Federal Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant is an award to help undergraduates pay for their education after high school. This grant will not exceed 50% of the student's educational and related expenses. For many students, this grant is the floor of financial aid, with other federal and non-federal sources added to meet their financial needs. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid.

Generally, students may receive grant awards while working toward their first baccalaureate or professional degree. Each year students are required to file applications to determine eligibility. The Department of Education uses a standard formula passed by the U.S. Congress to evaluate the information determining eligibility. Applications are available in the Financial Aid Office.


     A.  Award - After required documentation of Federal Pell Grant information is received, an award based on the designated cost of education is entered into the computer. Students are allowed to register and charge to their awards the cost of tuition, fees, and insurance.

    B.  First Disbursement of Federal Pell Grant Award-- Bookstore Allowance For those students who pre-register and have a sufficient award, a book check will be ready on the first day of required class attendance. Wallace State Bookstore checks are generated from a computer system using the following procedures:

  • 1. Award amount is determined by the cost of education, by the Federal Pell Grant expected family contributions number, and by the number of semester hours in students' schedules.
  • 2. Registration charges are deducted from the award. Half of the award balance can be issued to purchase books, tools, and supplies. This is based on the average cost of books and supplies for one semester of enrollment.
  • 3. Bookstore checks will not be written for less than $25.
  • 4. During registration, bookstore checks (with a signature sheet) are available in the first floor lobby of the James C. Bailey Commerce Center. Students must present a current picture ID for identification purposes. An attendance verification voucher signed by an instructor after  class attendance is also required.

    C.  Withdrawal, Drop-Out, or Expulsion Before the First Day of Class - If Wallace State Community College cannot document that a student has attended at least one day of class, any tuition credited to his/her account will be returned in full to the Federal Pell Awards account. Any funds issued to purchase books, tools, and supplies will be billed to the student, with a request for immediate repayment. College officials understand that these funds must be credited to the Pell Awards records.

    D.  Changes in Enrollment During the Drop/Add Period - If a student pre-registers, receives a Bookstore check, and then changes his/her enrollment, causing an insufficient balance in the Federal Pell Awards account to cover his/her tuition charges for the semester, the student could be dropped from class without further notice.

    E.  Withdrawal, Drop-Out Date - The date that the student officially withdraws or is expelled from school, or the date that the school determines that the student has unofficially withdrawn, will be used to determine if a refund should be calculated.

    F.  Second Disbursement of Federal Pell Award - It is the policy of this institution to distribute the second disbursement of the Federal Pell Award on the fourteenth day after classes begin. This final disbursement is based on the enrolled hours at the end of drop-add. If payment for the tuition and bookstore allowance previously received is greater than the award at the end of drop-add, then no further payment is made for the semester.

    G.  Refund Policy For Students Receiving Federal Title IV Aid - Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 1998.- The following refund policies are required by federal regulation for students with Title IV Aid who withdraw from all classes at Wallace State Community College. This should not be confused with the schools refund policy for changes in enrollment status.
Per New Federal Regulations-Higher Education Authorization Bill of 1998: A student who received Title IV Funds (Pell Grant, FSEOG, CWS)  and withdraws from all  classes prior to the 60% point of the semester will owe money back to the Federal Government.  Failure to repay the funds immediately will result in an overpayment situation which will make the student ineligible to receive further Title IV aid at WSCC or any other college.

     H.  Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements - The following information serves to help clarify important aspects of the financial aid program administered by Wallace State Community College.

Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid
It is the policy of Wallace State Community College to provide federal financial-aid awards to those students who are maintaining satisfactory progress toward their degrees while receiving financial aid. To remain eligible for federal financial aid, students will be evaluated according to the procedures listed below:

Standards of Progress
The academic year will be defined as Fall and Spring Semesters. To calculate standards of progress, Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters will be used, as well as previous course work on the quarter system. This is in compliance with federal guidelines. The academic records of all students receiving aid will be reviewed at the end and/or prior to the beginning of each academic year. To be eligible for continued receipt of aid, the student must: (1) be following a designated major leading to a certificate or diploma (2) have passed the indicated number of hours, based on the number of semesters attended, and (3) have a Cumulative GPA at or above the level indicated for that semester. If at the time of the annual review a student is determined to be making unsatisfactory academic progress, he/she will be suspended from financial aid until he/she has met the conditions in the following table:

SemesterFull-Time & 3/4 Time1/2 Time Cumulative GPA
1   331.50
2   961.50
3  15 91.50
4  2112 1.75
5  2715 1.75 
6   33182.00 
7   39212.00 
8  45 242.00 
9   51272.00

After a student has completed 1.5 times the number of hours required to graduate from a specified program, records are reviewed to determine whether or not the student may continue receiving Federal Financial Aid. Any non-credit or required remedial hours the student takes will not be counted toward the total hours allowed to complete the first degree. If the student is not following a program as specified in this catalog, Federal Financial Aid will be permanently suspended while the student is attending this College.

     I.  Notification of Unsatisfactory Academic Progress - Any student who fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress will be placed on academic probation at the end of the semester. The student will be notified of probationary status by letter. If the student fails to attain satisfactory academic progress during the probationary semester, financial aid will be suspended. Advisors are available to assist students in steps necessary to achieve a satisfactory progress level. Students returning to school after a period of suspension will not be eligible for student financial aid (including the Federal Pell Grant) at the beginning of the returning semester. This means that the student would pay his or her own tuition at the time of registration. To reestablish eligibility for the returning semester and the remaining fiscal year, the student must earn enough credits or increase his/her cumulative GPA to meet academic progress standards.  Students cannot be paid for previous semesters after regaining eligibility.

     J.  Appeals Process - Students have the right to request a hearing before the Financial Aid Committee if they have not been able to meet the minimum requirements outlined above but feel that circumstances beyond their control have contributed to their unsatisfactory progress. The committee is comprised of the Director of Financial Aid, the Business Manager, the Director of Admissions, the Dean of Instruction, and the Director of Student Affairs.