Federal Aid Eligibility Limits

Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Limits

  • President Bush signed into law August 14, 2008 Public Law 11-315 Higher Education Opportunity Act, which capped the amount of time a student can receive a Pell Grant to nine years (18 semesters), prorated for attendance status, and the cap applied to all students who received their first Pell Grant after July 1, 2008 (Section 401(c)).
  • However, President Obama signed into law December 23, 2011 the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (HR 2055), which capped the maximum lifetime eligibility for Pell Grants from nine years (18 semesters) to six years (12 semesters), prorated for attendance, effective for all students July 1, 2012, beginning with the 2012-13 award year.
  • For information on how we calculate the "equivalent of six years" click on the following link: www.studentaid.ed.gov/pell-limit.
  • View a PDF example of an e-mail a Tulane student received from the U.S. Department of Education's Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) vendor regarding the six year Pell cap.

Federal Direct Loan Annual and Lifetime Limits

The U.S. Department of Education has established annual and aggregate limits on receipt of subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans.

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