Navigate the Pell Grant ‘Lifetime Eligibility Used’ Process
By Sheryl Ross-Mahoney, Senior Policy Specialist
As you’re awarding and disbursing a student’s Federal Pell Grant funds, pay careful attention to how much of the lifetime Pell Grant eligibility that student has used. In some cases, the award exceeds the limit for lifetime eligibility used, or LEU. How do you handle those situations?
Is someone responsible for repaying those Pell Grant funds? And if so, who is responsible? The liability depends on several factors:
  • The amount of Pell funds the student received prior to July 1, 2012.
  • Whether the student received Pell funds on or after July 1, 2012.
  • Whether some action by the student or the school resulted in the student’s receipt of the excess Pell amount.
Need help navigating the Pell Grant LEU process? This chart illustrates when repayment of excess Pell Grant funds is necessary — and how the process affects a student’s eligibility for future Title IV aid, including funds from the Federal Pell Grant Program.


Additional resources
To learn more about Pell Grant LEU and liabilities for exceeding the eligibility amount, see:
And you can always send a question to USA Funds Ask PolicySM using our online form, and we’ll send you an answer — generally within one business day.