Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. You are not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant if you are incarcerated* in a federal or state penal institution or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense.

A student should start by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Schools use the information on the FAFSA® form to determine a student’s eligibility for a Pell , and if so, how much a student is eligible to receive. A student must fill out the  every year they’re in school to stay eligible for , including Pell Grant awards.

Quick information on Pell grants:

  • A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid-unless a student receives aid and is later determined ineligible, or doesn’t successfully complete all units for which the Pell Grant was intended to pay.

  • The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $7,395 for the 2023–24 award year (July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024).

  • The amount of a Pell Grant award depends on a student’s financial need, costs to attend school as determined in accordance with federal regulation, status as a full-time or part-time student, and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

  • If a student is eligible for a , they’ll receive the full amount they qualify for—each school participating in the program receives enough funds each year from the U.S. Department of Education to pay the Federal Pell Grant amounts for all its eligible students. The amount of any other student aid for which a student might qualify does not affect the amount of a Federal Pell Grant. Please note: VVC awards all Pell awards as though a student will be full-time, and this is the amount shown on the Offer Letter. If a student is not full-time (12 units or more), the amount shown on the Offer Letter will be reduced to coordinate with a student’s enrollment level.

How Funds Are Delivered

Generally, schools will give a student their grant in at least two payments called disbursements. In most cases, your school must give you your grant or loan money at least once per term. VVC disburses all refunds using Bank Mobile.

For requirements to have a Pell Grant disbursed, please visit our DISBURSEMENT page.

For more information on cutoff and disbursement dates, as well as how to set up a refund preference with Bank Mobile, please visit our FINANCIAL AID REFUNDS page.

How to Maintain a Pell Grant

In general, a student must maintain enrollment in courses required toward the official degree or certificate on file with the Admissions & Records Department and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at the end of each payment period to continue to receive a Federal Pell Grant.

Additionally, a student will have to fill out the FAFSA form every year they’re in school to stay eligible for federal student aid.

Once a student has earned a baccalaureate degree or their first professional degree or has used up all 12 terms of their eligibility, they are no longer eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant.

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*Beginning 7/1/2023, institutions are required to receive Department of Education approval to be recognized as having a Prison Education Program (PEP). Even though VVC offered classes in a local prison, it did not mean that VVC meant the new requirement of having to be approved as having a PEP. When VVC is approved as a PEP, and an incarcerated student may become eligible for Pell, an incarcerated student will not receive any refund of Pell grant funds per federal regulation. The Pell Grant funds can only be used to pay open charges on the student account not covered by other aid.