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Pell Grants: A Case Study

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Pell Grants
Currently, the Department of Education regulates need-based grants like the Federal Pell Grant. It does not need to be repaid as long as the funding is earned. The need is determined once the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is completed and an EFC or Estimated Family Contribution is assigned. The EFC for a student determines how much Pell Grant funding they qualify for. Pell Grant funds adjust due to EFC calculations for a student and the number of courses a student is enrolled in each term. Students with a zero EFC qualify for maximum Pell funds each term. With the number of Pell eligible students increasing and the majority of them receiving automatic zeros regulations are critical. “A student can receive a zero …show more content…
There are Lifetime Pell Limits to prevent students from abusing this benefit. The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600% (Did you know there's a maximum amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you can receive over your lifetime, n.d). With the Pell grant, undergraduate students can only use this toward a bachelor’s degree once. Then after a bachelor’s degree has been obtained the Pell grant eligibility ceases. This is a regulation that is favorable because it allows a student to decide to pursue higher education past the bachelor's or decide to stop. Some students will opt just to complete a certification, technical, or …show more content…
Whereas, subsidized and unsubsidized student loans do not have new regulations to help with more accountability and moderation of loan usage. These loans do not require a credit check. They are provided if a student meets the eligibility requirements as an independent or dependent student by requesting the amount the student wants or needs. The next financial crisis can easily come from the student loan sector. This is because of the leniency and accessibility of it. Although students have aggregate loan limits in place for dependent undergraduate students of $31,500, independent undergraduate students of $57,500 and graduate students of $138,500 stricter regulation should be incorporated. As it stands, students have the ability to adjust his or her student budget to include additional allowances based on whether the special circumstances relate to educational cost or the family's ability to pay. Many students feel the Pell Grant does not provide coverage for all education expenses. This has led to the increasing practice of using loans to supplement non-educational costs like lifestyle wants, bills, and leisurely travel. The current practice of the federal government is to impose federal loan limits for independent undergraduate students by credits obtained starting with a First-year student of 0-23 credits earned at $9,500 per year maximum; Second-year student of 24-47 credits earned at $10,500 per year maximum; and Third-year students with 48 or more

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