During the recent campaign, President Obama claimed credit for increasing funding to the Pell Grant program, which provides college funds, free from repayment, to millions of students. However, an email sent out Tuesday to some Dallas college students is revealing a detail the President forgot to mention: the time a student can receive a Pell Grant has been cut, by as much as three years. With Pell Grants for the fall semester now dispersed, colleges are informing students of their options, bringing the cuts to light.
The email, sent out by the Dallas County Community College District, informed students of the changes to the Pell Grant program. It revealed that the number of semesters a student could receive a Pell Grant had been cut from 18 semesters down to 12. It is a detail likely unknown to most students; in fact, the cut in grants has gone largely unreported by the media.
The email states that the cut in eligibility was part of an education bill President Obama signed into law in 2011. "On December 23, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74). This new federal law states that the amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her LIFETIME will be reduced to the duration of a student's eligibility from 18 semesters (or its equivalent) to 12 semesters (or its equivalent). This new law applies to ALL Federal Pell Grant eligible students effective with the 2012-2013 award year beginning July 1, 2012. (DCL-GEN-12-01)"