Lifetime Eligibility Used

Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used
We want to alert you to a recent change in the law that affects Pell Grant awards starting with the 2012-2013 award year and beyond.  This change limits the total number of years a student may receive a Pell Grant to the equivalent of six years.  Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six year equivalent is 600%.

How is my Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used calculated? 

Scheduled Award:

The maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive is calculated for an "award year." An award year is a period from July 1 of one calendar year to June 30 of the next calendar year. Your "scheduled award" is partially determined by using your expected family contribution (EFC) that is calculated from the information you (and your family) provided when you filed your FAFSA. Your scheduled award is the maximum amount you would be able to receive for the award year if you were enrolled full-time for the full school year. Your scheduled award represents 100% of your Pell Grant eligibility for that award year.

Percent Used:   

To determine how much of the maximum six years (600%) of Pell Grant you have used each year, the Department of Education compares the actual amount you received for the award year with your scheduled award amount for that award year.  Of course, if you receive the full amount of your scheduled award, you will have used 100%. Some students do not receive their entire scheduled award for an award year. There are a number of reasons for this, the most common of which are that the student was not enrolled for the full year or that the student was not enrolled full-time, or both. If you did not receive the full amount of your scheduled award, we calculate the percentage of the scheduled award that you did receive. For example, if your scheduled award for an award year is $5,000, but because you were enrolled for only one semester you received only $2,500, you would have received 50% of the scheduled award for that award year. Or if you received only $3,750 for the award year because you were enrolled three-quarter-time and not full-time, you would have received 75% for that year.

Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU):

The Department of Education keeps track of your LEU by adding together the percentages of your Pell Grant scheduled awards that you received for each award year.  The table below shows examples of the LEUs of three students who received differing amounts of their scheduled awards over a four year period

Pell Lifetime Table


From 2009-10 through 2010-11, it was possible for a student to receive up to two scheduled awards in a year. So some students will have a "percent used" of up to 200% for one or more of those years.  Of course, if a student's LEU equals or exceeds 600%, the student may no longer receive Pell Grant funding. Similarly, a student whose LEU is greater than 500% but less than 600%, while eligible for a Pell Grant for the next award year, will not be able to receive a full scheduled award.

How can I see my Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) percentage?

In mid-July 2012, you will be able to log on to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Student Access Web site using your Federal Student Aid PIN and view your LEU. The LEU will be found on the Financial Aid Review page.


For assistance, please call 855-246-5282 (855-2GO-JCTC) or visit our Student Service Center online.