Do You Qualify For A Pell Grant?

Do You Qualify For A Pell Grant?

Pell Grants

Pell Grants are for students who need help to pay for their college or university education. They are federal grants available to low-income students for work on a bachelor’s degree or on additional studies for some specific professions, such as a teaching license. You do not have to pay back grants, unlike loans. How can you access these grants? The first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) since Pell is a U.S. federal government program.

Filling out the FAFSA gives the Department of Education the information they need on your income in order to make a decision on a Pell Grant and its amount. They determine eligibility according to a formula that Congress established which takes into consideration income, property and other assets. This determines the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) towards the student’s costs. EFC also figures in whether or not the student is considered a dependent of their parents or has dependents. You can get more information on the FAFSA from any guidance counselor or the college admissions or financial aid office since the information on the FAFSA allows for decisions on other loan and grant programs, as well.

Students with family income up to $60,000 a year can qualify for a Pell Grant. Most students who receive them have family incomes of under $30,000. There is no cost to apply and you should never, ever pay someone to help you access a Pell Grant. If you need help with the FAFSA or other part of the application process ask the Financial Aid office of your college to help you figure it out. They want you to be able to pay your bill and stay in school! The government collects statistics on Pell Grant recipients in order to look at how many low-income students are enrolled and if they are generally successful at staying in school and getting a degree. Over 5,400 schools participate in the Pell Grant program.

The FAFSA information decides how much you can pay. The other part of the equation is how much the school costs. The college or university determines the cost of attendance. Another qualifier is the student’s “status.” This asks if you are a full- or part-time student or if you going to be attending for a full year. If you receive a Pell Grant, the money goes directly to the school. They credit it to your account or, if other sources such as scholarships have paid tuition and costs, they send you a check for the remaining amount. The maximum Pell Grant that is allowed for the next school year is $5,550.

Unfortunately, the program has not been fully funded and so the highest grants have actually fallen below the full allowance. New laws should soon take effect that will make a few changes to Pell Grants as well as student loans. Funding for the grants is set to increase, along with maximum allowances that will soon be pegged to the Consumer Price Index and will rise with the cost of living.