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After 6 Years, Year-Round Pell Grants Are Back

Del Mar College’s financial aid staff are available to help students get started or continue applying for financial assistance, including Pell Grants. Courtesy photo

Full-time students at Del Mar College can now use Pell Grants to continue their education through the summer semester. The U.S. Department of Education reinstated year-round Pell Grants after taking a six-year break from providing the popular tuition aid.

“The good news is that students can continue their academic career without any disruption due to financial aid,” said Dr. Rito Silva, vice president of Student Affairs at Del Mar College. “This results in a shorter time to completion of their degree or certificate program.”

While Pell Grants were available for fall and spring semesters, full-time students would deplete their grants if used for summer classes. Only part-time students received additional Pell money for the summer semester.

“Now, Pell Grants can be awarded for full-time classes in the fall, spring and entire summer,” said Nancy Briseño, director of financial aid.

About half of the 4,000 Del Mar students attending classes full time received Pell Grants last fall. This spring, just over 3,000 students are receiving Pell Grants totaling more than $5.9 million in federal aid.

Pell Grants do not have to be repaid (except under certain circumstances) and are usually only awarded to undergraduate students. The amount of aid depends on the individual student’s financial need and tuition costs.

Other types of aid are also available, Briseño said.

“If (students are) not eligible for Pell Grants, they may be eligible for state grants that are reserved for the summer,” she said.

To apply for a Pell Grant or any other financial aid at Del Mar College, students should visit or call the financial aid office in the Harvin Student Center on the East Campus at (361) 698-1293. Students may also drop in or call the Coleman Student Center on the West Campus at (361) 698-1726. Email financial aid staff at

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