USDE has released both PDF and Excel versions of the Payment and Disbursement Schedules for determining Federal Pell Grant awards for the 2015-2016 for full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, and less-than-half-time students. All 2015-2016 Federal Pell Grant awards must be based on these schedules, with the exception of students enrolled in an eligible career pathway program as discussed below.

The 2015-2016 maximum Pell Grant award is $5,775. This is an increase of $45 from the $5,730 maximum Pell Grant award for the 2014-2015 Award Year. The corresponding maximum Pell Grant eligible expected family contribution (EFC) for 2015-2016 will be 5198. The minimum scheduled award amount is $588.

As a reminder, in using the attached schedules for awarding a Federal Pell Grant to a student, the full nine-month EFC must always be used regardless of the actual enrollment status or actual period of attendance of the student. Also, the COA to be used is always based on the costs for a full-time student for a full academic year, regardless of the actual enrollment status or actual time the student will be enrolled during the award year. It is important to note, however, that the statutory restrictions of using only certain cost components in constructing a COA in some circumstances still apply. For example, for a less-than-half-time student, the COA includes only cost components for tuition and fees, books, supplies, transportation, room and board for a limited time period, and dependent care expenses. For more information on these COA restrictions please refer to Volume 3, Chapter 2 of the Federal Student Aid Handbook.

Keep in mind that a student’s eligibility to receive a Federal Pell Grant award may be limited by the regulation that sets a lifetime Pell Grant eligibility limit of 12 semesters (or its equivalent). Institutions should review previously posted information on Pell Grant eligibility determinations and the 600% Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) limit posted on IFAP Web site. For additional information on the LEU limitation see Dear Colleague Letter GEN-13-14 and Volume 3, Chapter 3 of the Federal Student Aid Handbook.


Eligible Career Pathway Programs

Pub. Law 113-235 includes a provision that reinstates the ability of a student who does not have a high school diploma (or its recognized equivalent) or completed a secondary education in a home-school setting to be eligible for Title IV student aid through the traditional “ability to benefit” options (i.e. passing an ATB test approved by the Secretary, completing at least 6 credit hours at an eligible institution, etc.). However, this provision only applies to students who are enrolled in an “eligible career pathway program”. Additionally, the law provides for alternate maximum and minimum Pell Grant award amounts for students enrolled in such programs. USDE will provide more information on eligible career pathway programs in a subsequent communication which will include separate Pell Grant Program Payment and Disbursement Schedules.

Access the disbursement schedules at http://www.ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1502.html

Changes to the Central Processing System (CPS), the ISIR Analysis Tool, the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System, and the EDExpress for Windows software modifications that reflect the 2015-2016 payment and disbursement schedules are forthcoming. Watch for this information in future electronic announcements posted to the IFAP website.

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