Getting the Pell Grant While Attending School Part Time

Written by Michael Bennet

Students are now able to get a Pell Grant if they are attending school only on part time basis, and it now doesn’t even matter if the student is only taking 1 credit hour—they can still become eligible regardless.

This has been a recent development with the Pell Grant program, as even a couple of years ago students were unable to gain a positive Pell Grant eligibility status unless they were attending class on a full time basis.

The way this works is rather simple, as once a student is able to qualify the amount of aid that they would be able to receive is fractionally prorated with regard to their enrollment status.

For example, a full schedule at most colleges consists of 12 credit hours, so if the student decides to take half that amount, or 6 credit hours during a particular semester, and was originally allocated a full Pell Grant award, they would end up receiving 1,387.50 dollars of aid during that semester.

  • Full Pell Grant Amount = 5,645 dollars
  • 5,645 / 2 = 2,822.50 dollars per semester
  • 2,822.50 / 2 = 1,411.25 dollars per semester (fractionally prorated)

This calculation will occur once the student becomes eligible for the Pell Grant, their award amount is determined, and it is established that they will be attending classes on a less than a full time basis.

Keep in mind that there are certain minimum amounts that the student will receive if their prorated amount is less than these standard amounts once it has been confirmed that they are going to receive a Pell Grant part time.

Maximum Amounts:

  • Full-Time: 5,645 dollars
  • Three-Quarter-Time: 4,234 dollars
  • Half-Time: 2,823 dollars
  • Quarter-Time: 1,411 dollars

Minimum Amounts:

  • Full-Time: 582 dollars
  • Three-Quarter-Time 563 dollars
  • Half-Time: 575 dollars
  • Quarter-Time: 563 dollars

The above amounts have been updated for the 2013-2014 school year.