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Federal Aid Limit

oreamnosoreamnos Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
I am a sophomore pursuing a tri-major in Biochem, Bio and Neuroscience. I am honestly just taking this course of study because I enjoy the classes, not precisely as prep for any career path (I intend to be an MD-PhD). I will be in school for five years with 4 summer semesters full time.
What I am wondering is whether or not I will receive federal aid five years. The federal aid site says in one place 12 semesters and another place 6 years (ie. Six terms of July 1-June 30). So I will be in school for 14 semesters but only 5 years.
Does anyone know what my Pell Grant and loan eligibilities will be my last year?

Replies to: Federal Aid Limit

  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,622 Senior Member
    @kelsmom can confirm but I think you will only get Pell for 12 terms, including full time summer terms.

    Why not major in biochem or neuroscience, and minor in the other? You don't really need bio as a major, do you? Isn't there enough overlap with biochem?
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 22,193 Super Moderator
    If this is the path you intend to take you will run out of money. You can only get 12 terms of PELL. Remember any money you use during the summer term will be subtracted from the money you have to use during the school year. You do not get additional money for going to school over the summer, it just comes out from your school year allocation

    For example

    You are a sophomore. You have $3000/year PELL.
    You are now using the second half of the allocation for the school year. You have already used 4 terms.

    Junior year
    You use $800 for summer schoo (part time) l between sophomore and junior year. You willl only have $1100 for the fall and $1100 for the spring. Now you have used 6.5 terms. If you use your full time allocation for the summer, you will be covered summer and fall with. no money for the spring.

    Are you getting institutional aid from your school. Are you getting state aid? Remember unless your are in an approved 5 year program, all of this aid ends at the end of your 4th year whether or not you have completed your degree.

    The net-net is that you don’t have the luxury of taking what you like on other people”’s dime.. Your goal needs to be do what ever you need to do to get this degree and get out in 4 years. If it means having one major, then that is what it is.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,188 Forum Champion
    Right. This student appears to believe that summers will get allotted a full-semester’s Pell grant that won’t affect his fall and spring semesters allotment.

    @oreamnos you may also have another problem since it’s unlikely that Pell grants are your only source of funds. Your school may not give FA for all that time. Many schools have an 8 semester aid rule because they don’t want and can’t afford students to do what you’re doing....taking extra semesters to finish second and third majors.

    If you want to get into a MD PhD program, you’re not really doing this right. You should focus on ONE major, getting a top GPA, and spending the rest of your time doing research. You need a substantial research resume for MD/PhD consideration.

    I would suggest sticking with biochem as your one major. If you have room in your schedule and any extra time when you’re not involved with research, then take some neuro or other bio classes for interest.

    The MD/PhD program is long ....7 years....plus residency and plus likely a fellowship. You don’t need to make undergrad any longer than it already is.

    What research are you involved with???
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,521 Senior Member
    Walk into your FA office and sit down and draw up a plan.
  • oreamnosoreamnos Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    @mommdc That was originally my plan but the policy at my university, at least from what I've been told, is that minors can't overlap but majors can. I actually ended up adding the bio major when I found out my bio minor was no longer eligible and I only needed one more class for the major.

    @sybbie719 The rest of my aid is coming from my income.

    @mom2collegekids I'm currently involved in researching computational methods in mass spectrometry but this doesn't align entirely with my interests and I'm hoping to get into a lab studying computational methods in structure based ligand design (ie. computer aided drug design).

    Thanks to everyone for their help
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 9,070 Senior Member
    Does your college require a minor? If not- drop it. Anything that adds complexity, time or cost to your academic plan is a bad idea given the path you are on.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Registered User Posts: 15,142 Senior Member
    You can only receive Pell for a limited time. You can receive a total of 600% of your Pell eligibility, but this concept can be confusing. You will find an explanation here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/pell/calculate-eligibility. Your school can allow you to do whatever it wants, but your aid is limited by federal regulations.
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