Pell Grant Eligibility
Summer Pell Grant

Students enrolled in summer classes and expecting a second Pell grant from financial aid may have to find alternative ways to cover school expenses.  President Obama signed into law a federal budget compromise for the remainder of 2011 that eliminates the Two Pell Grant a Year program.

In early 2009, Obama stated his intent to "increase graduation rates of college students by 2020 by allowing them the chance to take federally-funded summer courses in order to reach academic goals at an accelerated pace." This became known as the "two Pells" program or "year-round Pell" and first became available during the summer of 2010. 

As part of the American Investment and Recovery Act of 2009, Obama infused the Department of Education with billions of stimulus dollars that were used to create his "Race to the Top" initiative.   Two key components of this initiative were a 25 percent increase in the maximum Pell grant available to students to $5,550, and the implementation of the "two Pells" program. According to the Department of Education, 800,000 students nation-wide took advantage of the second Pell grant last year, many of them financially independent and over the age of 24.
During an intense budget battle fought between the House of Representatives and the Senate in March and April 2010, the Department of Education made a recommendation to Congress that the "two Pells" program be eliminated. Citing estimates that it would save $8 billion in Pell grant costs for the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years and $49 billion over ten years, the DOE's recommendation was reluctantly approved by President Obama.

Due to the continued federal budget deficit, the "Year-Round, Pell grant will be cancelled as of July 2012.  Students that do take summer courses will not longer be awarded a Pell Grant and will have to find alterative financial aid, such as federal student loans or student work-study programs.