Dear Colleague Letter GEN-16-01, U.S. Department of Education (ED), January 29, 2016.
This material is presented for informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be giving legal advice.