Enrollment Status for Federal Pell Grant

Understanding Enrollment Status and Financial Aid Eligibility

Your enrollment status, or the number of units you are taking, plays a significant role in determining your eligibility for financial aid. Starting in the 2024-2025 award year, the way your Pell Grant eligibility is calculated is changing from the old system of enrollment level categories to a new approach called “enrollment intensity.” Instead of the previous classifications like “full-time,” “three-quarter time,” “half-time,” and “less-than-half-time,” your Pell Grant award will now be determined based on your enrollment intensity.


What is Enrollment Intensity?

Enrollment intensity is a percentage that represents how many units you are taking compared to a full-time course load. Your Pell Grant award will now be calculated based on this enrollment intensity percentage, rather than the old enrollment level categories. This new enrollment intensity system provides a more flexible and accurate way to calculate your Pell Grant, tailoring the award amount to your actual enrollment level rather than fitting into broad categories. Please keep in mind, the chart below is only for the Federal Pell Grant, other aid, such as CalGrant, will still use the old system of Enrollment Level to award (Full-time, 3/4 Time, 1/2 Time, etc) See chart below:

Enrollment Intensity


What is the maximum Federal Pell Grant for the 2024/2025 aid year?

The Maximum Pell Grant for 2024/2025 is $7,395 for the entire year (If enrolled in 12 or more units for Fall and Spring AND Student Aid Index (SAI) is between –1500 and 0).  Adjustments will be made based on actual enrollment and SAI. The Student Aid Index (SAI) is what the FAFSA calculates based on your income and household information reported on the FAFSA.


What else has changed with the FAFSA Application?

The FAFSA Simplification Act streamlined the Financial Aid process.  To read more about the changes, please click here


Is there a lifetime limit for receiving the Federal Pell Grant?

Yes, students can receive a Pell Grant for up to six years, the equivalent of 18 full-time semesters. This includes semesters used at other colleges and summer terms.  Since the amount of a scheduled Pell Grant award you can receive each award year is equal to 100% for full-time enrollment, the six-year equivalent is 600%.  You can read more about Pell Lifetime Eligibility here 

Last modified on April 17, 2024