The Department of Education (ED) requires schools to disburse the Federal Pell Grant based on a student’s level of enrollment (i.e., full-time, three-quarter time, half-time or less than half-time). Stafford Loans and other financial aid programs also have minimum enrollment requirements.

The following information pertains to the Federal Pell Grant and explains how enrollment status is determined for awarding purposes.

The census date, also known as the Pell Recalculation Date (PRD), is the last day for students to add or drop courses before ”locking in” their enrollment status for Pell Grant awarding purposes. Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC) uses the award period census date for all students who attend classes at the start of the semester. For students who begin attendance after the term has begun (and are NOT enrolled) the census date will be the date the Pell Grant is first awarded.

The award period census dates can be found on our website.

Note: All registration activity must be completed by each term’s census date to have the courses count toward your enrollment status. Any registration activity that occurs after the census date will be excluded from receiving financial aid.

Why Does Moraine Valley Adjust Enrollment Levels?

The Higher Education Act of 1965 (the legislation that authorizes federal financial aid programs), as amended, mandates that schools adjust enrollment level for various reasons, including:

  • Not maintaining the original level of enrollment
  • Not beginning attendance in all registered courses
  • Dropping a module class (such as a late start class) before it begins
  • Courses are cancelled by the college
  • Changes to a student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)
  • A professor is unable to document your attendance in a class

How Is Your Pell Grant Amount Determined?

Your initial Pell Grant is awarded on the assumption you will be a full-time student. Before your aid first disburses for the semester, the number of financial aid eligible credits is reviewed. Only courses applicable to your eligible program of study will be used to determine your enrollment status. If enrolled in fewer than 12 credits, your Pell Grant will be recalculated and adjusted to your enrollment level.

Semester enrollment levels will be adjusted appropriately through the census date for the semester (i.e., fall, spring and summer), and federal payments will be issued based on the total enrollment level calculated on this date. Withdrawing from classes after the census date will not impact a student’s financial aid enrollment level should you begin attendance in each course (R2T4 policy still applies)(insert link to policy).

Helpful Information

Students who add or drop a class after MVCC’s census date are encouraged to review the FA Self Service (insert link to self-service) to see if they have an outstanding balance.

Award letter amounts are based on full-time (12 or more credit hours) enrollment (Illinois MAP grants are based on 15 credit hours) and will be prorated based on actual enrollment level and need.

  • Nine to 11 credit hours will receive 75 percent of the award
  • Six to eight credit hours will receive 50 percent of the award
  • Three to five hours will receive 25 percent of the award
  • Most Pell grant recipients also will receive 25 percent of the award for enrollment in one to two credit hours.

Students who receive a financial aid refund check and withdraw from a class prior to the class census date or are in a class cancelled after the disbursement will be required to repay funds received if the new enrollment level is less than the enrollment level used to calculate the financial aid refund.

The enrollment level calculated as of the census date for courses taken in a semester will be used to determine the appropriate amount of funds to disburse for the semester.

Withdrawing from All Classes

Students who withdraw from all classes will have their attendance checked to determine if they stopped attending prior to completing 60 percent of their scheduled classes. If they did not attend and/or actively participate up to the 60 percent mark, they will have to repay funds to MVCC and/or the federal government. Review our R2T4 policy for more details (insert link to policy).

Pell Recipients Selected For Verification

If a student is selected for verification, all documentation is submitted and the funds are disbursed during the semester, the student’s Pell grant will be based on hours locked in at the MVCC’s census date and the valid EFC.

If the student completes the financial aid process after the term has ended, the amount of disbursement will be based on the valid EFC, MVCC’s census date and the hours completed. Earned failing grades (F) are considered hours completed for this purpose only. Withdrawal grades (W) will not be eligible to receive financial aid in this instance.

Class Cancellations

The college has the right to cancel courses. In the event a course is canceled, students will be allowed to register for another course to replace the canceled course. The replaced course will be given the same registration date as the canceled course. All courses you register for must be applicable to your program of study. All other Title IV rules will apply to the newly-added course.

Examples

1. Fall term begins Aug. 15, 2016 with a Pell Recalculation Date (PRD) of Aug. 30, 2016

Bosley begins attendance on Aug. 15 in six credit hours, but adds an additional course for three credit hours on Aug. 22. Bosley’s enrollment status for Pell purposes is nine credit hours (three-quarters time).

If Bosley were to begin attendance on Aug. 15 in 12 credit hours, but drop two courses for a total of six credit hours on Aug. 25, his enrollment status for Pell purposes would be six credit hours (half-time).

2. Fall term begins Aug. 15, 2016 with a PRD of Aug. 30, 2016

Charlie begins attendance on Aug. 15 in six credit hours, but adds an additional course of three credit hours on Sept. 1. Charlie’s enrollment status for Title IV purposes is six credit hours (half-time).

If Charlie were to begin attendance on Aug. 15 in 12 credit hours, but drop two courses for a total of six credit hours on Sept. 1, his enrollment status for Pell purposes would be 12 credit hours (full-time).

When determining Pell eligibility, a school must use the enrollment status established on the earlier of the date of withdrawal or the PRD, whichever comes first.

  • If the student withdraws prior to the PRD, the enrollment status for Pell purposes is established as of the withdrawal date
  • If student adds a course after the PRD and subsequently withdraws, the enrollment status for Pell purposes is established at the time of the PRD

3. Fall term begins Aug. 15, 2016 with a PRD of Aug. 30, 2016

Kris begins attendance on Aug. 15 in six credit hours, but withdraws on Aug. 22. Kris’ enrollment status for Pell purposes is six credit hours (half-time) for the purpose of calculating R2T4.

If Kris had begun attendance on Aug. 15 in six credit hours, added two courses for an additional six credit hours on Sept. 1, and subsequently withdraws on Oct. 15, her enrollment status for Pell purposes would still be six credit hours (half-time).