Summary: This letter contains two sets of 1998-99 Federal Pell Grant Program Payment and Disbursement schedules - Regular and Alternative.
Enclosed are two sets of payment and disbursement schedules for determining Federal Pell Grant awards for the 1998-99 award year -- July 1, 1998 to June 30, 1999. Each set of schedules -- Regular and Alternative (see discussion below regarding when Alternative Schedules must be used) -- consists of four separate tables for calculating scheduled awards and disbursements -- full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, and less-than-half-time.
The Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Act of 1998 (P. L. 105-78) provides an appropriation of $7.3 billion for the Federal Pell Grant Program for 1998-99 and raises the maximum Federal Pell Grant award to $3,000, up $300 from the previous year. The minimum award continues to be $400. The maximum expected family contribution (EFC) amount in order to be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant increases to 2800.
In addition, the appropriations act raises the income protection allowances for certain students in the need analysis formulas for 1998-99. The income protection allowance against the dependent student's income increases from $1,700 to $2,200. For single independents, the income protection allowance rises from $3,000 to
$4,250. For married independents without dependents (other than a spouse), the income protection allowances increase from $6,000 to $7,250 if only one is enrolled in college, and from $3,000 to $4,250 if both are enrolled.
The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended, includes a provision that, under certain conditions, modifies the rules for determining a student's Pell Grant award to account for "tuition sensitivity". Section 401(b) of the HEA is applicable when the Federal Pell Grant Program maximum award established by an appropriations act exceeds $2,400. This provision provides that the maximum Federal Pell Grant a full-time student may receive for an academic year is the sum of:
One half of the difference between $2,400 and the maximum grant; plus
The lesser of:
The remaining one half of the difference; or
The amount of tuition charged the student plus $750 if the student has dependent care or disability related expenses.
Accordingly, any student whose 1998-99 tuition (full-time charges for the full academic year) is equal to or exceeds $300 (one-half the difference between the maximum award of $3,000 and $2,400) may have his or her Federal Pell Grant award determined using the Regular payment and disbursement schedules. In addition, any
student who has dependent care or disability expenses included in the cost of attendance may have his or her award determined using the Regular schedules regardless of the amount of 1998-99 tuition. Note that an institution that charges only fees in lieu of tuition may include in its determination of tuition, fees that would normally constitute tuition, even if those charges are not specifically labeled tuition.
Students whose assessed tuition charges (as discussed above) are not at least $300 and who do not have dependent care or disability costs are eligible for an award that is generally reduced by the difference between $300 and the amount of tuition charges assessed. Although this reduction does not affect all payment cells on the schedules, we have decided to issue a complete separate set of schedules (Alternate
Schedules) because the distribution of the reduction is not consistent across the tables (as it was for the 1997-98 award year).
In summary, the Alternative Schedules must be used to determine 1998-99 Federal Pell Grant award amounts whenever a student's tuition charges for the award year are less than $300 and that student does not have any dependent care or disability expenses. The Regular set of schedules may be used to make 1998-99 Federal Pell Grant award determinations at institutions not required to use the Alternative Schedules.
We appreciate your continued support in making Federal Pell Grant assistance available to students. If you have any questions regarding the enclosed payment and disbursement schedules, please contact Steve Carter at (202) 708-4893 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diane E. Rogers
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary
Student Financial Assistance Programs