Financial Aid Eligibility

All students must meet the following criteria to apply for Title IV Federal Aid—grants, work study, and loans:

  • Be enrolled as a regular student in a degree-seeking or certificate program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen (permanent resident).
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (most programs equals six hours).
  • Not be in default on prior student loans or owe a refund on a federal grant.
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress as described in the section,  Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Registered with Selective Service, if required to do so.
  • Have a valid social security number.

Census Date and Financial Aid Eligibility

In accordance with federal regulations, the Office of Financial Aid will recalculate Federal and State aid based on the enrollment status as of the census date set by the College. The census date is the point at which your enrollment is locked, and it can be found in the Academic Calendar located in the current Catalog. Federal Pell Grant funds may be available to students enrolled less than half-time. See year-round Pell for exceptions.

Awards that are affected by the census date are:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • GO Grant

Note: Direct loans are recalculated prior to disbursement.

150 Percent Direct Subsidized Loan Limit

In July 2012, President Obama signed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act to cover the temporary extension of the 3.4 percent interest rate on Direct subsidized loans through June 30, 2013. This new law, commonly called the “150 percent limit,” includes two key changes for certain Direct subsidized loan borrowers:

  • Limitation on Direct subsidized loan eligibility.
  • Potential loss of interest subsidy.

On May 16, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education issued an Interim Final Rule which became effective on the date of publication. These regulations only apply to first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013, and limit the time students may borrow Direct subsidized loans to no more than 150 percent of the published length of the students educational program.

New borrowers who reach the 150 percent limit:

  • Do not qualify for Direct subsidized loans for future enrollment unless they enroll in a longer program of study.
  • May lose interest subsidy for prior loans when they:
    • Received Direct subsidized loans for 150 percent of the length of a program of study; AND
    • Have not completed their programs; AND
    • Continue to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis in the same program, a different program of the same length, or a program of shorter duration.

For students who lose interest subsidy, interest on affected loans may begin to accrue in the same manner as interest on unsubsidized loans. Those prior loans do not become unsubsidized loans; they remain Direct subsidized loans but no longer qualify for interest subsidy. 

Pell Lifetime Eligibility Limit

Pell Grants are awarded based on the maximum amount a student is eligible for.  The amount a student will actually get will depend on financial need, cost of attendance, and status as a full-time or part-time student.

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over a student's lifetime is limited by a new federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Because the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student receives each year is equal to 100 percent, the new regulations state that a student may receive up to 12 semesters or the six year equivalent of 600 percent.

Whether a student has used all of his or her Pell Grant eligibility or only a portion, the student needs to be conscious about the lifetime limit of the Pell Grant when changing majors and/or scheduling classes; the Pell Grant equivalent of 600 percent will be for the student's entire award history.

To view Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU), students can visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and log in with their FSA ID. (The LEU will be found on the Financial Aid review page.) The information will include all Pell Grants received over a lifetime from any college, not just Delgado Community College. If 600 percent of lifetime eligibility is not used, some Pell Grant eligibility may be remaining. 

Learn more about the Pell Grant program.