The Cost of College and Receiving a Pell Grant
The value of higher education is universally understood and appreciated. The job market is increasingly competitive and values people with skills developed from an undergraduate experience and obtaining a college degree; however, higher education has never been as expensive as it is today. Tuition and fees at a private college or university can top $59,000, and the total cost rises when books, study materials, room and board, and living expenses are factored in. Students who attend in-state public universities can save on tuition, but their costs could still reach nearly $15,000 a year. With the cost of college only continuing to rise, it becomes a necessity to apply for Pell Grant funding for those students are to finance their education.
How do I receive a Pell Grant?
If you plan to apply for Pell Grant funds, just know that these are available to students who have exceptional need, qualify for federal financial aid, and are pursuing a college education. You do not need to apply for Pell Grant monies specifically, as you are automatically considered when you submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Keep in mind that the Pell Grant is only disbursed to students with extreme financial need, so don’t plan on receiving one unless your demonstrated need is great. Even if you do qualify, the maximum award is $5,500, which will only cover your total cost of attendance at a very inexpensive in-state school. However, free money is good money, so if you apply for Pell Grant funds and are fortunate enough to receive them, definitely be thankful for the federal financial aid system.
What are the benefits of a Pell Grant?
If you apply for Pell Grant funding, the biggest advantage you will have is that unlike loans, Pell Grants are tuition grants, or 'free money’ awards, that you are not required to repay. The grant will cover a portion of your undergraduate college tuition and help reduce the stress associated with loans and other external funding opportunities.
Q:How to I apply for a Pell Grant?
A:Pell Grants are part of the federal financial aid program. In order to apply for this grant, students are required to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). However, before filling out the FAFSA application, students are encouraged to estimate the cost of their attendance. The FAFSA application is available online and can be submitted at fafsa.ed.gov. With the help of this application, students can also apply for student loans. It is important for students to fill out the application accurately and make sure it is submitted before the deadline date.
Q:If I mention on my federal Pell Grant application that my parents died in Iraq or Afghanistan, will I get more grant money?
A:If your parent or guardian was in the armed forces and died as a result of military services performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11, you may get additional Federal Pell Grant funds. For you to get additional funds you have to be less than 24 years of age at the time of your parent's death and enrolled in a degree program.