How to Qualify for Pell Grant

Ever wondering how to qualify for Pell Grant? This grant is the most well-known federal grant available from the United States government. Our government encourages everybody to pursue higher education, because that’s the door to better welfare and living standard. Trough this grant, the United States federal government tries to help people with low-income to get their undergraduate degree (or some special post-baccalaureate program).


How to Qualify for Pell Grant

Pell Grant qualifications are determined by two basic requirements, which are:

  1. You must be an undergraduate in eligible university or college. Some post-baccalaurate students may also eligible. We’ve discussed everything about the postgraduate Pell Grant in our previous post.
  2. The student is not under some penalty from the federal or state institution.
  3. The student is considered needing some kind of financial assistance

The third requirement mentioned above is determined by the Expected Family Contribution score, which is calculated from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid submission. From this FAFSA application, the government will include various factors to determine your EFC score.

The federal grant amount differs from one student to other student. Each year there have been some differences in the maximum amount of money that the Pell Grant awardees get. Last year, the grant awardees can get up to $5,645 per semester. The exact money given depends on:

  • The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of the applying student
  • The cost of attendance
  • The student’s attendance (full academic year or less)
  • The status of the student as part-time or full-time student in eligible university or colleges

The lower your EFC score, the bigger amount of award you get. The maximum number of EFC score to be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant would be 3,850. If you get EFC score larger than that number, you are not eligible for the grant.

The score is released in the form of Student Aid Report by the US Department of Education in the following year academic after you submit your FAFSA application. It is also important for you to know that you have to maintain your cost of attendance in acceptable state in order to be eligible for the grant.

If the student attends a full academic year, the grant amount will increase. The same logic also applies for the student status. If you are a part-time student, then your Pell grant award amount is likely less than the amount received by full-time student.

Although the award money for this grant is not big (most of the students only receive about $1,000 per semester), many students are aiming for the Pell grant qualification because many other grants from corporations, federal government, or state government often prefer students who received Pell Grants. In short, becoming a Pell grant recipient will open the door to many other grant opportunities.

In conclusion, the Pell grant qualification is fully determined by the US government’s Department of Education. Your job is to complete the FAFSA application form truthfully and submit them as soon as you can. False data on the FAFSA application may result in permanent ban of eligibility for any federal grant. I hope this clarify information on how to qualify for Pell grant.

References :

  • Pell Grant :
  • Investing in Pell Grants to Make College Affordable :
  • Federal Pell Grants :
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