Archived Story

CACC students unaffected by Pell Grant changes

Published 2:37pm Thursday, November 29, 2012

Changes in Pell Grant regulations are impacting students statewide, but students at Central Alabama Community College have been largely unaffected.

According to a press release from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, more than 5,000 Alabama public higher education students lost Pell Grant eligibility in the fall of 2012 as a result of changes in the federal guidelines. Even more could be affected in 2013.

Loss of that financial aid has affected enrollment at community colleges across the state, according to the press release – not so at CACC, according to Cindy Entrekin, director of financial aid.

“I don’t know that it really affected our enrollment,” Entrekin said. “However, we did see an increase in students requesting loans for the summer term.”

New regulations stipulate that students who attend full time during the fall and spring cannot receive Pell Grant assistance for the summer term.

“That did affect some of our students here,” Entrekin said. “We did see a small decrease, but we were still able to offer assistance to students that wanted to come during the summer.”

According to a fact sheet released by the Association of Community College Trustees, other changes in regulations included a lower baseline income required to qualify for zero expected family contribution status; Pell Grant elimination for students receiving 10 percent of the maximum award; and the elimination from the program of “ability-to-benefit” students – those who have not received a high school diploma or GED.

Entrekin said she would not pinpoint changes in the Pell Grant as being responsible for CACC’s minimal decrease in enrollment.

Students also said they hadn’t experienced any negative impact to their education from the changes.

“It’s been the same over here,” said Quientravious Edwards, business management. “As far as I know it hasn’t changed.”