Pell grant qualifications is an important knowledge for undergraduate students. Every university student I know is aware of the Pell grant. This is basically the most widespread grant coming from our government. Much like many other federal grants, the Pell grant is based on the current financial condition of the student. In this post, we will dig deeper into this matter and see the real Pell grant qualifications.
The grant started by the name of Basic Educational Opportunity Grant Program in 1978. From the start until today, the program stays true to its original intention which to provide help for financially needy students across the United States. The current Pell grant program has received the largest share of fund from the government, and this year about $3 billion is distributed to millions of students in this country.
This $3 billion fund is distributed based on the financial need. This means that not all students receive the same amount of award from the grant. The current academic year’s grant maximum award is set at $5,730, with minimum award of $587. As we have mentioned earlier, the amount received by each student varies because of several factors. These include the cost of attendance, the enrollment status of the student, full academic attendance status, and most importantly, the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of the student.
Pell Grant Qualifications Requirements
To qualify as Pell grant awardees, you should be an undergraduate student enrolled in an accredited college or university. Another qualification requirement is that you are not under incarceration in any penal institution. Last but not least, you need to confirm that you need financial assistance to complete your college education.
Note that in some cases there are Federal Pell Grant awarded to students from higher graduate (baccalaureate), but this is a rare case. You have to enroll in an eligible post-baccalaureate teaching credentials program.
The confirmation of financial need is performed by calculating the Expected Family Contribution score. This is a standard formula used to determine your eligibility and also the amount of grant you will receive. The EFC score is determined by various factors, including your family circumstances (like single parent family, etc), your parent’s assets, number of children, your family’s income, etc. All of the information required to calculate the EFC score is retrieved from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
From the latest information we got, the Federal Pell grant cutoff threshold is 4,617. If you get your EFC score higher than that number, you are NOT eligible for the Pell grant. Respectively, getting an EFC score lower than that number means that you will get the Pell grant. One important thing to note is that you should complete all of the required information truthfully, because cheating will only give you debt. The government will ask you to return the money you got.
Completing your FAFSA is, in general, all you have to do. After that the federal government through its Department of Education will do the rest. After you complete the FAFSA, you will be given information about your Pell grant eligibility and also Student Aid Report.
There you go. The Pell grant qualifications is pretty straightforward and simple, right?