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How Much Is Pell Grant Per Semester?

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

The Pell Grant program is a federal financial aid program that provides funding to low-income undergraduate students to help cover the cost of their education. Its mission is to ensure equitable access to post-secondary education and help students achieve their academic and career aspirations.

This blog explores how much Pell Grant is per semester. Let's begin.

The Pell Grant Explained

The Pell Grant is the largest need-based grant program in the United States and provides billions of dollars in financial assistance to millions of students annually. The grant can cover various educational expenses, including tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other supplies.

In contrast to loans, Pell Grants do not have to be repaid, making them a crucial resource for students who might otherwise be unable to afford college. Since it started in 1980, over 200 million students have received a Pell Grant, and it is estimated that 30% - 40% of undergraduates receive some amount of Pell Grant per year.

Why Is The Pell Grant Important To Undergrads and Graduates?

The Pell Grant is important to undergraduates and graduates because they can receive financial assistance to help them pay for their education. For undergraduates, the grant helps to make college more accessible, regardless of their financial circumstances.

This can help reduce the student debt burden and promote economic mobility.

The Pell Grant can support graduate students pursuing advanced degrees, such as Masters or Doctoral programs.

Eligibility Requirements To Know

Here are the eligibility requirements for the Pell Grant Program:

  • Financial Standing: Demonstrate significant financial need based on family income and other financial factors, as assessed by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Academics: Have a high school diploma, GED, or completed a high school education in an approved homeschool setting. While receiving the grant, you must continue to be in good academic standing.
  • School's Participation: Enrolled or accepted for an undergraduate degree or certificate program at an eligible university.
  • Citizenship: Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
  • Special Circumstances: Lost a parent during the Afghanistan or Iraq wars or has an intellectual disability.

Income Limits For Eligibility

The income limits for Pell Grant eligibility are not fixed, as they depend on factors such as family size, tax status, and the number of family members attending college simultaneously.

However, to be considered for a Pell Grant, you must demonstrate significant financial need, determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated based on information provided in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Age Limits For Eligibility

There is no specific age limit for Pell Grant eligibility, so adult learners returning to school or starting college later in life are still eligible as long as they meet the above requirements.

However, there are some restrictions on the number of years a student can receive Pell Grant funding, which may limit the availability of funds for older students who have already received Pell Grants for a significant period.

How Much Money Can You Gain From A Pell Grant?

For the 2022-2023 academic year, a student with an EFC of 0 would be eligible for the maximum Pell Grant award of $7,395. The maximum EFC to be eligible for a Pell Grant is 6656.

Generally, students from families with a lower income are more likely to be eligible for the Pell Grant. Still, students with a higher income may also qualify if they have significant financial needs due to other circumstances.

What Are Some Factors That Determine The Amount Awarded?

Several factors determine the amount awarded for a Pell Grant:

  1. Expected Family Contribution (EFC): This is the amount of money that the federal government expects you and your family to contribute to your college education. The EFC is calculated based on your information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The lower your EFC, the more financial need you have, and the more you may be eligible to receive Pell Grant funds.
  2. Cost of Attendance (COA): This is the total cost of attending your school, including fees, room and board, books, supplies, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses. The COA varies by school and enrollment status, such as full-time or part-time. The higher your COA, the more you may be eligible to receive Pell Grant funds.
  3. Enrollment Status: Your Pell Grant award amount may vary depending on whether you are enrolled full-time or part-time. If enrolled full-time, you may be eligible for a higher award than if enrolled part-time.

When Are Pell Grants Awarded?

The total amount you'd received is split per semester. For example, if awarded $3,000 in Pell Grants, you'd get $1,500 for the Fall Semester and $1,500 for the Spring Semester.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to commonly asked questions:

How much do people usually get from the Pell Grant?

Depending on their EFC, students can get as low as $750 and as high as $7,395 in Pell Grants. Depending on the state, the average Pell Grant is $4,000 to $5,000.

What is the highest award among other Pell Grants?

For 2023-2024, the highest Pell Grant award is $7,395.

How do you calculate the Pell Grant?

How much Pell Grant per semester you'd largely receive depends on the EFC, which is calculated by considering factors such as your family's income, living conditions, tax status, family size, etc.

Going to college is possible even when your family is short on funds. The Pell Grant makes sure of that. Learn about other scholarship grants in our blog to help you get through college.

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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