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Cougar Pell Promise

BYU has a new financial aid initiative to help Pell-eligible students cover the cost of tuition.

Brigham Young University offers students a world-class education in a unique environment centered in and enriched by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Though much less than most other private universities, tuition costs still pose a significant challenge for many students. When we admit someone to BYU, we welcome them to our family and want them to join us. To help make our shared dream a reality, the university will launch Cougar Pell Promise, a new financial aid program unlike any other that we have offered before.

Beginning in the 2021-22 academic year, the university will offer eligible new freshman students a last-dollar commitment for eight semesters. Cougar Pell Promise is not a loan, grant, or scholarship. It is a university guarantee to cover any remaining gaps in undergraduate Latter-day Saint tuition charges after grants, scholarships, and benefits are received for eight semesters. Yes, a BYU education is within your grasp!

The Cougar Pell Promise

Initial Qualifications

  • Apply for and be admitted to BYU during the senior year of high school.
  • Complete the online scholarship application by the published scholarship deadline.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by January 20 and be certified as Pell-eligible.
  • Students who defer their first year for missions or military service MUST complete verification that first year if required, even though they are not attending, to establish initial eligibility.
  • Students entering BYU during winter semester must be mid-year high school graduates. Also, they must complete the scholarship application by August 1, and the FAFSA by July 20.

Maintaining Continuing Eligibility

  • Complete the online scholarship application each year by the continuing student scholarship deadline.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by January 20. (You only need to be eligible for the Pell Grant when you are first granted the Cougar Pell Promise. You can still maintain the Cougar Pell Promise in following years even if you are not eligible for the Pell Grant.)
  • Include parental data on the FAFSA up to the age of 30, even if you are considered independent on the FAFSA.
  • Maintain a 2.00 cumulative BYU GPA.
  • Enroll in 12.0 credit hours each semester. Cougar Pell Promise does not cover spring or summer terms.

Additional Information

  • After initial qualification, semesters of eligibility may be deferred for full-time missionary or active duty military service.
  • Eligibility is forfeited for semesters with fewer than 12.0 credit hours of enrollment and for non-enrollment, except for approved deferments. Each fall or winter semester without full-time enrollment or an approved deferment is deducted from the eight-semester limit.
  • Cougar Pell Promise does not cover spring/summer tuition charges.
  • Cougar Pell Promise will not cover tuition charges incurred for discontinuance.
  • Maximum coverage is capped at the value of Latter-day Saint tuition. However, eligible recipients do not need to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and can receive Cougar Pell Promise up to the Latter-day Saint tuition limit.
  • Cougar Pell Promise only applies to undergraduate tuition. Once a recipient graduates or begins a program that charges graduate-level tuition amounts, the program ceases.
  • Institutional, federal, and third-party scholarships, grants, and benefits totals are considered before adding the Cougar Pell Promise. As these funds are received or withdrawn, Cougar Pell Promise adjusts to cover the remaining gap up to the value of Latter-day Saint tuition.
  • A semester will still count as one of the eight semesters of Cougar Pell Promise even if Cougar Pell Promise funds are not used due to tuition being covered by institutional, federal, and third-party scholarships, grants, and benefits.
  • For Cougar Pell Promise purposes, scholarship amounts offered, not claimed, are the values used in the calculation.
  • Student loans and 529-plan payments do not affect the calculations of coverage for Cougar Pell Promise recipients.

Students will be notified of the Cougar Pell Promise the same day as their admissions decision. Recipients will be able to monitor and track their Cougar Pell Promise each semester through a customized dashboard.