Year-Round Pell Grants to be Available This Year

What’s new for the 2017-2018 academic year?

Eligible college students can now use Federal Pell Grants to help pay for their summer semester! Westmoreland County Community College will begin processing Summer Pell Grant awards for Summer of 2018 to allow for additional information from the federal government, and to allow computer systems and processes to catch up to the new law.

The U.S. Education Department announced June 19, 2017 that year-round Pell Grants will become available for the Summer 2018 Semester, allowing students to take summer classes and graduate sooner.

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What does this mean for you?

Before the law changed, eligible students only received Pell Grant for the summer semester if they had not attended full-time for the fall or spring semesters (meaning, enrollment in 12 or more credits each semester). Students usually had to borrow additional student loans in order to be able to attend in the summer.

Now, with the implementation of “Year-Round Pell,” students who attend full-time for the fall and spring semesters will still be an eligible Pell Grant award instead of borrowing student loans or taking the summer off.

How was this law passed?

This law was the result of advocacy, which is defined as "public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy." Thousands of people took to social media, contacted their local representatives, and told their friends about Summer Pell Grant in order to bring it to the top of the priority list for Congress and the White House. Advocacy is very important if you want your voice heard.

The Summer Pell Grant is a great example of how you can be ambitious and reach your academic dreams!