Skip to main content
Side Panel



Students must annually complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for all federal financial aid programs. This includes the Federal Pell Grant Program.

Key concepts and definitions

For purposes of federal financial aid programs at McNeese State University, an academic year is a period of time (normally a minimum of 30 weeks for fall and spring semesters) during which a full-time undergraduate student is expected to complete a minimum of 24 credit hours.

Annual grant limits are tied to the completion of an academic year.

Award year refers to the specific enrollment period. The "normal" award year at McNeese is the fall and spring semesters. Award years run from July 1 to June 30.

A "Cross -Over Payment Period" is any period that includes both June 30th and July 1st. For the purposes of federal financial aid programs, this period must be assigned to a specific financial aid award year. These years begin each July 1.

New Policies

Eligibility Limit and Disbursement

  • Students who receive their first Federal Pell Grant on or after July 1, 2008 may receive Federal Pell Grants for as many as 18 semesters (or the equivalent)

  • Effective July 1, 2009 students enrolled in a certificate, associate, or baccalaureate program may receive up to two Federal Pell Grants in one award year to accelerate their program.

For the Summer Semester:

McNeese offers a number of summer sessions of differing lengths in an effort to be responsive to the needs of the student body. For the purposes of the federal Federal Pell Grant program, the separate sessions are combined into one summer semester. The Office of Financial Aid will begin accepting applications for aid for Summer tuition and fee expenses on February 1.

Transfer Students

  • If a student received 100% of the first Scheduled Award at their prior school, we will assume that the student completed an academic year.

  • If a student received less than 100% of their first Scheduled Award, we will assume that the student completed the same ratio of the academic year (24 credit hours at McNeese) as the percentage of the first Scheduled Award utilized at the prior school.

Special Adjustments for children of deceased service members

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 grants an automatic zero EFC for the Federal Pell Grant Program ONLY to Federal Pell Grant eligible students whose parent or guardian was a member of the Armed Forces and died in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001.