Federal Grant Changes


Summer 2012 enrollment is considered a "crossover payment period" because students who are Pell-eligible for summer 2012 enrollment in some cases may be Pell-eligible using either 2011-12 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information OR 2012-13 FAFSA information (and so one or the other year may be chosen as the year from which the Pell Grant is awarded, but not both). The Tulane University Financial Aid Office has received today the following clarification from a Department of Education trainer: "...a student who is at 600% or higher in 2011-12 cannot receive any 12-13 funds in the crossover payment period or thereafter(and this is regardless of whether the Pell 12-13 FAFSA-based funds disbursed before July 1, 2012 or whether the student enrolled in classes which began before July 1, 2012).

The 18 semester limit is also known as "600% LEU."  The clarification received by the Tulane University Financial Aid Office by the Department of Education trainer today confirmed that "if there is a crossover payment period being paid with 11-12 funds, the 600% LEU will not apply."

Posted 04/26/12


  • President Bush signed into law August 14, 2008 Public Law 11-315 Higher Education Opportunity Act, which capped the amount of time a student can receive a Pell Grant to nine years (18 semesters), prorated for attendance status, and the cap applied to all students who received their first Pell Grant after July 1, 2008 (Section 401(c)).
  • However, President Obama signed into law December 23, 2011 the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (HR 2055), which capped the maximum lifetime eligibility for Pell Grants from nine years (18 semesters) to six years (12 semesters), prorated for attendance, effective for all students July 1, 2012, beginning with the 2012-13 award year.
  • For information on how we calculate the "equivalent of six years" click on the following link:
  • See below an example of an email a Tulane student received from the  U.S. Department of Education's Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) vendor regarding the six year Pell cap:

From:  []

Sent: Sunday, April 15, 2012 3:32 PM

To: Last, First M.

Subject: Recent Changes That Affect the Amount of Your 2012-2013 Federal Pell Grant

Dear First:

We want to alert you to a recent change in the law that affects your Federal Pell Grant award for the 2012-2013 school year and beyond.  This change limits the total number of years a student may receive a Pell Grant to the equivalent of six years.

Based on our records, you have received more than five years of Pell Grant funding.  This means that the amount of your 2012-2013 Pell Grant award will be less than the amount you would have been eligible to receive if the law had not changed.  Note that you still may be eligible for other federal, state, and school financial aid.

For information on how we calculate the "equivalent of six years" click on the following link:

If you have questions about the information in this e-mail, please contact your school's financial aid office.

Federal Student Aid

U.S. Department of Education

Page last modified on May 30, 2012.

University Financial Aid, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5723