Pell Grants now available at IUS for summer sessions

IUS Horizon

Brittany Hubbard, IUS Financial Aid director
Brittany Hubbard, IUS Financial Aid director

Beginning this summer, Pell Grants are available to qualifying students, due to the Higher Education Opportunity Act enacted on Aug. 14, 2008.

Previously, students could only receive one Pell allotment in a year, including the summer, meaning the only way a student could use that money during the summer was if they were not enrolled full-time during the fall and spring.

If they were enrolled full time for those semesters, they would not have any of their allotment remaining.

The HEOA now allows for two allotments, provided that for the summer a student is enrolled at least half time and is degree-seeking.

This allows students who have used up their first allotment to receive a second for the summer, without having to pay out-of-pocket.

Brittany Hubbard, IUS Financial Aid director, said she expects the new plan to have a significant effect on summer registration.

“I’m interested to see the impact on summer enrollment,” Hubbard said.

Kimberly Lewis, IUS Financial Aid counselor, said she also expects summer enrollment to be up from previous years.

“Hopefully, there will be more students willing to take more hours in the summer,” Lewis said.

Like the previous system, the second allotment pays based on the number of credits a student is taking in the summer.
A student must be enrolled a minimum of half-time, but will only get paid for those credits.

The money increases until it peaks when a student reaches full-time enrollment.

As of the 2008-09 fiscal year, 51.7 percent, the lowest percentage of any IU campus, of IUS students received financial aid, and Hubbard said she expects that number to rise.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people applying for aid,” Hubbard said.

That same year, IU Southeast awarded $12,846,302 in gift aid, which is classified as any grant or scholarship that does not require repayment by the student.

This figure does not include student loans.

Students who have not filed for aid for the 2010-11 school year can still do so.

Students who qualify have until June 30, to file, and, if accepted, will either be reimbursed if they have already paid or have their fees paid if they have not yet been.

Pell Grant eligibility is based on Estimated Family Contribution.

EFC is based on factors such as family income, assets and the age of a student’s parents.

The lower the EFC, the more money a student qualifies for. An EFC of $0 entitles a student to a maximum award, currently $5,350 for one year.

The maximum award for the second allotment is $2,675, the equivalent of one semester.

Last month, the Office of Financial Aid called every student enrolled at IU Southeast reminding them to file for aid.

They will also be sending out e-mails to everyone currently receiving Pell Grants with information on the second allotment.

Individuals applying for aid are not required to be currently enrolled. They can apply based on their expected course load, and the actual award amount can be adjusted once that information is finalized.

Hubbard said she thinks  while this new allotment will obviously help students financially, it will also help academically.

“It will help them focus on their studies because they won’t be worried about the money,” Hubbard said.

Lewis said she hopes this will help students complete in less time because they will be able to increase their summer course loads.

By DERRICK HOLDRIDGE

Staff Writer

dvholdri@umail.iu.edu