For Pell Enrollment Intensity, Is ED Redefining Full-Time For the Academic Year?

Award Year: 2024-25 KA-36590 Helpfulness Rating 941 page views

This guidance is specific to the 2024-25 award year and later.

No. Enrollment intensity is used for calculating a Federal Pell Grant, not for defining (or redefining) full-time for an academic year or academic program. For enrollment intensity, 12 credits is the baseline for calculating a Pell Grant, but it does not change the federal definition of full-time for an academic year under 34 CFR 668.3. It also does not change the school’s definition of full-time for the student. For Title IV purposes, when defining full-time for an academic program under 668.2(b), 12 is still the minimum number of hours for full-time in an undergraduate program, but the school can still define full-time as 15 or 16, for example.

Twelve credits are simply used in the Pell calculation to prevent a student from receiving more than their annual award amount for a payment period. So, if the student enrolls in 12 credits, but your school defines full-time as 15 credits, the student will still receive a full-time Pell. Twelve is simply the denominator when calculating the less-than-full-time Pell percentage.

Reference the following for enrollment intensity guidance and calculations, including credit-hour and clock-hour calculations:


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