Students who receive financial aid during the regular school year and anticipate enrolling for a summer session should plan their budget ahead of time. The more federal direct loan funds a student borrows during the fall and spring semesters, the fewer loan funds will be available for the summer session.
To be considered for summer aid, students must have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Eligible students who have borrowed the annual loan limit for federal direct loans may apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loan or a private loan. If you advanced in academic standing, moving from sophomore to junior, for example, you may be eligible for an additional federal direct loan.
Students should inform their financial counselor if they received financial aid from another school during the academic year.
How to apply for summer 2023 aid
First, register for classes. To receive financial aid during the summer session, students must enroll at least half time in an approved program of study (six credit hours for undergraduate students and five credit hours for graduate students).
Also, be sure you have completed and submitted your 2022-2023 FAFSA.
Next, review your Financial Aid Award Notification. Students will receive an email notification once summer aid posts to eServices.
Sign the MPN. Students who have been awarded a federal direct loan or parents borrowing a federal Direct PLUS loan must sign the Master Promissory Note if they have not already done so.
Note enrollment changes. Students must be enrolled at least half-time for a federal direct loan to disburse. The financial aid census date for summer is June 28, 2023. Enrollment as of this date is used in the calculation of a federal Pell Grant. If a student withdraws from all classes before completing 60 percent semester attendance, financial aid eligibility must be recalculated based on the federal Return of Title IV Funds formula.
Receive a refund. When financial aid funds exceed university charges, students receive refunds. Direct Deposit bank authorization of a refund is faster, easier and more secure than mail delivery of a paper check. Students who already have direct deposits with VCU do not need to complete another form unless there have been changes to their bank account.
Summer Pell Grant eligibility
The award is based on half-time enrollment, and will recalculate based on your actual enrollment up until the summer semester’s financial aid census date, Wednesday, June 28, 2023. Below is some helpful information about maintaining eligibility for a summer Pell Grant.
To be eligible for a summer Pell Grant, you must:
- Have completed a 2022-2023 FAFSA
- Have a Pell Grant eligible EFC
- Enroll in summer classes in at least 6 credit hours
- Be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
- Have lifetime Pell Grant eligibility remaining
The program known as Year Round Pell allows students to potentially receive up to 150 percent of their scheduled award. For example, if you are awarded $6,895 for the year, then under the Year Round Pell programs students may receive up to $3,447 for attending college in the summer.
Lifetime Pell eligibility
The maximum timeframe that students may receive a Pell Grant is equivalent of 12 full-time semesters or 600 percent. Summer Pell awards apply towards the Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU). One full-time semester of a Pell award is equal to 50 percent. To check your remaining Pell LEU, log onto https://studentaid.gov/ using your FSA ID. The federal government measures this in the following manner:
If a Pell Grant is disbursed in a semester:
|Credits attempted||Lifetime Eligibility used|
|Full-time enrollment (12 credits or more)||50%|
|Three quarters time enrollment (9-11 credits)||37.5%|
|Half-time enrollment (6-8 credits)||25%|
|Quarter-time enrollment (3-5 credits)||12.5%|
Minimum credits for summer Pell
If you enrolled full-time (12+ credits) and received the full-time Pell Grant amount for fall and spring, you must enroll at least half-time (6 credits) in summer classes to receive the remainder summer Pell Grant.
If you enrolled part-time in fall or spring, there is no minimum credit requirement to receive a summer Pell Grant. You can use the remainder of your annual Pell Grant amount during summer with no minimum credit requirement.
Examples of how year round Pell works
Below are various scenarios in which a student awarded Year-Round Pell based on receiving the maximum Pell Grant (0 EFC) of $6,895 for the 2022-2023 academic year.
|Credits taken||12 credits (full time)||12 credits (full time)||6 credits (half time)|
|Credits taken||12 credits (full time)||9 credits (3/4 time)||6 credits (half time)|
|Credits taken||12 credits (full time)||12 credits (full time)||12 credits (full time)|
Frequently asked questions
Payment of a summer session Pell Grant depends on your attendance in the classes you are enrolled in. Dropping or withdrawing from classes may reduce or cancel your award and result in a tuition balance owed to the college. If you receive Pell for enrolled classes and you fail to attend, you will have to return those funds immediately to the university.
This is a federal minimum requirement.
Wednesday, June 28, 2023. The enrolled credits on this date are used to calculate a summer Pell Grant award. It will not recalculate upwards or downwards should a student add or drop courses on or after this date.
Yes. You can combine more than one summer session towards the six credit minimum requirement for Year Round Pell.
Any Pell Grant or portion that is not used (disbursed) for the summer will not be counted towards the Pell Grant lifetime limit.
It will not affect the 2022-2023 eligibility amount but it will affect a student’s Pell LEU (Lifetime Eligibility Used). In other words, using the Pell Grant for summer will reduce a student’s remaining eligibility for the remainder of their academic program.