NEW 2019-2020 FEDERAL PELL GRANT PAYMENT AND DISBURSEMENT SCHEDULES

2019-2020 FEDERAL PELL GRANT PAYMENT AND DISBURSEMENT SCHEDULES RELEASED

The 2019-2020 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules are here. On September 28, 2018, the President signed the 2019 HELP appropriations act, Public Law (P.L.) 115-245 which included an increase to the maximum Pell Grant award. For the 2019-2020 award year, the maximum Pell Grant award is $6195.00 for students with a zero EFC. The minimum Pell Grant award also increased to $650.00 for students with an expected family contribution (EFC) of 5576.
Although $6195.00 is the maximum Pell Grant scheduled award for the 2019-2020 award year, beginning with the 2017-2018 award year, a student may be eligible to receive Pell Grant funds for up to 150 percent of the student’s Pell Grant scheduled award for an award year. To be eligible for the additional Pell Grant funds, the student must be otherwise eligible to receive Pell Grant funds for the payment period and must be enrolled at least as a half-time student, as defined in 34 CFR 668.2(b), in the payment period(s) for which the student receives the additional Pell Grant funds in excess of 100 percent of the student’s Pell Grant scheduled award. For additional information see Dear Colleague Letter GEN-19-01.

SUMMER ENROLLMENT FUNDING GETS BIG BOOST FROM YEAR-ROUND PELL

It made big news last year but this year, schools will have their first real go at year-round Pell and with it, hopes for strong revenue.

Beginning with the 2017-2018 award year, students were eligible to receive up to an additional 50% bump in their Pell Grant funds in an award year. The maximum Pell grant for 2018-2019 has increased to $6,095 due to additional funding from Congress. That can translate to as much as $3047.00 for a student taking a full-time course load this summer.

To be eligible for the additional Pell Grant funds, the student must be otherwise eligible to receive Pell Grant funds for the payment period and must be enrolled at least as a half-time student, as defined in 34 CFR 668.2(b), in the payment period(s) for which the student receives the additional Pell Grant funds over 100 percent of the student’s Pell Grant scheduled award. This additional funding will help students stay enrolled during summer terms which have typically been left mostly unfunded under the old Pell rules.

IMPLEMENTATION OF REVISED PELL GRANT PAYMENT SCHEDULES

PLEASE NOTE: The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, was passed and signed into law at the end of March. This appropriation included an increase in the maximum Pell Grant award. For additional information including up to date Pell Grant Disbursement and Payment Schedules, please click here.

Because of the maximum EFC increase for 2018–19 in the revised schedules, some applicants (those with EFCs greater than or equal to 5329 and less than or equal to 5486 who would not have been Pell Grant eligible using the old schedules) are now Pell Grant eligible for the 2018–19 Award Year. As such, ED systems such as the Central Processing System (CPS) and the Common Origination and Disbursement Websites needed to be updated.

ED is working to finalize the schedule for CPS implementation of the revised Pell charts and will provide specific details about upcoming SAR/ISIR reprocessing that will occur to process revise ISIRS with corrected EFCs. Meanwhile, COD has already been updated. All 2018–19 Pell Grant records sent to the COD System before the update were evaluated by the COD System using the old schedules and will need to be corrected for the revised Pell charts.  For more information and operational implementation guidance, check out this electronic announcement from FSA.

REVISED PELL CHARTS RELEASED WITH INCREASED AWARD LEVELS

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, was passed and signed into law at the end of March. This appropriation included an increase in the maximum Pell Grant award. The Maximum Pell Grant Award for the 2018-2019 award year will increase to $6,095.00, and the corresponding maximum Pell Grant eligible expected family contribution (EFC) will increase to 5486.  The minimum Pell Grant award also went up to $650.00 for 2018-2019. Because of the maximum EFC increase for 2018-19 in the revised schedules, some applicants particularly those with EFCs greater than or equal to 5329 and less than or equal to 5486 who would not have been Pell Grant eligible using the old schedules, are now Pell Grant eligible for the 2018-19 Award Year. You can get your revised 2018-2019 Award Year Pell Grant Payment Schedules (aka Pell Charts) here. Happy Packaging!

2017-2018 PELL GRANT ADMINISTRATIVE COST ALLOWANCE

Schools which participate in the Federal Pell Grant Program are given an Administrative Cost Allowance payment of $5 for each student who receives a Pell Grant at that school during an award year. These funds may can be used to defray the costs of administering the Pell Grant, SEOG, Work-Study, or Perkins Loan programs. ACA payments used to be made directly to the school’s Federal bank account, but now a school’s ACA payment will be posted in G5 as an available balance. Once posted, you can sign in on G5 and draw the funds down.

Your School’s DPA will receive notification of the funds via an Electronic Statement of Account through your school’s SAIG mailbox which will tell you how much you can draw down. Be sure to account for these funds when you do your monthly reconciliations.

For more information about the Administrative Cost Allowance click here.

2018-2019 FEDERAL PELL GRANT PAYMENT AND DISBURSEMENT SCHEDULES

PLEASE NOTE: The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, was passed and signed into law at the end of March. This appropriation included an increase in the maximum Pell Grant award. For additional information including up to date Pell Grant Disbursement and Payment Schedules, please click here.

The 2018-2019 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules are here. On January 22, 2018, the President signed Public Law (P.L.) 115-120, making further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018, and for other purposes. Under these continuing appropriations, for the 2018-2019 award year, the maximum Pell Grant award will remain at $5,920 and the corresponding maximum Pell Grant eligible expected family contribution (EFC) will remain at 5328.

Although $5,920 is the maximum Pell Grant scheduled award for the 2018-2019 award year, beginning with the 2017-2018 award year, a student may be eligible to receive Pell Grant funds for up to 150 percent of the student’s Pell Grant scheduled award for an award year. To be eligible for the additional Pell Grant funds, the student must be otherwise eligible to receive Pell Grant funds for the payment period and must be enrolled at least as a half-time student, as defined in 34 CFR 668.2(b), in the payment period(s) for which the student receives the additional Pell Grant funds in excess of 100 percent of the student’s Pell Grant scheduled award. For additional information see Dear Colleague Letter GEN-17-06

PELL GRANT ADMINISTRATIVE COST ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS

Schools that participate in the Federal Pell Grant Program receive an “Administrative Cost Allowance” (ACA) payment to defray the cost of administering the Pell Grant each year. The regulations provide for each school to receive $5.00 for each student who receives a Pell Grant. Payments are based on the number of unduplicated recipients at each school for each program award year. In the past, ACA payments were made automatically to a school’s Federal Funds Accounts via EFT/ACH. However, earlier in 2017 the process was changed. Now, ACA payments are no longer being deposited automatically. Instead your school’s accounting office will have to draw those funds down through G5 manually.

The second Pell Grant ACA payments for the 2016-2017 Award Year began on August 24, 2017.

The third and final ACA payments for the 2015-2016 Award Year also began August 24, 2017.

ACA payments aren’t just for Pell. ACA payments are intended to defray the costs of administering the Campus-Based Programs too. If your school participates in the SEOG, Work-Study, or Perkins Loan programs, the process is a little different. For the Campus-Based Programs, the ACA is not a separate allowance sent to the school as described earlier. Instead the school simply takes its campus based ACA out of its annual authorizations it receives for FSEOG, FWS programs and/or Perkins Loan fund. The maximum amount permissible is up to five percent of the sum of the loans advanced in Perkins, the total earned compensation in FWS, and the total awards to recipients in FSEOG.

WHEN WILL COD BE UPDATED FOR YEAR ROUND PELL

The approval of Year Round Pell Grants came as a surprise to many and software vendors are clamoring for ED to provide technical specs to accommodate the changes in processing it will require. According to an electronic announcement, the Department is working on tech specs and will be providing them later this year. The Department said that it will be updating COD during October 13-15, 2017 to allow schools to submit Pell Grant Records in excess of 100 percent of a Pell Grant Scheduled Award. Until then, schools can report summer 2017 and Fall 2017 disbursements for the 2017-2018 Award Year. Until COD is updated, these awards and disbursements will be limited to 100% of the Pell Grant Scheduled Award. After October 15, 2017 schools will be able to report updated information to indicate that a student is eligible to receive up to 150% of his or her Pell Grant Scheduled Award, and make award and disbursement adjustments as needed.

IMPLEMENTING YEAR ROUND PELL GRANTS

Year Round Pell Grants - Higher Ed Executives

As we first reported in May, Year Round Pell got a reboot recently with the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017. Students can now get an extra semester’s worth of Pell Grants beginning on July 1st 2017. Recently, the Office of Postsecondary Education provided implementation guidance to schools and colleges so that they can begin implementing changes to their systems, policies and procedures. Here’s what you need to know:

Year Round Pell gives students up to 150% of the student’s Pell Grant Scheduled award for an award year, beginning with the 17-18 award year. To be eligible a student must meet all of the usual criteria for Pell eligibility, for instance having a clean (17/18) ISIR on file with a Pell eligible EFC and must be enrolled at least half time during the payment period in which the student receives any Pell grant funds in excess of their Pell Grant Scheduled Award.

DCL GEN 17-06 provides guidance on payment periods that include both June 30 and July 1 which overlap two award years. These are known as crossover payment periods and typically an institution assigns the payment period to either the ending/preceding award year or the new one. But the guidance issued under YRP allows institutions to assign the crossover payment period on a student by student basis even if the crossover payment period is ultimately assigned to a different award year than the award year used for the student’s other Title IV aid for that period. In other words, a student can get loans from say 2016-2017 and still get Pell from 2017-2018 (don’t forget you need that valid ISIR for 17/18).

Keep in mind though that the new law states an institution MUST make the assignment of crossover payment periods “as it determines is the most beneficial to students” and that means that the decision should maximize the student’s aid eligibility over the two award years and do what is in the best interest of the student.

The implementation guidance also explains how YRP works for transfer students, including internal transfers (i.e. a student who transfers from one program to another at the same institution) as well as external transfers (i.e. those transferring in from another college). Beginning with the 2017-2018 award year, a student who transfers can get their remaining Pell up to 150% as long as they are otherwise eligible and enrolled at least half time in the payment period for which the student receives the additional Pell grant funds. Awesome right? But don’t forget, any Pell Grants received count towards the Pell Lifetime Eligibility Limit which has not changed and is still capped at twelve semesters or 600%.

For more information check out DCL GEN 17-06 

YEAR ROUND PELL RETURNS FOR SUMMER 2017

Year Round Pell Grants made big news last month when President Trump signed an Omnibus Appropriations Bill into law which included more than 1.3 Billion in funding to restore the program.

The return of year round Pell comes just in time for summer 2017 and expands Pell eligibility to more than a million low income college students with an additional average Pell Grant of $1,650. The only problem is that the U.S. Department of Education hasn’t published guidance yet. That leaves schools and students feeling uncertain about paying for summer classes. According to Jeff Baker, speaking at the recent EASFAA Conference, a Dear Colleague Letter is in the works and schools can expect it by July 1st.

Fortunately, implementing year round Pell 2.0 will be easier than last time. Unlike the prior year round Pell regulations, students are not required to accelerate their pace to get the additional Pell. Students must be enrolled at least half-time in an additional payment period within the award year. YRP 2.0 also allows schools to assign crossover payment periods to the award year that benefits the student the most for Pell purposes. Schools can expect the inclusion of YRP 2.0 awards to be included in the calculation of Pell Lifetime Eligibility Limits (Pell LEU) and students must meet all of the other eligibility requirements such as having a valid ISIR, and completed Verification.

Until such time as ED publishes implementation guidance for schools, we can look at the language in the final bill to prepare for packaging and perhaps repackaging aid for students attending in summer 2017-2018.

Here’s a summary of the bill’s language

(a) Section 401(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(8)(A) Effective in the 2017-2018 award year and thereafter, the Secretary shall award an eligible student not more than one and one-half Federal Pell Grants during a single award year to permit such student to work toward completion of an eligible program if, during that single award year, the student”

(i) has received a Federal Pell Grant for an award year and is enrolled in an eligible program for one or more additional payment periods during the same award year that are not otherwise fully covered by the student’s Federal Pell Grant; and

(ii) is enrolled on at least a half-time basis while receiving any funds under this section.

(B) In the case of a student receiving more than one Federal Pell Grant in a single award year under subparagraph (A), the total amount of Federal Pell Grants awarded to such student for the award year may exceed the maximum basic grant level specified in the appropriate appropriations Act for such award year.

(C) Any period of study covered by a Federal Pell Grant awarded under subparagraph (A) shall be included in determining a student’s duration limit under subsection (c)(5).

(D) In any case where an eligible student is receiving a Federal Pell Grant for a payment period that spans two award years, the Secretary shall allow the eligible institution in which the student is enrolled to determine the award year to which the additional period shall be assigned, as it determines is most beneficial to students.

(b) Section 401(b)(7)(A)(iv)(VII) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a(b)(7)(A)(iv)(VII)) is amended by striking $1,574,000,000 and inserting $1,320,000,000 


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