Federal Programs


Pell Grant is the foundation of the federal financial assistance program and is based on financial need determined from information provided on the FAFSA and student enrollment status. Awards range from $400 to $5550, with the maximum award determined annually by the United States Congress.


FSEOG is awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need—those with the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) numbers. Eligibility is also based on other financial aid awarded and the availability of funds. Priority is given to students who are enrolled on a full time basis at PRCC.


Eligibility is based on financial need, other aid awarded, and availability of funds. Eligible students are employed in offices and departments on campus and are paid on a monthly basis. Students are allowed to work ONLY during the first two years of enrollment (four semesters) and the summer terms before and after the freshman year. After receiving Work-Study awards, students are expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 each semester, in order to remain eligible. SPECIAL NOTE: A separate application is required from the Office of Financial Aid to apply for this program.


Loans made through this program are referred to as Direct Loans, because eligible students and/or parents borrow directly from the U.S. De-partment of Education at participating schools. You must be enrolled as at least a half-time student to be eligible for a loan. Direct Loans include the following:SPECIAL NOTE: A separate application is required from the Office of Financial Aid to apply for this program.

Direct Stafford Loans

  • Direct Subsidized Loans - you must have financial need to receive a subsidized loan. The U.S. Department of Education will pay (subsidize) the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loan during certain periods.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans - financial need is not a requirement to obtain an unsubsidized loan. You are responsible for paying the Interest that accrues on your Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Direct PLUS Loans

(PLUS Loans) are loans parents can obtain to help pay the cost of education for their dependent undergraduate children. A PLUS Loan applicant must not have an adverse credit history, as a credit check will be conducted.


Each year the U.S. Department of Education selects approximately 30% of all financial aid applicants for a process called verification, where additional documentation is required to complete their financial aid files. In addition, the Office of Financial Aid is required by law to review all files where issues of conflicting data exist. Applicants selected for review should provide all requested documentation in a timely manner to expedite the awarding process. Changes in Federal regulations concerning verification may require students to submit copies of parent and student federal income tax transcripts from the Internal Revenue Service, verifi- cation of untaxed income, proof of marital status, proof of number of house hold members and of those in college, or other documentation of financial condition.


If a student or student’s family has extenuating circumstances that may impact his or her ability to pay for their education, they should contact the Office of Financial Aid at PRCC. Eligibility for a student’s federal aid award can be re-evaluated if special circumstances can be documented within U.S. Department of Education guidelines.


    Federal regulations prohibit a student receiving Federal Aid at more than one Institution of Higher Learning during a dual enrollment period. This also applies to students who are still enrolled in high school and who may be enrolled in early entry college courses. Federal Aid can only be received at one institution where the student is seeking a certificate or degree.


    After the completion of the student’s file in the Office of Financial Aid at PRCC with the receipt of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid application and other requested forms, if applicable, financial need is determined. An “award package” is then offered to you by our office based on your need, your eligibility, the type of assistance you request, and upon the availability of funds. An award letter is mailed to you via your PRCC email account and to the email address you entered on your FAFSA indicating the type (s) and amount of financial assistance you are being awarded.

***Students with all applications completed and on file in the PRCC Office of Financial Aid by the priority date, April 17, will receive first consideration for programs with limited funds (Work-Study and FSEOG). Applications received after April 17 will be awarded based on the availability of funds.

Required Enrollment Status for Federal Financial Aid Recipients

Program Required Enrollment
Federal Pell Grant Program One (1) Semester Hour
Federal Supplemental Educational
Opportunity Grant Program (SEOG)
Six (6) Semester Hours
Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) Twelve (12) Semester Hours
Federal Direct Loan Program Six (6) Semester Hours

Pearl River Community College requires that one-third of a student’s total fees be paid prior to the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. The remaining financial balance is required to be paid on a monthly basis and MUST be paid in full prior to the beginning of final exams. Financial Aid (with the exception of Work-Study) is applied to the fees assessed by the college. If a student’s financial aid award does not equal the required one-third initial payment, the student must pay the unmet balance at registration. Work-Study recipients earn minimum hourly wages and are paid on a monthly basis.

SPECIAL NOTE: Summer tuition and fees are required to be paid in full up front at the beginning of the summer enrollment period.

Grants (Pell and FSEOG) and Institutional Scholarships will be credited to students’ Business Services accounts by the Office of Financial Aid within the first 30 days of each semester. Students must then refer to their Business Services accounts, thereafter, to determine when refunds are deposited into their checking or savings accounts, or when funds are issued to their pay cards.

Direct Loan processing begins 30 days after the beginning of each semester following registration and late registration. When funds are received by the Office of Financial Aid from the U. S. Department of Education, they are credited to students’ accounts in Business Services. Refunds are then processed by the Business Services Office, if loan funds create a credit balance for which the student is eligible.

Additional PRCC Federal Eligibility Information:

Eligibility for the majority of federal assistance (grants, work-study, and subsidized student loans) is based on finan-cial need as determined from the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid which must be completed each year. The U.S. Department of Education expects students and parents (for dependent stu-dents) to contribute to their own educational expenses.

Financial aid is to be used only for education-related costs. Although the Office of Financial Aid at PRCC attempts to meet as many of the needs of our students as possible through the Federal Student Aid program, federal assis-tance should not be expected to provide for all of a student’s living expenses. Allowances for standard transpor-tation expenses are already included in a student’s cost of attendance budget that is developed by the Office of Fi-nancial Aid in accordance with federal guidelines. Applying for federal aid with the intent to use it toward pay-ments for the purchase of a car is prohibited in accordance with federal regulations.

Students who have already accumulated $23,000 or more in subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans will not be certified for an additional loan proceeds through Pearl River Community College and may not be eligible for any other form of Title IV Federal Assistance. These students should seek outside sources of financial assistance prior to their registration for classes at PRCC.

SPECIAL NOTE: New federal regulations, effective for the 2012-2013 award year, reduce a student’s life-time eligibility for Pell Grant from 18 semesters (or its equivalent) to 12 semesters (or its equivalent), based on the portion of full-time enrollment. As before, half-time enrollment is counted as half a semester toward the 12-semester limit.