The Pell Grant | federal financial aid program for undergraduate students

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The Pell Grant is a federal financial aid program that provides need-based grants to undergraduate students who are in exceptional financial need to help pay for their college education. The grant is named after Claiborne Pell, a former senator from Rhode Island who was a strong advocate for expanding access to higher education.

To be eligible for the Pell Grant, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate financial need based on their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the cost of attendance at their chosen school. The maximum Pell Grant award amount for the 2021-2022 academic year is $6,495.

Unlike a loan, the Pell Grant does not have to be repaid, making it a valuable source of free money for eligible students. The grant can be used to pay for tuition, fees, books, and living expenses while attending college.

In addition to the Pell Grant, there are other federal and state financial aid programs available to help students pay for college. It’s important for students to research and apply for all the financial aid they may be eligible for in order to reduce the burden of student debt.

Who is eligible?
Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who are in exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. You are not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant if you are incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense.

How one can apply?
One should start by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Schools use the information on the FAFSA form to determine your eligibility for a Pell Grant, and if so, how much you’re eligible to receive. You will have to fill out the FAFSA form every year you’re in school to be eligible for federal student aid, including Pell Grant awards.

How much money can one get?
Amounts are changing yearly. The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $7,395 for the 2023–24 year.

In few situations, an eligible student can receive up to 150% of his scheduled Pell Grant award for an award year.

How will one get paid?
Your school needs to apply for Federal Pell Grant funds to your school costs, pay you directly, or combine these methods.

What should One do to keep the grant?
One must maintain enrollment in an undergraduate course of study at a nonforeign school to receive a Federal Pell Grant. Additionally, one will have to fill out the FAFSA form every year in school in order to be eligible for federal student aid.

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