Financial aid to offer Pell Grants for summer sessions

Students+wait+at+the+Financial+Aid+office.
Students wait at the Financial Aid office.

Students wait at the Financial Aid office.

Jacob Gerken

Jacob Gerken

Students wait at the Financial Aid office.

Mathilde Angeledei, Staff Reporter

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For most students, summer is a time for sun and chilling with friends and family. For a handful of others, it is a time to study. CWU is still open during the summer, but most classes are offered online. This gives students an opportunity to finish their degree faster and focus on courses required for their major.

Even though this period is called a “quarter,” students could not use the Federal Pell Grant to pay their summer tuition before this year. The United States Department of Education recently made the decision to allow students to receive the Federal Pell Grant for summer quarter. This decision is due to an increase in summer enrollment.

The Federal Pell Grant is an aid which provides assistance to low-income undergraduate students to promote access to post-secondary education, according to the financial aid website.

According to the Director of the Financial Aid service Adrian Naranjo, this change is a great opportunity for students who want to do summer quarter but could not afford it in the past.

“I think it will definitely help our students because we do have Pell students here at Central,” Naranjo said.  “Some of them, if they need to take a class to finish quickly or finish an internship, all the funding will be there now.”

The procedure for applying is different from other quarters. Students need to go www.cwu.edu, and under the “Financial Aid” tab, choose “Summer Aid.”

“The summer application is an additional step for us, to know who is planning to go to summer quarter and how many credits they are going to take,” Naranjo said. “Then we can award to this amount and students will know how much money they will have.”  

Although the procedure requires another step for summer quarter, everything else is the same. Concerning the amount of money given, a crucial question for students, it will not change and will be based on the number of credits taken by the student.

Connor Wilson, a sophomore cybersecurity major, expressed interest in summer quarter to finish his degree quicker.

“I don’t have a plan for this summer. I was thinking about doing summer quarter to save time,” Wilson said.

Like many other students, Wilson needs grants or loans to study at CWU. “The decision [to] allow students to use [a] Federal Pell Grant for summer quarter is a real step to make education better and affordable for everyone.”

Wilson said he wasn’t aware of the  Pell Grant extension towards summer quarter.

Hitoshi Tanaka, an international student from Japan majoring in business administration, said the same. “I didn’t hear about the decision and if it concerns international student.” A lot of questions still remains about the Federal Pell Grant.

To answer to all those questions, the financial aid is planning to make more communication.

“We’re working with Central Washington Publicity Center,” Naranjo said. Emails were sent to advisors and students already in the Pell Grant program. The office is planning to do more publicity, especially in the SURC, to ensure that every student is aware of the change.

The deadline to apply for summer financial aid is June 1 and additional information is available on the cwu.edu financial aid page.

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Financial aid to offer Pell Grants for summer sessions