New federal regulations approved last year have stripped Pell Grant eligibility from nearly 3,000 Mississippi students. Students in other states were also affected.
According to a recently completed study of the impact of the new Pell Grant regulations on Mississippi two-year colleges, the changes led to lower enrollments for the fall 2012 semester at 14 of the state's 15 community colleges.
Without a strong statewide college tuition program, University of Alabama Education Policy Center Director Stephen Katsinas says the Pell Grant program serves as the de facto student aid program, making Pell a key economic development driver for the state's future work force.
The changes lowered the eligible student income and lowered the number of semesters a student may receive Pell Grants to 12.
In addition to the 2,960 students who lost eligibility for Pell Grants last fall, Kastinas says another 7,154 will lose eligibility in the next several semesters because of new requirements.