How do you know if you qualify for the Federal Pell Grant and how to accept it?
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The Pell Grant is part of the Federal Student Aid program... so when you apply for federal financial aid - which EVERY student should do - you are also applying for the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant is awarded to undergraduate students (graduate students are not eligible) who have not earned an undergraduate degree or a professional degree. (So you can't already have a bachelor's degree and be working on a second one and you can't be working on a Master's or Doctorate degree). Again - ALL students should apply for federal financial aid to see what kind of aid or grants they may be eligible for. You don't have to accept any money - but all students should see what they might be eligible for. All students <span style="color: rgb(73, 75, 76);">should start by submitting a </span>Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA<sup>®</sup>) form<span style="color: rgb(73, 75, 76);">. You will have to </span>fill out the FAFSA form<span style="color: rgb(73, 75, 76);"> every year you’re in school in order to stay eligible for federal student aid. Also, </span><span style="color: rgb(73, 75, 76); background-color: rgb(252, 247, 238);">note that </span>you can receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 semesters<span style="color: rgb(73, 75, 76); background-color: rgb(252, 247, 238);"> or the equivalent (roughly six years). </span>Grants are a wonderful way to help pay for college as you don't have to pay a grant back (unlike a "loan"). Best of luck!
Debra recommends the following next steps:
Pell grants are a great way to begin your college education! It is a terrific way to test the waters and will help you! Keep in mind, if you live at home your parent’s income will be taken into consideration but I got my first degree with a Pell Grant.
Julayne recommends the following next steps:
You will not know if you qualify for a Pell Grant to accept unless you apply. No matter what your income may be, just about all colleges and universities require you to apply if you want any type of aid, to include scholarships. The deadline for early decision is generally around March 1 each year. Once yor form is completed, it will be sent to each school listed. You can list up to 10. Each school, if applicable, will offer you different amounts. Some may need additional forms. If you do not receive what you think you should get, there are forms to fill out for explanations.
Moving forward, if you do not qualify for a pell grant, a federal loan will be offered as well as a possible work-study. You will receive an email to the email given whether you accept or decline what is being offered...your choice. Make sure, if additional information is needed, you have everything handy. Funds run out quickly, pending the school, and it is best to get everything turned in as early and accurately as possible.
Honestly, as expensive as schools are, a pell grant will not cover your total costs. There are school grants and scholarships I encourage you to apply for.
These are two websites for grants and scholarships and you can filter for the school. Whatever you do, try to leer away from loans. These you have to pay back. Hope this information helps
Your counselor will be able to give you all the information you need for not only the PELL Grant, but all the other financial aid that is available. They can tell you how to fill it out and when to send it in. Then you wait.
When you/family fills out the FAFSA (financial aid form) you will be assessed for this and then notified about what if any sort of financial aid you are eligible for.