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New Pell Grant requirements will leave some students without financial aid

April 09, 2012

Reprinted with Permission Daily Mountain Eagle
by Melanie Patterson
Starting this summer, big changes in Pell Grant requirements will mean some college students will no longer be eligible for financial aid.

Effective July 1, students must have a high school diploma or GED in order to receive Federal Title IV funding, or a Pell Grant.

Bevill State Community College Dean of Students Dr. Kim Ennis said the new rule would affect a significant number of students in certificate programs; she said 12 percent of current students in career technical programs at Bevill State are receiving Pell Grants and do not have high school diplomas or GED certificates.

The college has eight certificate programs: automotive body repair technology, automotive technology, barbering, cosmetology, diesel technology, mining technology, truck driver training and welding technology.

Bevill State administrators emphasize that admission requirements for these programs have not changed. Students may still be admitted with no GED or high school diploma if they pass placement exams.

“Admission criteria for certificate programs remain the same, but you can’t get the Pell Grant for those programs without a high school diploma or GED,” said Ennis. “If there’s anybody out there in this situation and they’re really thinking about going to school and don’t have that criteria, enroll in the program (before July 1).”

She said that students who are enrolled in certificate programs before July 1 will be grandfathered in, and will continue to receive College Grants funding as long as they continue to pass and do not drop out of the programs.

Another option for students wanting to enter a certificate program is to either finish high school or get their GED certificates before July 1. Bevill State offers free GED classes monthly at the Jasper and Sumiton campuses; however, there is a fee to take the examination.

Ennis said that if students start taking classes now, they should be prepared to take the GED exam before July.

Without receiving financial aid, college can be pricey.

Tuition at Bevill State is $1,647 for 12 semester hours including tuition and fees. Fifteen semester hours is $2,055 including tuition and fees.

In the fall, tuition will increase to $1,671 for 12 hours and $2,085 for 15 hours.

Pell Grants cover 12 semester hours. At Bevill, 12 hours is considered full-time except for the nursing program, where 15 hours is full-time.


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