The Pell Grant Threshold In Terms Of EFC

Written by Michael Bennet

While there may be several Pell Grant thresholds that are relevant to this particular award, in order to become eligible for the Pell Grant you must pay attention to the maximum EFC cutoff threshold. It is now set at 5,081 for the current award year, and you must have an EFC value below this threshold if you want to gain a positive Pell Grant eligibility status for that particular award year.

The closer your EFC is to zero, the better your chances are at being able to qualify for the full Pell Grant amount. This is because the Pell Grant is based primarily on financial need, which is determined via this equation.

  • Financial Need = Cost of Attendance (CoA) – Expected Family Contribution.

The higher your EFC is, the lower your financial need will be, and the less likely you will be able to become eligible for the Pell Grant. Once your EFC falls below the Pell Grant threshold of 5,081, you should be able to qualify as long as you satisfy the other requirements for a Pell Grant.

The amount that you are able to receive will then be dependent on a formula that considers the following factors.

  • EFC
  • CoA
  • Enrollment Status
  • Attendance for a Full Academic Year

A distinct formula that is provided by the government takes into consideration these factors when calculating the final award amount you are able to get for a particular academic year. Lower EFC values, and higher CoA values will result in higher Pell Grant amounts.

The number of credits you are taking, or enrollment status, will then be accounted for by fractionally prorating the amount of aid you are able to receive.