Pell Grants extended

The funds were not previously available for summer classes

After six years, Pell Grants are once again available for summer classes.

Year round Pell Grants have not been available since 2012 for summer if students were full-time during both fall and spring. Students who were full-time and receiving Pell Grants during the regular school year would have to pay out of pocket if they wanted to continue their education in the summer. This is the first year in six years that regular semester students will still be eligible for the financial help.

Physical therapist assistant major Emilee Torres spent the last few summers working to pay her way through summer courses to finish her degree faster.

“While trying to continue my education it has been tough to earn the funds with my small part-time job and having to pay out of pocket for classes I need to take,” Torres said. “Now that I know Pell Grants have become available again I will definitely apply so I can take more classes in the summer.”

Nancy Briseño, DMC director of Financial Aid, said the change will benefit students.

“Year-round Pell gives the student an opportunity to attend summer full-time even though they used 100 percent of their Pell Grant during the fall/spring terms,” Briseño said. “They can finish their education objective faster by coming full-time during the summer and would have less overall debt when they have complete their education.”

Students must be enrolled at least six credit hours, show satisfactory academic progress and be enrolled in courses for their current academic program to be eligible, Briseño said.

According to Briseño, year-round Pell students have already been identified and will be awarded automatically on April 2, which is also the first day to sign up for summer 2018.

To be considered for the Pell Grant you must first complete the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The application asks for income and other personal information to see if you qualify.

Now students such as Torres are able to apply for this grant in hopes of not worrying about the burden they might have if they have to pay out of pocket for their summer classes.

If you need assistance figuring out the form, DMC offers help with the FAFSA and many other financial aid opportunities at the Harvin Center, and the financial aid staff is always available at

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