Pell Grants: What You Need to Know about this Federal Loan Program

Barry Lenson

Pell Grants: What You Need to Know about this Federal Loan Program

what is a PELL grantWhat are Pell Grants, and how can you get one? Chances are you have heard that Pell Grants are federally funded loan programs designed to help deserving students pay for college. That’s true, but let’s takes a closer look and answer some common questions about them . . .

  • What exactly is a Pell Grant? It’s a need-based grant that is offered to certain low-income undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students.
  • Can I apply for multiple Pell Grants to cover more of my college costs? No. You can only receive one at a time.
  • How can I apply? You start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form online.  It asks for information about: your income (and assets if you are independent); your parents' income and assets (if you are dependent); your family's household size; and the number of family members (excluding parents) who are attending postsecondary institutions.
  • How much money can I get? The maximum is $5,550 per school year.
  • Do I have to repay one?  No. It is a grant, not a loan. That means you do not have to repay it.
  • How can I qualify for the maximum amount? Grant amounts are dependent on several factors, including: the cost of attending your school; how much your family can pay toward your education; and your enrollment status (full-time or part-time).
  • How can I find out more? Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Pell Grant information page online.  While there, you can download a copy of the Pell Grant Program Handbook. 

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