Admissions & Aid

Pell Grants


Year-Round Pell Grants Now Available!

Up to $3,697 in cash grants to SMC students per semester.

Year Round Pell Grants Now Available! - Banner

How to Apply

  1. Become an SMC student. Apply today!

  2. Submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

  3. Be sure to maximize your Pell Grant eligibility by taking 12+ units.

About Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants are typically awarded to undergraduate students who have not yet obtained a bachelor's degree. Each year, Santa Monica College provides about $30 million in Pell Grants directly to SMC students to use for such costs as fees, living expenses, textbooks, transportation expenses, and other costs related to your studies. These funds are a grant, not a loan, and do not need to be repaid.

The amount awarded depends on your financial need, cost of attendance, status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less. You may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

At Santa Monica College, you are automatically considered for a Federal Pell Grant when you file your financial aid application (your FAFSA).

How Much Pell Grant Aid Could I Receive?

For the 2024-25 school year, only the maximum amount you may be eligible for is up to $11,092 if you have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 from the FAFSA, and are enrolled in at least 12 units each term (including the Summer term).

Note: The availability of Pell Grants for Summer 2024 continues to be offered.  By taking summer classes, you can get ahead in your studies AND receive extra financial support to help you manage your expenses.

Maximum awards for each term for full time (12 units) students are as follows:

  • Summer 2024$3,697
  • Fall 2024$3,698
  • Spring 2025$3,697
  • Total Pell Grant for 2024-25$11,092

Do I Apply Separately for Pell Grants?

No, you only need to file the FAFSA once for the entire 2024-25 year. If you have filed your FAFSA and are eligible for a Pell Grant, SMC's financial aid office will automatically review your enrollment in time for your classes. Eligible students will receive funds in July.

Where Can I Learn More About Pell Grants?

For more information on Pell grants, visit Federal Pell Grants (Department of Education). You are also encouraged to make an appointment or drop into SMC's financial aid office on the main campus.