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Last Update: Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Important Changes in Pell Grants for July 2012

Tom Anderson Written by Tom Anderson on June 28th, 2012

Contributing author for


The important changes in the Pell Grants brought about by budgetary pressures affected thousands of its college student beneficiaries. Following the implementation of the new provisions of appropriations law this July 1, students receiving aid are extremely worried and anxious about their educational and financial future.

How Did the Change Happen?

Financial plans and budget deals are struck quickly and silently just like the appropriations bill which was signed into law almost discreetly by President Barack Obama last December 23, 2011. Whether it is about receiving federal grants or private student loans, the strong revisions and changes created a stir in the current status of higher education.

Changes in Pell Grant

The changes which take effect this July 2012 include:

  • Reduction of the number of years in which the student can receive the grant from 9 to 6 years.
  • The grant is now limited to high school graduates and those with GED (General Education Development) certification only.
  • The maximum grant is lowered from $5,550 to $4,680 which significantly increases the family contributions for their children’s education.


The bill, which garnered more than 95 percent of positive votes from both the Senate and the House of Representatives, is one of the contentious measures of the government in addressing and dealing with the $1.5 trillion US debt. Pell Grants was originally supposed to be amended through a five-year or six-year reauthorization processes and not on budgetary concessions.

The Effect of Changes in Pell Grant

The affected families’ students would prefer if other circumstances are taken into account like medical expenses and unforeseen illness in the allotment of financial aid. But given the current financial setting of the government, implementing an idea or scheme within a suitable context like the approval of this bill is important. The important changes in Pell Grants for July 2012 might have negatively affected several students and seem unfair but it can bring greater good to more Americans in other aspects.


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