Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is a form of federal gift aid for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov to be considered for the Federal Pell Grant. A new federal aid application must be filed every academic year. Approximate annual award limits for the 2018-2019 academic year range from $593 to $6,095.

General Award Information

Pell Grant award amounts can change every year.

  • How much grant aid you receive depends on:

    • Your Expected Family Contribution

    • Your Cost of Attendance

    • Whether you are a full-time or part-time student (as defined by the financial-aid-eligible credit hours you are enrolled in)

    • Whether you attend school for a full academic year

  • You may not receive Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

  • Students who graduate mid-year are not eligible for future Pell grants and will be required to repay additional Pell payments.

Annual Eligibility Criteria

  1. You are enrolled in a regular degree program

  2. You are a U.S citizen or an eligible noncitizen.

  3. You are making Satisfactory Academic Progress.

  4. You are not in default on any federal student aid and do not owe a refund on a federal education grant.

  5. You show financial need as determined by the results of the FAFSA.

  6. You have NOT previously earned a bachelor’s degree.

Lifetime Pell Grant Limits

Effective as of July 1, 2012, you can only receive Pell Grant funds for a maximum of 12 full-time semesters or its equivalent (600% lifetime eligibility).

This rule applies to all Pell Grant funds received prior to, on, and after July 1, 2012 at any institution you attend. The U.S. Department of Education tracks every student’s Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) among all institutions. To review your Pell LEU, log in to www.nslds.ed.gov using your FSA ID.

If you wish to decline or return Pell Grant funds within the award year to preserve eligibility for future enrollment periods, you must submit the request in writing directly to the WSU Office of Financial Aid (OFA).

Other Important Information

  1. The “Award Notification” you have been sent reflects your estimated award based on full-time enrollment. Your actual award will be determined at the semester’s financial aid recalculation date based on your financial-aid-eligible, enrolled coursework and reduced accordingly.

  2. If you add classes after your initial Pell grant has been paid and after the financial aid recalculation date, no additional Pell Grant funds can be disbursed. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

  3. Late Awards: If you applied late or regained your eligibility after the financial aid recalculation date, your eligibility for a Pell Grant will be calculated based on your eligible, enrolled coursework at the time of disbursement.

  4. Repeated Courses: After a course has been successfully completed (with a D- or better grade), the course may only be attempted one additional time to still be eligible for the Pell Grant. This rule applies regardless of the minimum grade required by the program and regardless of whether or not you received aid for earlier enrollments in the course or its equivalents.

  5. Disbursement and Your Student Account: Your Pell Grant will be applied directly to your WSU student account each term. Any excess financial aid remaining after semester charges are fully paid will be issued to the student by paper check or direct deposit. If your grant does not cover the cost of your tuition/fees, you must make payment arrangements for the balance owed by the payment deadline.

  6. Withdrawal: When you withdraw from one or more (or all) courses, the OFA must review if you began attendance or completed any academically related activity in each of these courses. This also includes cases where you stop attending all of your classes but do not actually complete Wichita State’s official withdrawal process. The OFA must also review the timing of your date of withdrawal or recorded last date of attendance. This review determines if it is necessary to recalculate your eligibility for Pell Grant funds based on the revised enrollment and cost of attendance. This review will also determine if it is necessary to complete a process called Return to Title IV, in which all of your unearned federal financial aid is required to be returned to the U.S. Department of Education. As a result, you may owe a balance to Wichita State.

  7. Dropping Courses: Dropping courses within the term may require you to repay all or part of the Pell Grant you received. If you are considering dropping a class, it is important to discuss your situation with a financial aid advisor before dropping.

  8. Failing a Course: In the event you fail a course, the OFA is required to review if you attended or completed other academically related activity in the failed course. The OFA must determine if you earned the Pell Grant which was disbursed. If attendance or other academically related activity cannot be confirmed, the Pell Grant will be withdrawn for that class. As a result, you may owe a balance to Wichita State.

  9. Eligible Coursework: Only coursework required for your degree program (graduate or undergraduate) will count toward your financial aid enrollment status. You must be enrolled in the appropriate number of credit hours for your degree programs to be eligible for loans.


Academically Related Activity: Academically related activities include, but are not limited to: physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and student(s), submitting an academic assignment, taking an exam, an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction, etc.

Cost of Attendance (COA): The COA is an estimate of your educational expenses for the period of enrollment. The COA establishes average costs for different categories of students (i.e. full-time vs. part-time, in-state tuition vs. out-of-state tuition, etc.) and is the cornerstone for determining your financial need for “need-based” grants, loans, and work-study. It also sets the limit on the total federal aid that you may receive.

Financial Aid Recalculation Date: On the last day for 100% tuition refund (for full-semester courses) each semester, grant funds and the Cost of Attendance will be frozen based on your enrollment level. If you apply for aid, regain eligibility, or enroll for the first time after this date, your awards and budget will be frozen when your aid initially disburses.

Full-time Enrollment (Based on the 9-month academic year): 12 or more financial-aid-eligible credit hours per semester for undergraduate students; 9 or more financial-aid-eligible credit hours per semester for graduate students.

Half-time Enrollment (Based on the 9-month academic year): 6-11 financial-aid-eligible credit hours per semester for undergraduate students; 5-8 financial-aid-eligible credit hours per semester for graduate students.

Withdrawal Date: The date the student begins the institutional withdrawal process or the last date of academically-related activity, whichever comes first.