Many students rely on the Pell Grant for financial aid. Starting this summer, students will be able to access additional funds.

“It’s something that the department of education passed, it’s really called Year-Round Pell,” Donna Price, director of the office of financial aid, said.

Year-Round Pell allows Pell Grant recipients the option of using aid for summer classes.

“Basically for the summer what it means is, typically Pell and other financial aid are awarded fall/spring, you get 50 percent of your award in fall, and you get 50 percent of your award in spring,” Price said. “Which means if you come to summer classes, you don’t have any aid, because you already used all of it in fall and spring.

Students will get additional funds for taking summer classes.

“Beginning this summer we are allowed to award an additional 50 percent of pell grant for summer, if a student is enrolled at least half-time,” Price said. Students only taking one course are not eligible for these funds.

“A full Pell Grant recipient would get $5920 total for fall and spring. That would be 100 percent. The additional 50 percent would be $2960 that could go towards the cost of summer,” Price said.

Students who take this opportunity may graduate faster.

“We think that it’s a good opportunity for students to take summer classes and to either get on track or stay ahead of their timing for graduation,” Price said. “It would actually encourage students to take classes all year, so that the complete their degree more quickly.”

Pell Grant recipients not the only students who can benefit from summer aid.

“Hope lottery recipients can also receive some of their hope lottery scholarship in the summer as well,” Price said. “The requirement for that is they would actually have to go full time in the summer.”

Using Year-Round Pell would count towards a student’s aid limit. There is a maximum amount of federal aid that students can receive.

“If they use their perll grant in the summer, it counts towards their lifetime eligibility,” Price said.

Students do have to apply separately for summer aid, because the FAFSA only covers fall and spring. The application for Year-Round Pell will be available in April.

The Office of Financial Aid will be advertising various aid options to students in the coming weeks.

April 2-13 is priority pre-registration for summer and fall 2018.

“We just wanted to get this information out to students so the can start thinking ‘hey I might qualify for some aid for summer’.” Price said.