Summer Pell Grant availability is beneficial for college students

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Summer Pell Grants were available from 2009-2011, but then funding went away for them. But now, the U.S Department of Education is looking to revive summer Pell Grant availability.

The U.S Department of Education recently passed legislation to re-implement summer Pell Grants.

"There's the high chance that it will be approved but it's not fully approved yet. We're hoping that it is, but it's not to the point that we can lay it out to the public," said Darryl Jackson.

Jackson is the Director of Financial Aid at Alabama A&M University. He said about 85% of Alabama A&M students rely on some form of Pell Grant funding, and 91% receive some type of financial aid.

"If you get aid or funding, it depends on what you didn't use for fall and spring. So with the summer Pell Grant, this would make some additional funding available even if you used your full Pell Grant for fall and spring," he explained.

Jackson said summer Pell Grant availability would greatly benefit students who otherwise couldn't afford the time or money for summer courses.

"It would give them additional funding for summer, that way they could focus more on their academics, more so than having to get a job to pay for summer school. So definitely a positive impact for those students," he said.

However, if approved, it won't take effect for Alabama A&M students until next summer, because students are currently enrolled in the summer 2016 semester.

"It won't benefit our students any for this current summer semester. But, if it's fully implemented for the 2017 summer session, which is one year from now, these students here at our school could benefit from this additional Pell Grant availability," said Jackson.

If you already receive Pell Grant funding, you will automatically be eligible for summer Pell Grant funding.

You can also get Pell Grant funding for just the summer semester, or any combination of fall/summer semesters, or spring/summer semesters.

If you are interested in Pell Grants, or any other type of financial aid, you can get more information from the U.S Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website here.