Many people in the U.S require financial assistance to fund their college or universities studies. Thankfully, there are several different grants, loans and scholarship options made available by the government, one being the Pell Grant. The first thing you need to do is figure out if this type of grant is the best option for you; so let’s explore the Pell Grant in details!

Pell Grant Facts

The Pell Grant is one of the monetary aids made available to students wanting to pursue an undergraduate degree, but are unable to do so due to financial constraints. This type of funding is often in high demand so early application is important. The Pell Grant allows you to access up to $6,095 per year to fund your tuition, dorm fees, and other school related expenses.  The specific amount you’ll receive is based on the attendance cost for your school, the period of study for your degree and your financial need.

Furthermore unlike loans, it does not require repayment unless in unique situations – one being if you dropped out of school and did not complete the academic year in which the grant was funded to you.   

Do you qualify?

All institutes that offer credits and degrees automatically qualify for FAFSA application, which gives you access to the Pell Grants.  U.S citizens and even non-citizens can access this grant given that you pass the specified eligibility criteria. Some of these include:

Must display exceptional financial need. You must provide relevant documents showing family income and other proof of your family’s contribution (or lack thereof) to your education.

You also need to be an undergraduate student or have plans to attend college for the academic year in which you are applying for the grant.

You can qualify for additional Pell funds if your parent or guardian died during military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11. However, you must have been below age 24 or enrolled as a full -time college student at the time of their passing.

The Application Process

The application process for the Pell Grant must be done via FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. The form is used to gather information which will ultimately determine whether you qualify for this grant. It also determines the specific amount that you will receive in the case that you do qualify.  After all the necessary information is filled out on the FAFSA form, a comprehensive assessment is conducted.

When will you receive your money?

The money will be disbursed in time for the academic school year and is sent directly to the institution. The school will notify you once the funds have been received, and if you qualify for extra monies it will be paid out to you.

How often can I apply for the Pell Grant?

The Pell Grant covers one academic year so you must reapply via FAFSA each year. Conversely, you can only access these funds for a total of 12 semesters or the equivalent of 4 years.