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Pell Grant

Pell eligibility is based on need as determined by the FAFSA for each award year. Available to eligible, undergraduate students. The amount packaged and disbursed depends on your FAFSA Expected Family Contribution (EFC), Cost of Attendance (COA), and enrollment status as a full-time or part-time student.

The Pell Grant disburses in two payments over your academic year and funds are applied directly towards semester charges. Disbursements made for each semester are based on enrollment status at “census” (the Monday after start).

Any change in enrollment status or failure to successfully complete a semester, could result in the loss of some or all Pell Grant funds, in accordance with general Pell and Federal Student Aid provisions.

Pell Recalculation refers to the process in which Pell Grant students with enrollment changes during the semester may have their Pell Grant adjusted. Enrollment changes as the result of dropping courses may prompt a Pell Recalculation.

APU uses a Census date to determine Pell Grant eligibility. The Census date refers to the point at which your enrolled credit hours are locked for Pell Grant purposes. The Census falls on the first day of week two in each semester.

  • Courses (credit hours) added after the census date will not be used to increase Pell Grant eligibility. 
  • Courses (credit hours) dropped after Census, and for which Pell was received will require a Pell Recalculation and may result in a loss of Pell Grant funding. 

In accordance with 34 CFR 690.64, which allows schools to determine which award year to assign crossover payment periods, crossover students will be packaged with Pell Grant funding as follows:

2020-2021 and 2021-2022 Award Years

  • Semester start dates of April, May, and June 2021: In general, students will be packaged with any remaining 2020-2021 eligible funding. If no eligibility exists for 2020-2021 packaging will include any eligible 2021-2022 funding.
  • Students for whom the April, May, or June 2021 semester is the last term of their Pell-eligible program may benefit and be packaged from the award year for which they have greater funding eligibility. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

Students must submit, in writing, any request to waive any Pell Grant funds and must be counseled on any potential implications for doing so. 

The Department of Education’s Federal Pell Grant Program will allow an eligible student to receive up to 150 percent (the equivalent of one and one half school years or three disbursements) of their Federal Pell Grant Scheduled Award. To meet general requirements for Year-Round (150%) Pell, a student must be:

  • Eligible for Pell Grant as determined by the Department of Education
  • Enrolled in an eligible undergraduate program
  • Enrolled at least half-time for the semester during which any additional Pell is disbursed

It is important to understand that if enrollment drops to less than half-time (less than 6 credit hours) for the semester, students will lose eligibility for the additional Pell Grant.

Lifetime eligibility for the Pell Grant is 600%. The maximum timeframe that eligible students may receive Pell Grant is for the equivalent of twelve full-time semesters. Students must submit, in writing, any request to waive any Pell Grant funds and must be counseled on any potential implications for doing so.

Under this scholarship, a Pell-eligible student whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer is eligible to receive a maximum Pell Grant for the award year for which the determination of eligibility is made. To qualify for this scholarship, a student must be:

  1. Pell-eligible and have a Pell-eligible EFC greater than zero,
  2. Less than 24 years of age or enrolled at an institution of higher education at the time of his or her parent’s or guardian’s death.

For purposes of the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship, a public safety officer is:

  • As defined in section 1204 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796b);
  • A fire police officer, defined as an individual who is serving in accordance with State or local law as an officially recognized or designated member of a legally organized public safety agency and provides scene security or directs traffic in response to any fire drill, fire call, or other fire, rescue, or police emergency, or at a planned special event.

In subsequent award years, the student continues to be eligible for the scholarship, as long as the student has a Pell-eligible EFC and continues to be an eligible student. Learn more about the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship.

If you believe you are eligible for the scholarship, please complete the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Certification Form and send to Financial Aid Services at or call 855-731-9218 for more information.