In order to secure funding for your college years, you will need to apply for a Pell Grant. However, before you can do so, you need to understand what the Pell Grant is and how it operates. The Federal Pell Grant Program assists college students by providing need based grants to students who come from low income backgrounds. There are approximately 5,400 universities and colleges that participate in the Pell Grant Program. The monetary amount of the award that you receive from the Pell Grant is determined by your family’s expected financial contribution, the overall cost to attend the university you have chosen and whether the student is enrolled as a full time or part time student.
To successfully apply for a Pell Grant is to receive direct aid from the federal government. If you are selected for an award, the money will be sent to your chosen school. You must be a student who is pursuing their first bachelor’s degree, although there is some funding available for students who are enrolled in post baccalaureate programs. After the school has received your funding, it will be applied to your balance owed to the university. The Pell Grant will be applied to your account once per semester. So if you were to receive a $4,000 grant, you would receive $2,000 per semester.
To apply for a Pell Grant, you must demonstrate a financial need for your schooling. How much financial aid you need is determined by the U.S. Department of Education. Congress has established a formula based upon the answers you provide in your FAFSA to determine what your family’s expected financial contributions to your schooling will be. The main determinants for an EFC are the student’s income (if he or she is independent and the student’s assets after basic living expenses have been deducted).
There are three different categories of students: those who are dependents, those who are independent students without dependents and those who are independent students with dependents. The rates and allowances that are made for each category are determined by your assessment. This is why applying for a Pell Grant is an attractive offer for those who are non-traditional students or those who have children and are returning to school. Such a grant gives just about anyone a chance to pay for some portion of college. To find out if you qualify to apply for a Pell Grant, fill out your FAFSA today.