The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Pell Grant cuts may leave some without summer school funding

By Elaine Bonilla/south news editor

The federal government made several changes affecting financial aid in the past year, including cutting Pell Grants for some summer students.

In previous years, a Pell Grant was given for the fall, spring and summer semesters. Now, students can get funding for summer only if they have leftover funds from fall and spring.

“A student can see if they are eligible for scholarships, student loans and work-study to help pay for classes,” South Campus financial aid assistant Juan Revilla said.

This brings up a financial issue for students who depend on that money to pay for that semester. In some cases, money is available for summer classes.

Financial aid officials sent out an email April 6 to students regarding the eligibility requirements for summer disbursement.

The federal government allows Pell Grants to cover 24 credit hours for the entire school year. Students who received full-time awards for fall and spring semester are not eligible for a summer grant.

If a student is half-time, taking six hours for the fall and spring semesters, only 12 hours worth of Pell Grant money has been given. Therefore, that student still has 12 hours worth of Pell Grant money available that can be used for summer classes.

This change only affects the Pell Grant. Loans are still available to students who would need it to pay for classes.

Revilla said the Pell Grant was not the only funding that was cut. The Satisfactory Academic Policy is another major change in financial aid that is affecting funding. The policy now says a student can receive financial aid only if they are passing 67 percent of cumulative hours taken and have at least a 2.0 grade point average.

NE student Rebecca Loza was surprised to hear about the changes regarding the grant. She said she was full-time both fall and spring, so there is no funding for her this summer.

“I’m disappointed, since this is federal funding, they wouldn’t send out some type of notice sooner,” she said.

Although Loza won’t be receiving money for summer, she said her classes won’t be affected because she has money saved up for school.

Other options for paying for classes are loans and work-study. A student can apply for the summer work-study program to see if they are eligible. Students can check eligibility for the Pell Grant, work-study and loans in any TCC financial aid office.

NE junior Wilson Ileso pays for his classes out of pocket but finds the change disturbing.

“Most people have to work less because they want to get ahead by taking summer classes,” he said. “But by taking away the summer funding, they’re making it hard for students.”

Kinesiology major Yasmen Pickens just filed his Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2012-2013 school year and looked at using the Pell to pay for summer 2013 classes. Since that funding was cut, he will continue to pay for summer classes out of pocket.

“Hopefully, the next president can make changes to the budget without having to cut funding for education,” he said.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian