Pell grants are for college students.Three years ago, the rules changed. “Pell grants are no longer available for use during the summer semester, if the student went to school full-time in the fall and in the spring,” said U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline).
Bustos has introduced a bill to allow Pell grants to be used in the summer. She says students taking job training classes at community colleges are being slowed down, because the current law makes them sit out a semester if they’re going through a year-long course and applying for certification.
Under the Bustos bill, the grant’s lifetime maximum stays the same. Bustos doesn’t know if there’s a cost to this.
Thomas Baynum, president of Black Hawk Community College in Moline, says since the change took effect, Pell grants are down 8 percent per year at Black Hawk, even though federal student aid applications are up 5 percent.