Federal Pell Grants are grant funds that are granted to students who have demonstrated a financial need for assistance with their education. They are most often granted to undergraduate students, although sometimes students in a postbaccalaureate certification program may be eligible for them too. This is the most widely distributed federal program that is offered to assist undergraduate students. The program has been in place since 1973.
Federal Pell Grants are advantageous options to help with the cost of education due to the fact that, in most circumstances, they do not require repayment the same way that student loans do. They are specifically designed to help offset the cost of education for students that come from low-income households.
The amount that one person can receive for the Federal Pell Grant is based on their demonstrated financial need, which is determined based on an income calculation that, in most cases, takes into consideration the income and contributions from all income-earning persons in the applicant’s household. It also takes into consideration the number of credits and classes that one is enrolled in as well as the length of time that the student plans on attending.
The maximum that one can be awarded is $6,345.00 and the minimum is $639.00. Additionally, if a student’s financial situation, or that of their households changes significantly throughout the term for which they have been awarded, the student can go through the appeals process to submit for a re-evaluation of their award to see if they qualify for a higher amount.
Federal Pell Grant funds are either given to the student directly or can be paid directly to the school and applied towards the total amount due for their tuition fees. In cases where they are paid directly to the student, the student can apply the funds to the cost of their tuition and other related expenses such as textbooks and supplies or any other items that they might need to support them throughout their education. When they are given directly to the student, they are typically disbursed over the course of a set period of time with multiple payments. In order to continue to receive these payments, the student has to continue to recertify their eligibility by completing the FAFSA application regularly.
Students may apply for a Federal Pell Grant for a maximum of 12 terms. They can only receive the funds from one institution or school at any given time even if they are enrolled in multiple schools at once. Additionally, if a student’s financial situation, or that of their households changes significantly throughout the term for which they have been awarded, the student can
There are some circumstances that would automatically exclude an applicant from eligibility regardless of their income such as incarceration. Students can also lose their eligibility status from the Federal Pell Grant too if they do not maintain their enrollment or meet certain academic requirements.
It is highly encouraged that everyone complete the FAFSA application to apply for the Federal Pell Grant to determine their eligibility even in cases where they would assume that they aren’t eligible, as they may find that they are eligible for partial student aid.