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Federal Pell Grants

Pell Grants are the largest source of free money from the federal government for students with financial need:

  • Pell grants are awarded to every undergraduate who qualifies and has not already earned a bachelor's degree
  • It provides up to $7395 (for 2023-24), depending on your expected family contribution, cost of attendance and whether you are attending full or part time
  • It can be used to pay for tuition, fees and living expenses at any qualifying college, including a California Community College like College of the Canyons
  • You can receive only one Federal Pell Grant per term or period of enrollment, which can be used to attend one college at a time.

Year Round Pell Grants

Effective in the 2017-2018 award year, eligible students may be awarded up to one and one-half Federal Pell Grants (i.e., 150 percent of the student's scheduled award) during a single award year. All Pell Grant funds received, including additional funds beyond the initial scheduled award, must be counted towards the student's overall lifetime eligibility limits.

In order to receive more than the initial scheduled Pell Grant award (100%), the student must meet all of the following conditions:

  • The student must be enrolled for one or more additional payment periods during the award year that are not otherwise fully covered by the student's initial scheduled award.
  • The Student must be enrolled at least half-time in the payment period during which the additional Pell Grant funds are received.  Per the FAFSA Simplification Act, beginning with the 2024-2025 award year, students will no longer be required to enroll at least half-time to be eligible for Year Round Pell.

Summer Pell Grants

Summer Pell Grants are disbursed if the student has remaining Pell Grant entitlement (i.e. student has not received up to 100% the scheduled award, or 150% if student qualifies for Year Round Pell) AND the student maintains Satisfactory Academic Progress AND the student is enrolled AND the student's summer classes have begun.

No funds will be disbursed until ALL students' academic progress has been evaluated. This will occur after all Spring grades have been posted.

The summer term at College of the Canyons is assigned to the end of the award year (i.e. trailer term).

Maximum Duration of Pell Eligibility (Lifetime Eligibility)

Effective Fall 2012, Federal financial aid regulations limit the amount of Pell Grant funds a student may receive to 600%. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student may receive each year is 100% (or 150% for Year Round Pell), 600% is equivalent to six years full time (or four years full time for Year Round Pell 4 x 150% = 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 students 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 Federal regulation will not affect eligibility for the California College Promise Grant (BOG Fee Waiver), Federal Work Study, Cal Grants, or Chafee Grants.

For information on how the Department of Education calculates the Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU), visit

Students can log on to the using their FSA ID (the same FSA ID used when signing the FAFSA) to view their calculated LEU.