The Pell Grant is a need-based federal grant for low-income students who require financial support to pay for college.
Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who have not received their first bachelor’s degree and to some students who are enrolled in qualifying post-baccalaureate programs.
To receive the Pell Grant, you must demonstrate significant financial need, and the funds you receive do not have to be repaid.
Benefits of the Pell Grant
The value of higher education is universally understood and appreciated; yet the cost to obtain higher education has never been greater. Tuition and fees at a private college or university can top $50,000, 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 $20,000 a year. With the cost of college only continuing to rise, applying for a Pell Grant could be very helpful in financing an education. Grants are the best source of financial aid, as they are essentially ‘free money’ awards – if you receive a Pell Grant, it does not have to be paid back.
There is no direct application process for a Pell Grant; every student is considered after completing and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. This application provides key information on a family’s income, assets, and expenses, and it allows both federal and institutional aid officers to determine how much financial assistance the student needs. Pell Grants are reserved for students from low-income families, so you must demonstrate exceptional financial need on your FAFSA to qualify for one. Unfortunately, Pell Grants are not terribly common, and as such are reserved for those with the greatest financial need.
How much support should I expect?
The maximum amount awarded for a Pell Grant during the 2013-14 school year is $5,645. The size of a student’s Pell Grant is dependent on the student’s expected family contribution (EFC), the cost of attendance (COA), the student’s enrollment status (full-time or part-time), and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less. While a Pell Grant is a great source of funding for low-income students, it will not cover the entire cost of college. Many students still need much more financial assistance to attend college, which can be found in forms of financial aid like other grants, scholarships, and student loans. When searching for sources of funding for college, always pursue free money awards first, such as grants and scholarships, and if those sources are not enough, pursue federal student loans. If federal student loans do not fully cover the cost of college, you can turn to private student loans to fill the gap between any aid received and your tuition bill.
The value of your Federal Pell Grant can change yearly. For the academic year of 2013-2014 the maximum amount of the award is $5,645. The assistance that a student will get depends on the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
What is the Pell Grant Calculator?
A Pell Grant Calculator is a tool available online that helps students calculate the amount of their potential Pell Grant. Pell Grant awards are based on things like the Cost of Attendance and the Expected Family Contribution. Knowing the amount of your Pell Grant can help you better prepare for the cost of college.
How do I receive a federal Pell Grant?
The federal Pell Grant is part of a financial assistance program offered by the federal government to individuals who demonstrate extreme financial need. Pell Grants are not offered by any particular institutes, but they are part of a program extended by the U.S. Department of Education to deserving individuals irrespective of the institute they attend or the degree program they enroll in. However, Pell Grants are awarded through the prospective institute’s financial aid office only since it is mandatory for the applicant to be enrolled in an accredited institute in order to receive the grant funding.
What can a Pell Grant calculator do for me?
A Pell Grant calculator can help you calculate the exact amount of Pell Grant funding you will receive, depending on a few factors. By helping you determine the amount of Pell Grant funding you may receive, a Pell Grant calculator will help you better understand your financial picture and therefore plan better for obtaining more financial support, if needed. Factors determining the exact amount of Pell Grant include the cost of attendance at the institution the applicant may attend, the expected family contribution, the time duration of the applicant’s degree program, and the enrollment status of the applicant (part-time or full-time).
Where can I find detailed Pell Grant information?
Our website offers some of the most detailed Pell Grant information. You can find all sorts of information regarding the federal Pell Grant application process, application form, eligibility criteria, how to calculate the amount of Pell Grant funding you are expected to receive, the benefits of receiving Pell Grant, and where to apply to get a Pell Grant. All this information helps applicants determine the exact amount of expected Pell Grant which helps them look for alternate funding sources in time.
Are there any specific Pell Grant requirements?
There are several criteria one must meet to satisfy the Pell Grant requirements and be eligible to receive grant funding. The basic requirements for a Pell Grant are that you need to be a legal U.S. citizen with a social security number (SSN), must be enrolled in an accredited American institute, must be pursuing undergraduate level of education, and must have completed high school degree. These are all rather simple Pell grant requirements to meet, but the most important one is that you must demonstrate significant financial need. Pell Grants are a very small portion of federal aid funds, and they are only given to individuals who show an extreme amount of need.
Are there any Pell Grant qualifications?
There is an entire list of Pell Grant qualifications if you go into detail. However, the most significant ones are to be eligible for federal aid and demonstrate extreme financial need. Other than that, you need to make sure you have not already defaulted on any other loan before, and you need to maintain a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to keep getting the Pell Grant since it is reviewed each year. Students who fail to produce the SAP will not be awarded a Pell Grant for the next year.
Is there a Pell Grant application online?
No, but that said, there is no specific Pell Grant application. You will be considered for the Pell Grant upon filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can file the FAFSA online, though to do so you will need to be prepared and have on hand your Social Security Number, bank statements, income tax statements, driving license, investment and debt statements, W-2 forms, and spouses’ income tax returns as well (if married).