The Federal Pell Grant is a student grant given to those from lower income families who wish to pursue higher education. To be eligible for this grant, you have to present proof that you are in need of financial aid. Those from families with an annual income lower than $20,000 were found to make up 57% of grant recipients, though this was not the case in the years 1999 to 2000, as majority of those receiving grants belonged to families with an income of less than $41,000 annually.
Students can receive as much as $5,550 a year, which will be split in half to provide for each semester of the school year. If you are depending solely on your grant, then you have to carefully choose the educational institution you are enrolling in but you can always add more if you already have a college or university in mind. You don’t have to re-apply for pell grant for every semester, as the grant is good for an entire school year, which typically includes two semesters. However, if you plan to go to school the following year as well, then you will have to apply for a another Pell Grant.
You are eligible to receive higher grants if you are a full-time student, as part-time students typically receive less. If you plan to attend a community college, then you can expect the Pell Grant to be enough to cover for your education. In fact, you may even have some money left for yourself. However, if you plan to go to other universities, the grant you receive may only be able to pay for a part of your tuition fee. Most students in the liberal arts and those from private universities may have to look for additional funding to cover for their expenses. While the grant is expected to increase in the coming years due to tuition fee increases, it still does not cover as many subjects as it used to.
The money you receive from the Pell Grant may also be used for items that you need for your education, such as books, a computer and other such requirements. However, you can only do this if you have some in excess after paying for you tuition fee. Even if you have received the grant for your previous years, you are still as eligible as any other student that needs financial aid if you choose to re-apply. You can check the government website or read through the FAFSA application guidelines to check if different terms apply for reapplication.
It is also worth noting that you cannot receive your grant for one entire year all at once, as the total sum is split into the number of semesters in the year so that each semester receives an equal amount. While you can use a Pell Grant for mostly all universities, provided that they participate in the program, you should still ask the university you are applying for if they accept such grants just to be sure. Students who really want to acquire higher education can greatly benefit from this grant so it is important to supply accurate information when applying.