Students • Financial Aid • Pell Lifetime Eligibility

Lifetime Eligibility for Federal Pell Grant

New regulations (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012) effective July 1, 2012 limits the receipt of a Pell Grant to a lifetime limit of up to 6 full-time years (600%) which is  equal to 12 full time semesters. This law has significantly impacted the Pell Grant Program. This change affects all  students regardless of when or where they received their first Pell Grant. The U.S. Department of Education will track the limits for student’s eligibility.

The 600% total eligibility applies at all schools and colleges. However, once a student has earned a Bachelors Degree, he/she is no longer eligible for a Pell Grant even if he/she has not received the entire 600% eligibility. In addition, a student must also meet and maintain satisfactory academic progress standards to remain eligible each year.

If a student has exceeded the 12 semester/600% maximum, he/she will be ineligible for any  additional Pell Grant and other federal and state funds. There is NO grandfather clause nor an appeal process for LEU based on Federal Regulations. This regulation is in effect even if student has had an appeal approved for failure to meet satisfactory academic progress in past semesters, it supersedes any prior offer of aid/award, and there is NO appeal or exception.

Who does this affect?– Everyone!

  •  How can I see my Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) percentage? You can log on to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at and use your Federal Student Aid PIN and view your LEU.