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Adult Students | Federal Student Aid - Financial Aid Toolkit

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

There's no age limit to receiving higher education, so when it comes to student aid, you may be wondering if there's an age limit for Pell Grant awards. This post explores the eligibility criteria for the Pell Grant and answers some of the most common questions, including if there's an age limit. 

If the student received a Federal Pell Grant before, can they receive Federal Pell Grant funds again?

If a student has received a Federal Pell Grant in the past, they can receive it again as long as they continue to meet these eligibility requirements. However, the amount of the grant may vary based on changes in the student's financial situation and other factors.

Is there financial aid specifically for single parents with children?

Single parents often face unique challenges in pursuing higher education, including financial challenges and childcare responsibilities, and financial aid programs are designed to help them overcome these challenges.

Some of the common financial aid options for single parents include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program

Eligibility Requirements for Pell Grant Recipients

Here are the eligibility requirements for Pell Grant applicants.

Cost of Attendance: Factors to Look into

The COA includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and other expenses for personal needs included. This is an estimate of the total amount of money a student will need to pay for college for one academic year and is an important consideration when determining the amount of a Federal Pell Grant award a student will receive.

Undergraduate Student Status

The Pell Grant is only available for undergraduate students who are taking their first bachelor's degree. Only in very specific circumstances can a post-baccalaureate degree qualify for a Pell Grant. 

Academic Progress Requirements

To maintain your Pell Grant award, you must meet Satisfactory Academic Performance (SAP) which is often defined as a GPA of 2.0 by most institutions. Failure to meet the SAP can lead to forfeiture of your Pell Grant award.

Federal Student Aid Income Limits

When determining eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant, one of the key factors considered is the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is calculated based on the student's financial information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The EFC takes into account the student's income and assets, as well as the income and assets of the student's parents, if the student is considered a dependent.

There are no strict income limits for Pell Grant eligibility, as eligibility is based on financial need as determined by the student's EFC. However, the amount of the Pell Grant award is inversely proportional to the student's EFC - meaning that the lower the EFC, the higher the Pell Grant award.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to commonly asked questions. 

Is there an existing age limit for getting federal student aid?

There is no existing age limit with regards to the federal student aid, but some federal aid programs, such as the Federal Pell Grant, have restrictions based on the student's expected family contribution (EFC) and other factors.

Additionally, some state and institutional aid programs may have age restrictions or other eligibility requirements that students must meet to receive aid.

Can students get federal student aid if they have bad credit?

It depends on the type of federal student aid that the student is applying for. Some federal student aid programs, such as the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Work-Study program, do not take credit history into account when determining eligibility.

However, other federal student aid programs, such as federal student loans, may require a credit check.

If a student has federal student loans that are set to default, can they receive federal student aid?

Students who have federal student loans that are set to default are generally do not qualify to receive federal student aid. Defaulting on a federal student loan means that the borrower has failed to make payments on the loan for a certain period of time, typically 270 days or more.

To be eligible for federal student aid, including grants and loans, you must not be in default on any federal student loans or owe a refund on a federal grant. In order to regain eligibility for federal student aid, a borrower in default must take action to rehabilitate the defaulted loan, such as making satisfactory repayment arrangements with the loan servicer or consolidating the loan.

The Pell Grant is a great resource for struggling students who can't afford to complete their college education due to financial constraints. There are no age limits for the Pell Grant, and you can apply for it as long as you meet the basic eligibility requirements.

Adult students, are you navigating your financial aid options? Discover the specifics in our latest post detailing the Pell Grant income limits for 2023. Ensure you're maximizing your funding potential!

Learn about how the Pell Grant works in our blog.

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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