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Federal Pell Grant

Gift Aid

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to undergraduate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Over $7,000,000 is paid annually to ISU students. Federal regulations prohibit a student from receiving a Pell grant for longer than 12 semesters.


Student must:

  • Have a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file;
  • Be working toward his or her first bachelor's degree;
  • Demonstrate exceptional financial need; 
  • Attend all courses in order to keep the grant. Failure to attend all courses could result in a reduction of Pell Grant funds;
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP).

No separate application is required for this program.


Awards currently range from $657 to $6,195 per year for those who qualify (2018-2019 ranges $745 - $6095). Grant amounts can vary based on the following:

  • The student's credit hours of enrollment on the 7th day of class (amounts awarded begin at 1 credit hour and are maximized at full time enrollment);
  • The expected family contribution (EFC) according to the FAFSA;
  • The cost of attendance (COA) as determined by the institution; and
  • Whether the student has exceeded or is approaching the 6-year limit for receiving the Pell Grant.

Notification and Disbursement

If eligible, the Federal Pell Grant will be listed on the student's award notification as well as posted to the MyISU Portal account. Funds are applied directly to the student's ISU account approximately ten days before the start of the applicable semester.


6 Year Limit

Students may view their Pell Grant history and verify their lifetime percentage used by accessing their personal information at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid.

  1. Go to
  2. Click on "Financial Aid Review"
  3. Enter the required personal information (Students will need their 4-digit PIN used for filing the FAFSA)
  4. Students will then be directed to a web page that shows "Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used" under the Grants section
  5. Students who have questions or concerns should contact the Office of Student Financial AId.



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