Federal Pell Grant program

Federal Pell Grants are usually awarded based on your financial need, the cost of attendance at your school, and other criteria.

To apply, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. You may be required to turn in additional documentation to your Enrollment Coach before you can receive your financial aid award.


Before applying for the FAFSA, please review the items you need to complete the application.


Two tax credits that college students should study up on.

Student Life ManStudent Grants

Annual maximum awards

The maximum scheduled Pell Grant award for the 2020-21 award year is $6,345 for full-time students.

The maximum amount can change each award year and depends on program funding. The amount you get will depend on your:

  • Financial need
  • Costs to attend school
  • Status as a full-time or part-time student
  • Plans to attend school for a full academic year or less

Key concepts and definitions

Annual grant limits are tied to the completion of an academic year. TSTC’s definition of an academic year is 30 weeks, during which we expect a full-time student to complete a minimum of 24 credit hours.

Students are awarded 50% of their scheduled Federal Pell award each semester.

Beginning with Summer 2018, Pell grant-eligible students can receive up to 150% of their scheduled Pell award each year. If you enrolled full-time (12 or more hours) for both fall and spring, you must be enrolled in at least 6 hours during the Summer to receive a Federal Pell Grant.

You may receive a Federal Pell Grant for up to twelve full-time semesters or six years.

You can check your remaining lifetime eligibility here.  Log in using your FSA ID and view your Lifetime Eligibility Units (LEU) on the Financial Aid Review page.

Pell grant funds will only be awarded for courses:

  • That are in your degree plan.
  • For which you have registered.
  • In which you have participated before the census date for that class.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 grants an automatic zero EFC for the Federal Pell Grant Program to Federal Pell Grant-eligible students whose parent or guardian was a member of the Armed Forces and died in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001.

Return of Title IV funds

If you receive federal financial aid and stop attending or withdraw from all courses at or before 60 percent of the term is completed, you must repay all or some of the federal aid you received.

Find out more about return of Title IV funds. 

Federal Pell Grant recalculation policy

We award Pell grants based on projected full-time enrollment status. The Pell Grant amounts are then prorated based on your enrollment level during each term. We use your most recent census date for all classes as the enrollment lock date for the semester. Pell awards will be issued based on the enrollment level calculated at that time.

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