On September 28th, President Obama announced that once again, the maximum Pell grant award for 2017-18 would be increasing to $5920 but few other details were available at the time. A little over a week ago, the Department of Education released the latest Pell grant charts for the upcoming award year, almost four months sooner than usual. This was triggered because of the earlier than normal, 2017-18 FAFSA, which went live on October 1st, 2016. Schools will now have the ability to notify students of their new awards who may have already completed this FAFSA form. We have included the all new 17-18 Pell grant chart in Excel format. There are tabs that include the full-time amount on down to the less-than-half-time figures.
Because of rules within the Higher Education Act of 1965, increases are automatically put into place based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). A 1.8% uptick of the maximum award occurred this year, which went from $5815 to $5920. According to CPI data, this figure is right in line with the index increases between “all items” and those that exclude food and energy over the past twelve months. Also, an increased amount of students will now qualify for the minimum Pell grant during the next award year since the highest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that qualifies someone went from 5234 in 2016-17 vs. 5328 for 2017-18. This EFC will now net the student a federal grant of $596.
Via the Dear Colleague Letter from Jeff Baker of FSA, if you have any questions regarding the 2017-2018 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules, please contact their Research and Customer Care Center staff. Staff members are available Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM (Eastern Time) at 1-800-433-7327. After hours calls will be accepted by an automated voice response system. Callers leaving their names and phone numbers will receive a return call within two business days. Alternatively, you may e-mail the Care Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.