Pell Grant eligibility: Do you qualify?
Pell Grants are financial aid provided by the federal government and eligibility depends on a students’ demonstrated financial need. The Pell Grant originated through the Higher Education Act of 1965 and was part of a broader aim to improve higher education opportunities for lower and middle-income students.
Pell Grant eligibility specifically depends on a student’s demonstrated financial need. This makes them a very valuable source of financial aid for students qualify for need-based aid.
How do I apply for a Pell Grant?
To apply for Pell Grants, as well as other need-based financial aid, students need to submit a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). In order to qualify for the Pell Grant for subsequent years, students will need to resubmit the FAFSA.
When is the deadline for applying?
This is all dependent on the FAFSA. Students must complete the FAFSA and apply by the FAFSA deadlines. The Federal FAFSA deadline is June 30th, but there are state specific deadlines that can vary depending on your state of residence.
Do I qualify for a Pell Grant?
Pell Grant eligibility is determined by a variety of factors including:
- Students must demonstrate financial need through the FAFSA
- Students must be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen (which includes refugees and asylum seekers)
- Students also must be enrolled in college as an undergraduate student as a full time or half time student.
As mentioned earlier, students must re-submit the FAFSA each year to maintain eligibly. Students must also meet certain academic requirements at their college or university.
How much grant money could I get?
The maximum amount awarded through the Pell Grant can change from year to year. For the 2019 to 2020 academic year, the maximum Pell Grant award is $6,195. However, this is the maximum amount and the actual amount students receive will depend on their actual financial need.
Is there a time limit to use a Pell Grant?
Students are eligible to use the grants for up to 12 academic semesters. Additionally, once you have received your undergraduate degree or your first professional degree you are no longer eligible to receive a Pell Grant.
Do students need to pay a Pell Grant back?
Nope! Like other need-based grants, Pell Grants do not need to be paid back. This makes them a valuable part of your financial aid package!
Bottom Line for students:
Pell Grants are simply another great reason to fill out the FAFSA! For students with demonstrated financial need, this is one of the most important foundations for your overall financial aid package.
Since this grant money does not need to be repaid and can be renewed for up to twelve college semester. Over four years of college, these grants could be worth nearly $25,000! This is no small chunk of change and can be a meaningful way to keep your debt down!