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Federal Pell Grant to Face Changes

By: Scottie Hunter Email
By: Scottie Hunter Email

Calls come into the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at Wallace Community College every day. But students seeking federal aid from the Pell Grant program might find themselves on hold come this spring.

"Twelve semesters is twelve semesters...that's it," says Wallace Financial Aid Director Erma Perry.

That's just one of the new restriction students will face with the changes to the program; many of which went into effect as early as this fall and focus on two main areas.

Some of those changes can take advantage of the program and lowering the financial eligibility standards. For students like Joshua Lee this couldn't have come at a worse time.

"It was real easy to sign up and it helped me quite a bit so I think my classes were going to be about a thousand dollars and I ended up paying 100 bucks for them," says Lee.

He's taking a semester off but hopes the grant money will still be there when he needs it but with a program that has faced multiple cuts over the years that may not be the case.

"They have made some subtle changes that you know I wouldn't know and a student wouldn't know based on your income or where you may fall, so a lot of that middle income has been reduced so you may not be eligible for where last year you were eligible this year you're not," says Perry.

And Perry says it's now more important than ever for students to have a plan.

"There are a lot of cuts and education is getting theirs, you know, that's just the nature of the game right now."

A game that's getting riskier by the day.


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