Pell Grants are the largest source of free money from the federal government for students with financial need:
Effective Fall 2012, new Federal financial aid regulations limit the amount of Pell Grant funds a student may receive to the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student may receive each year is equal to 100%, the six year equivalent is 600%.
The Department of Education keeps track of your Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) by adding together the percentages of your Pell Grant scheduled awards that you received for each award year in your lifetime. If a student’s LEU equals or exceeds 600%, the student is no longer eligible to receive Pell Grant funding at any institution. In addition, a student whose LEU is greater than 500% but less than 600% will receive a reduced Pell Grant award based on their percentage available. There is no appeal to this Federal regulation. This new Federal regulation will not affect eligibility for BOG Fee Waivers, Federal Work Study, Cal Grants, or Chafee Grants.
For information on how the Department of Education calculates the equivalent of six years visit
Students can log on to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at www.nslds.ed.gov using their Federal Student Aid PIN (the same PIN used when signing the FAFSA) to view their calculated LEU. The LEU will be found on the Financial Aid Review page.