Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students.

  • File the FAFSA to apply for the Federal Pell Grant.
  • The grant is only available to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's or professional degree.
  • The Pell Grant is pro-rated based on your enrollment. If you are enrolled less-than-full-time, the amount of your award will be reduced.
  • Awards will not be revised after the university census date unless you drop all courses.
  • The current Federal Pell Grant payment schedule is available on our forms page.

You are unable to receive Pell Grant funds from two schools during the same semester. One of the schools will be required to cancel your award if this happens, likely leaving you with an outstanding balance. 

Changes coming for the 2024-25 academic year

The FAFSA Simplification Act expands the Federal Pell Grant to more students and links eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level.

Applicants may qualify for a Maximum Pell Grant based on family size, adjusted gross income (AGI), and poverty guidelines. Students qualifying for a Maximum Pell Grant will have an SAI between negative $1,500 and $0.

Applicants who do not qualify for a Maximum Pell Grant may still qualify if their calculated SAI is less than the maximum Pell Grant award for the award year. The applicant’s Pell Grant award for full-time enrollment will be equal to the maximum Pell Grant for the award year minus SAI. The Pell Grant will be adjusted if you enroll less than full time..

Applicants whose SAI is greater than the maximum Pell Grant award for the award year may still qualify for a Pell Grant, based on family size, AGI, and poverty guidelines

Federal Pell Grant lifetime eligibility limit

The Federal Pell Grant, is limited to 12 semesters of awards for full-time enrollment.

The maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student can receive each academic year is equal to 100%. The 12-semester or six-year lifetime equivalent is 600%. Once you receive your lifetime eligibility limit of 600% of your Federal Pell Grant award (or 12 semesters), you will not have any remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility.

1st year 2nd year 3rd year 4th year 5th year 6th year 7th year
100% Pell 100% Pell 100% Pell 100% Pell 100% Pell 100% Pell ZERO Pell

Log on to the studentaid.gov website using your Federal Student Aid ID to view your Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU).

Receiving Pell during the spring-summer

If you are enrolled full-time (12 credits or more) in fall, winter and spring-summer, you may be eligible to receive 150% of your total Pell award. A spring-summer semester award will count toward your lifetime limit.

How do I determine my remaining eligibility?

Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) is tracked by the U.S. Department of Education and is based on full-time enrollment. 

Log on to studentaid.gov using your FSA ID to view your Pell LEU under "Grants."

  • Full-time enrollment (12 or more credits) = 50 percent Pell Grant
  • Three-quarters time enrollment (9-11 credits) = 37.5 percent Pell Grant
  • One-half time enrollment (6-8 credits) = 25 percent Pell Grant
  • Less than one-half time (5 or less credits) = 12.5 percent Pell Grant

What if I reach my lifetime limit?

If you haven't done so already, follow these steps to finish your program:

  • See your academic advisor and put an academic plan in place, with courses scheduled up to graduation.
  • Check Academica to review and complete any outstanding financial aid requirements.
  • Continue to file the FAFSA and turn in documents early to be considered for all available funding.

Wayne State students often qualify for awards from external organizations, you are encouraged to apply now and pursue all opportunities.  

Installment payment plans allow students and/or parents to make tuition payments in easy monthly installments. Students can enroll for the fall or winter semester or choose both as an annual plan.

Iraq-Afghanistan Service Grant Awards

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants have special eligibility criteria.