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(GEN-16-19) Subject: 2017-2018 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules

Publication Date: October 18, 2016

DCL ID: GEN-16-19

Subject: 2017-2018 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules

Summary: The attachments to this letter contain the 2017-2018 Award Year Federal Pell Grant Program Payment and Disbursement Schedules.

Dear Colleague:

Attached to this letter are both PDF and Excel versions of the Payment and Disbursement Schedules for determining Federal Pell Grant awards for the 2017-2018 Award Year (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018) for full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, and less-than-half-time enrollment. We are continuing our practice of presenting the PDF version in two parts for each of the schedules. All 2017-2018 Federal Pell Grant awards must be based on the attached schedules.

We are providing these Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules earlier than in prior years in support of the President’s “Early FAFSA” initiative so that institutions may inform students and their families of their eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant earlier.

For the 2017-2018 Award Year, the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), provides for an automatic annual increase of the maximum Pell Grant award based on estimated changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This increase results in a 2017-2018 maximum Pell Grant award amount of $5,920, an increase of $105 from the $5,815 maximum for the 2016-2017 Award Year. The corresponding maximum Pell Grant eligible expected family contribution (EFC) for 2017-2018 is 5328.

The HEA establishes the minimum Pell Grant award to be ten percent of the maximum award amount for the award year. Thus, for the 2017-2018 Award Year, the statutory minimum Pell Grant scheduled award amount is $592. However, because we use mid-points in both the EFC columns and in the cost of attendance (COA) rows in constructing the Payment and Disbursement Schedules, the actual 2017-2018 Award Year minimum Scheduled Award amount is $596.

As a reminder, when using the attached schedules for awarding a Federal Pell Grant, the student’s full nine-month EFC must always be used regardless of the student’s actual period of attendance. Also, the Title IV COA to be used is always based on the costs for a full-time student for a full academic year, regardless of the actual enrollment status or actual time the student will be enrolled during the award year.

It is also important to note that the statutory restrictions of using only certain cost components in constructing a COA in some circumstances still apply. For example, for a less-than-half-time student, the COA may include only cost components for tuition and fees, books and supplies, transportation, dependent care expenses, and room and board for a limited time period. For more information on these COA restrictions please refer to Volume 3, Chapter 2, of the Federal Student Aid Handbook.

Also note that a student’s eligibility to receive a Federal Pell Grant award may be limited by the statutory provision in section 401(c)(5) of the HEA that sets a lifetime Pell Grant eligibility limit of 12 semesters (or its equivalent). Institutions should review previously posted information on Pell Grant eligibility determinations and the Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) limit in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-13-14 and Volume 3, Chapter 3 of the Federal Student Aid Handbook.

In future electronic announcements, we will provide important information about system, web, and software modifications that will reflect the 2017-2018 Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement schedules. These include changes to the Central Processing System (CPS), CPS Online, FAA Access, FAFSA on the Web, the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System, and the EDExpress for Windows software.

We appreciate your continued support in making Federal Pell Grant Program assistance available to students. If you have any questions regarding the 2017-2018 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules, please contact our Research and Customer Care Center (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


Jeff Baker, Director
Policy Liaison and Implementation
Federal Student Aid
U.S. Department of Education

Last Modified: 10/17/2016