Pell Grant Changes Impact Northern Students

A projected 1,290 NMU students will find their Pell Grants reduced anywhere from $50 to $100 next fall, according to Carol Waldmann (Financial Aid).

Due to changes in the formulas that determine eligibility, some students won’t even qualify for the Pell Grant next year.


“NMU’s total Pell Grant amount will be reduced by $125,000, which isn’t as significant a loss as we had anticipated,” said Waldmann. “Our limited resources probably won’t be able to pick up the whole difference, but we’ll try.”

Other components of students’ financial aid packages, such as work study and other grants, could possibly go up in value to help replace the Pell Grant decrease. Unfortunately, students will most likely need to borrow more in student loans to meet their needs.

Another initiative affecting the Pell Grant is President Bush’s promise to increase its amount by $500. This plan is going into effect, but it’ll be split into $100 increments over the course of five years, which Waldmann said will hardly have any effect.

“The cost of college rises every year," she added. “A $100 increase in Pell Grant will not be able to keep up with the increase in college costs.”

In the long run, the formula changes of Pell Grant eligibility will have more effect on students than its yearly $100 increase, according to Waldmann.

Students will be able to find out if their aid has been impacted or not after they fill out their FAFSA forms. Waldmann said, at this time, no special notices about the federal changes will be sent out because the impact will be different for each individual circumstance.



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Updated: October 26, 2005

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