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Pell Grant

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

A college education is something every child deserves, but it is a privilege only available to some. It is undeniable that college affordability is a problem for many households across the United States, but the dream of getting a degree should not end there.

Financial aid programs are available for different types of students, and the federal government offers numerous education grants. From scholarships for single mothers to educational grants for children of veterans, opportunities are available for those who seek them.

One of the best college financial aid programs to consider applying for is the Pell Grant. Learn how the Pell Grant works, its eligibility requirements, and its application process.

What Is A Pell Grant

The Pell Grant is a form of federal financial aid to help aspiring college students with exceptional financial needs. The Department of Education awards this grant to low-income students for their college expenses — tuition, room and board, college fees, and other costs.

When a student is awarded a Pell Grant, they will receive a certain amount based on an assessment, and they are free to use it for their education without having to worry about repaying someday.

Who Is Eligible For Pell Grant 

Federal Pell Grants are exclusive to students in undergraduate programs, meaning students who have a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree will not qualify. However, there are cases where post-baccalaureate students are granted the program’s benefits to promote post-secondary education.

As Pell Grants are granted to students with exceptional financial needs, applicants must also be ready to submit documents that prove they belong to a low-income family.

Moreover, the Department of Education will also weigh how much you need financially based on the income you report. Once this number, called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), is determined, they will compare it to the expected cost of your college attendance. Then, you will be informed of the financial aid for which you’re eligible.

If you want a detailed article if you're eligible for a Pell grant, check out our blog about Eligibility for Pell Grant.

Who Is Not Eligible

Individuals who have been incarcerated in a federal or state institution and those who have been convicted of crimes will not be awarded a Pell Grant.

Moreover, there is also the possibility of a student losing the Pell Grant. This will happen if the student withdraws from their course, fails to maintain enrollment, or fails to meet the GPA requirements set by the educational institution.

Pell Grant Award Amount

For the academic year 2022 to 2023, the maximum amount a student can get from the grant is $6,495. However, this amount will still weigh on your application information — your financial need and other factors — so it is important to submit a new application form every year.

Pell Grant Disbursement

If you are awarded the Pell Grant, you may receive it in two ways: to your college’s account or directly to you. In some cases, you may receive a combination of the two methods.

Whatever you are eligible for in your Pell Grant will be relayed to you through your school. You will be informed in writing about the amount you receive, how the payment is made, and when the payments will be made.

How To Apply For A Pell Grant

Like other federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs, the application for a Pell Grant begins with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form online.

After submission, all that’s left is waiting for your college to inform you about the money you will be eligible for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you start your Pell Grant application, here are some things you must know about it:

Do you have to repay a Pell Grant?

The Pell Grant is a significant financial aid for students because it does not have to be repaid, unlike other scholarship alternatives. However, you must ensure you stay in school. You cannot withdraw from your program or switch to part-time education, as this will trigger a request for repayment.

How can you maintain a Pell Grant?

To continue receiving the benefits from a Pell Grant, you must maintain your enrollment in an undergraduate course. You should also submit your FAFSA form every academic year to ensure eligibility.

How does a Pell Grant work for children whose parents died in the line of duty?

If your parent or guardian is part of the U.S. armed forces and died in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11 or a public service officer who died on active duty, you may be eligible for the Pell Grant. You may even get a higher grant because your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be counted as zero.

Get The Opportunity Your Need From Pell Grant

Using gift aids like Pell Grant is a good opportunity to explore, especially if you want to finish school without being financially burdened. If you want to enjoy the benefits of the Pell Grant, start the application process by filling out a FAFSA form today.

On the other hand, if you want to learn more about other benefits students can enjoy from the government, you can check out our blog about getting free laptops for students!

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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