To apply for Pell Grant, you will need to fill up and submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form.
There Are Three Ways In Which You Can Apply For FAFSA. You Can –
1. Call the FAFSA Student Aid Centre and ask them to mail a FAFSA form to your address. You can then complete the form and mail it to the concerned address.
2. Download the FAFSA form from the website, complete it and send it by mail to the given address.
3. Complete and submit the form, online.
The third option is the fastest and the most convenient. Even the federal student aid authorities encourage online submission of applications.
To apply for Pell Grant online, you would have to visit the website www.fafsa.ed.gov. The website has three sections “Before Beginning a FAFSA”, “Filling Out a FAFSA”, and “FAFSA Follow-up”. These sections provide instructions to the students to guide them through the process of application.
The first section “Before Beginning a FAFSA” provides tips to fill the FAFSA form accurately and quickly. On going through the section you will get an idea of –
• How to complete the FAFSA,
• How the financial aid given to a student is computed,
• The eligibility criteria,
• Deadlines for submitting the form,
• Details of the documents required, and
• How to generate a pin to sign your FAFSA form electronically
You will find a link for printing the FAFSA on the web Worksheet. It is advisable to take a printout of this worksheet, as it will give you an idea of how the FAFSA form is structured. You can gather the required details and fill it in the worksheet. This makes it easier to transfer the data to the FAFSA on the web.
In the next section, “Filling Out a FAFSA”, you can actually begin to fill up your form. If you have any doubts regarding a specific question you can either click the “Need Help” button or get help from a customer representative by clicking on the “Live Help” link. If you are unable to complete the application in one sitting you can always save it and resume later. Students who want to make corrections to a processed application can also do so in this section.
Once you have filled the form you will be required to sign it electronically through a PIN (Personal Identification Number). Your parents too will be required to sign with a PIN if you are a dependent. If you or your parents do not already have a PIN, you can apply for one and get it immediately. After you have signed and submitted the application, it will get processed. On an average, the processing time would be 2-3 weeks. Thereafter your Student Aid Report will be sent to you by the Federal Student Aid.
In the last section “FAFSA Follow-up”, you can check the status of your application. You can also see or print your Student Aid Report. Corrections to the processed application can also be made through a link in this section.
Though applying for the Pell Grant online is the most convenient, you should remember to do it well before the deadline. This would ensure that you do not enter wrong details in haste. This year Pell Grant Application deadline is on June 30, 2014.
A valuable resource to have when filling the form is the Princeton Review’s Paying for College Without Going Broke which is the only annual college financial aid guide with line-by-line instructions for completing the FAFSA.