As a student having insufficient income, you are entitled to financial aid for covering the cost of your studies. You should not miss out on any opportunity to get additional funding for your studies. The Pell Grant is now more easily accessible than ever before given that the eligibility criteria have been lowered. The important thing is to apply on time in order to get the money when you need it.
It is hard for anyone to determine how long it takes for a student to get a Pell Grant. This is because the process involves a number of institutions as well as the active participation of the applicant. It is best to find how the process works in order to get a rough idea of how long it will take.
You have to fill in and submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can take a paper form from your school’s financial aid office or print one. However, it is best to use the available online form available on the FAFSA website. In this way, your application will be received faster. The online application can speed up the process by up to four weeks. More importantly, you will have the perfect peace of mind that it will not be lost in the mail.
Then you have to wait for your eligibility to be determined. Most applicants usually receive a confirmation that they are eligible for a Pell Grant within a couple of weeks or a month after submitting their applications. Still, it is perfectly possible for your approval to be delayed due to administrative or technical problems. In some cases, candidates have filled in their applications incorrectly. Hence, if you want to speed up the process, you should check your email regularly for any notifications and amend your application adequately and on time.
After you are awarded with a Pell Grant, you need to submit a number of documents to the financial aid office of your school. These include federal tax return documentation, W-2 information, bank statements and business records, if applicable. It will take another two or three weeks for the financial aid office to process these. Again, it is a good idea to have these documents prepared in advance to avoid delays.
Once everything is in tact with your school’s financial aid office, you will receive the Pell Grant. This is the whole process. It may take as little as 4 weeks. However, it is not uncommon for students to receive the funds they are entitled to 10 weeks after submitting their FAFSA. That is why you are highly recommended to fill in and send your application at least 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. In this way, you should have the money available by the time school starts. This will allow you to avoid missing the deadlines for paying your tuition fees.
Overall, it may take a very short or a long time to get a Pell Grant. The best tactic is to apply as early as possible. Thi also gives you a slightly higher chance of getting more money.