Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. Pell Grants are considered a foundation of federal financial aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added. There are limits on the maximum amount you are eligible to receive each academic year and in total (aggregate Pell Grant limit).


The Estimated Family Contribution calculated by the FAFSA determines if the student is Pell-eligible and the amount the student is entitled to. To qualify for a Pell grant, the office of financial aid must receive a valid FAFSA while the student is enrolled. If the FAFSA is received after the semester is over, the Pell grant awarded must be based upon completed credits.

Effective with the Fall 2012 semester, students are now limited to 12 semesters (600%) of Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. In December 2011, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74). This law has significantly impacted the Pell Grant Program. Beginning in Fall 2012, Students are now limited to 12 semesters (or 600%) of Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. This change affects all students regardless of when or where they received their first Pell Grant. 

How do I know if this affects me? 

If you have attended college for 4 years or longer, receiving the Pell Grant each year as a full-time student, you are likely to exhaust or have already exhausted your lifetime limit of 12 semesters of Pell Grant eligibility. If you have attended college and received the Pell Grant for 4 years or less, you will likely not surpass the lifetime limit. Whether you have used all of your Pell Grant eligibility or only half, please be conscious about the lifetime limit of the Pell Grant when changing majors and/or scheduling classes.

How is the percentage used calculated? 

The percentages are based off the annual award at full-time enrollment status. For students with an annual award for the 2014–15 academic year, at the maximum award of $5,730 who attend 12 or more credits per semester in two semesters (Fall and Spring for example), the percentage used for the 2014–15 academic year is 100%. If you only attend as a part-time student, your percentage used will be prorated.

How will I be notified?

Beginning in mid-April 2012, the Department of Education sent emails to all FAFSA applicants who appeared to qualify for a federal Pell Grant and who reached 450 % of their Lifetime Eligibility Used Pell Grant. 


# of Financial Aid Eligible Credits Enrolled (% of Annual Pell)
Summer Fall Spring Total
0 12 (50%) 13 (50%) 100%
0 6 (25%) 7 (25%) 50%
6 (25%) 12 (50%) 8 (25%) 100%
8 (25%) 6 (25%) 7 (25%) 75%
0 9 (37.5%) 9 (37.5%) 75%
6 (25 %) 9 (37.5%) 9 (37.5%) 100%
      Total Pell After 6 Years = 500%

Student has remaining Pell eligibility for future semesters.


Our financial aid counselors are available to discuss the change in the lifetime Pell Grant eligibility with you. Please call us at 410-532-5369 or e-mail finaid@ndm.edu.

Learn More About the Federal Pell Grant

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Available to Pell eligible undergraduate students with exceptional financial need
  • The amount awarded is determined by the student's need and the availability of funds at the University
  • To apply for the grant, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by Notre Dame's priority deadline of February 15. This grant is awarded on a priority basis using the FAFSA receipt date and based on the availability of funds.

Learn More About the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

TEACH Grant Program


Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000* per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families in a high need subject area.

*Due to sequestration, TEACH grant awards where the first disbursement is made on or after October 1, 2014 must be reduced by 7.3% from the award amount for which the student would otherwise have been eligible to receive. 

In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students (see below for more information on high-need fields and schools serving low-income students). As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student in a post secondary educational institution
  • Be enrolled in coursework that is necessary to begin a career in teaching or plan to complete such coursework. Such coursework may include subject area courses (e.g., math courses for a student who intends to be a math teacher)
  • Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25)
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (see below for more information on the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve)

If you meet these requirements, fill out a TEACH Grant Application and submit it to the financial aid office.

Identified Teacher Shortage Areas & High-Need Fields

The Department of Education's Annual Directory of Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits includes both elementary and secondary schools.

High-Need Fields Include

  • Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading Specialist
  • Science
  • Special Education

There may be other identified teacher shortage areas as of the time you begin teaching in that field. These are teacher subject shortage areas (not geographic areas) that are listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing.

For further information, visit Student Aid's website or email the office of financial aid.

TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve

If you are eligible to receive the TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve that is available electronically on a Department of Education Web site. The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were disbursed.

For each TEACH Grant-eligible program for which the student received TEACH Grant funds, you must serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight calendar years after you completed or withdrew from the academic program for which you received the TEACH Grant. You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher in a high need subject at a low-income school. The term highly-qualified teacher is defined in section 9101(23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 or in section 602(10) of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.

Learn More About the TEACH Grant

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

A student whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

Additional Student Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be ineligible for a Federal Pell Grant due only to having less financial need than is required to receive Pell funds, and
  • Be under 24 years old, or
  • Enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death.

The grant award is equal to the amount of a maximum Pell Grant for the award year – not to exceed the cost of attendance for that award year.