Changes in Pell Grant Can Accelerate Degree Completion at TAMIU
Posted: 04/01/2010

Changes in Pell Grant Program Can
Accelerate TAMIU Degree Completion

Recently announced changes in the federal grant program known as Pell Grant can help Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) students accelerate their degree completion and finish their program faster, University officials said.

Laura Elizondo, TAMIU director of the Office of Financial Aid, said the program will be available for the first time this summer and students can begin applying for it Monday, April 5. She noted it could impact about 76% of TAMIU undergraduate students.

“Basically, the Pell Grant has been redefined now as being Year-Round, meaning students can have the opportunity to have two scheduled Pell Grant Awards during a single award year. The availability of these additional funds can be used for Maymester or summer school, thus accelerating the pace of degree completion. Since the majority of our students are Pell Grant recipients, this represents an enormous opportunity for them to speed up their degree progress and realize their career and
long-term goals faster,” Elizondo said.

Eligible students must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy; have completed 24 hours in the previous Fall or spring or complete them in conjunction with their summer enrollment; enrolled a minimum of half-time and enrolled in courses leading to a bachelor's degree.

Additionally, the Pell Grant requires students to exhaust their first Pell Award before receiving a second Pell Award and to enroll at least half time during the summer sessions to received payment from the second Pell Award.

Elizondo said that because of the individual situation of each student the value of the Pell Grant Award would vary.

“This is why we are especially encouraging students to come in and complete the needed paperwork so that we can identify the best strategy to most completely assist them with the Year Round Pell. For example, the value will vary based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA of the current year, but the University can use the following year’s FAFSA (2010-2011) for summer awarding if the EFC is less then the current 2009-2010 application,” she explained.

“We encourage qualified students to visit with our four counselors so that they can better prepare to access the Year-Round Pell Award Program,” Elizondo concluded.

For additional information, call 326-2225, visit offices in Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 158, e-mail financialaid@tamiu.edu or click on tamiu.edu/affairs/financial/grants

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu