How many credit hours needed to be eligible for Pell Grant?

No one can be stopped from enriching their educational backgrounds, not even financial struggles. The Pell Grant scholarships are offered to students who are financially hard-up but want to complete an undergraduate degree. There are certain grading requirements that must be met by students. These are established in the Satisfactory Academic Progress for Federal Grant and Loans Programs. For example, a student must have a C or a grade equivalent to a GPA after two years of enrollment. Also, those eligible for Pell Grant scholarships must be U.S. citizens, taking undergraduate courses, and with an Expected Family Contribution of less than $5,273. The EFC has been raised by President Barack Obama from $4,617. For the school year 2022-2023, the government has allotted a budget to supply Federal Pell Grant scholars from $555 to $6,895. The rate given to the students depends on the credit hours he or she takes in school.

The Pell Grant scholarship is rated depending on the number of credit hours in which the student is registered. Generally, there is no hard-fast rule that governs the required hours of a Pell Grant scholarship. The number of hours taken into consideration will affect the number of grants that the students receive. For example, if a student is full-time (12 hours) he or she will receive a larger grant than a student whose credit hours are only between 4-8 hours. Pell Grant scholars can avail themselves of 30 hours of non-credit remedial coursework. Students cannot receive Pell Grant assistance or any other form of financial academic assistance beyond that 30-hour mark.

The students are not eligible for Pell Grant, regardless of the credit hours, if they receive funds from more than one school at a time. However, Pell Grant scholarships can be transferable from one school to another. Students just have to send their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) data to the new school to transfer Pell Grant assistance.

There has been reported abuse of Pell Grant scholarships, where students sign up for a certain number of classes. Once they get the grant cash, they drop these classes. However, there is already a policy that requires the 12 hours established on the last day of adding and dropping. In this way, instances of cheating will be diminished. If the number falls below 12 hours, the student will have to repay part of or even the entire Pell Grant. But this year, President Obama signed in a change. Students do not have to go to school for at least half-time to be eligible for Pell Grant. The student has the option to sign up for one or two classes but with a lesser grant amount.

Also, students can now take summer classes with the help of a Pell scholarship. The federal government has allowed students to take two Pell scholarships, as long as they come from the same school. This is effective in the summer of 2011.

Those eligible for Pell Grant can determine their number of hours and rates proportion by signing and consulting FAFSA. This is the best way to determine the rate because rates vary per student.


  • Hussain Shoaib

    Hussain Shoaib is an author and digital marketer with expertise in financial aid and education. He has extensive knowledge of the Pell grant and FAFSA, and has published numerous articles on these topics.

3 thoughts on “How many credit hours needed to be eligible for Pell Grant?”

  1. CTC in Killeen Texas told me that I was not eligible for the pell grant that I had signed up for unless I was taking 9 consecutive hours… is that true?

  2. Hours? Or Credits? I took 6 credits last semester and I received HALF of my Pell Grant. I was told the formula but don’t recall it. But one semester when I took 8 credits, I divided total amount of my Pell into 12 (full time); then, multiplied it by total number of credits I took (8).

  3. Schools in the east and TX Sandra, call “credits” hours. A 3 “credit” Course in CA is in the east, referred to as 3 semester hours, or 3 hours (shortened). Just got everyone’s info.

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