The measure signed into law in April to fund the federal government through the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year included the elimination of year-round PELL. The legislation permanently cancels the year-round PELL program that was established as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act in 2008. This elimination is scheduled to go into effect at the beginning 2011-2012 academic year, or on July 1, 2011.

Based on the information currently available, we expect that Pell Grants can be awarded to eligible students for this summer term, provided that the college/university making the award is using 2010-2011 FAFSA cycle as the basis for Pell eligibility for summer 2011. Institutions following a policy in which their financial aid award year begins with fall term, also known as "trailer" schools, should fall into this category. Students meeting the eligibility criteria for a second Pell can be paid based on 2010-11 payment schedules for crossover periods in summer 2011 (and, for that matter, for the spring 2011 term if they had fully utilized their first scheduled awards).

The Department of Education should be issuing clarification and guidance on this new policy. Please be sure to touch base with your campus financial aid officers if you have any students expecting PELL funding for this summer for study abroad programs.

Learn more at the NASFAA: the National Association for Student Financial Aid Administrators site