Getting Pell Grant For Masters Degree

Pell Grants are mostly given to students who are trying to get admission into a bachelor’s program, for the first time. You must be an undergraduate student to qualify for these grants. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. If you follow the right procedure and meet the minimum eligibility criteria, you can receive the Pell Grant money to fund your master’s degree education, as well.

Approved Courses

There are certain master’s degree courses that have been approved by the federal government for Pell Grant. A post-baccalaureate program that will get you a teaching degree is one of these courses. So, if you are working on this course but are financially not strong enough to afford the same, you may be eligible for Pell Grant. One of the best ways to check your eligibility is to read the Federal Student Aid Handbook on Pell Grants.

Apply For Financial Aid

In order to get a Pell Grant, it is also important for you to apply for all types of financial aid. You can go to bursar, admissions, or your college financial aid office in order to apply for the same. If you have a computer with Internet connection, you can even apply for them online.

Apply For Pell Grant

If you are working on your post-baccalaureate certification, you can apply for a Pell Grant. Since most Pell Grants are given for graduate courses, you are actually an exception and so the process will be a bit different in your case. For example, you may be required to mention the teaching certificate program or any other program that you are planning to get enrolled in on the application form. Besides that, you may also have to declare that you have already completed the bachelor’s degree. In case, you have any queries about financial aid application, you are recommended to seek the financial aid official’s help. On the other hand, if you are applying online, you must read the instructions provided on the Federal Student Aid website’s application.

Last, but not the least, a follow up of your application is very important. You shouldn’t sit back after you have submitted the application form. The financial aid office will take a couple of business days to process your application and forward the same. It is always advisable to check up with the officials to find out how your application is doing. One of the advantages of applying online is that you can track the status of your application on the website where you have applied to get the Pell Grant. All you have to do is just put in your application number and click on the “check status” option.

Overall, even if you have already obtained your four-year college degree and are working on a post-baccalaureate program that leads to a teaching certificate, you can still get Pell Grant and continue your master’s degree.

How To Apply For Pell Grant

Pell Grant is also referred to as Basic Education Opportunity Grant. Since its introduction in the year 1960, it has helped millions of university students to afford the high cost of college education. The best thing about Pell Grant is that the students do not need to repay it. What’s more, there is no maximum age limit to qualify for these grants. Even older adults, who could not obtain a graduate degree because of financial reasons before, can apply for pell grant and improve their academic qualifications. However, when it comes to filling the application form, there are several things that you need to keep in mind. Here is a brief rundown on the same.

Basic Preparation before you apply for Pell Grant

The Pell Grant application form requires you to submit personal and financial details. The documents that you need to have at hand include current bank statements, W-2s, your recent federal tax returns, driver’s license, Social Security number, and details about investment income or untaxed income. There are certain additional requirements for those who are not US citizens. For example, they must submit their permanent resident card.

Get The Application Form

The easiest and the most recommended way to get the application form for Pell Grant is to visit the FAFSA website. FAFSA stands for Free Application For Federal Student Aid. You can access this website right form the comfort of your home. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection. You can download a copy of the application form from this website. Now, you just have to fill out the form and submit the same. However, before you submit the form, make sure that you have completed the form thoroughly.

Protect Your Personal Information

If you are applying for Pell Grant online, you must also know how to protect your financial information. An easy way to do this is to clear your browser’s cache after you submit the form. If you do not know how to clear the browser’s cache, you can find detailed instructions on the FAFSA website.

How To Sign Your Online Application Form

The technology, these days, has improved a lot. You can even sign your application electronically. However, you will need a PIN number for this purpose. So, if you don’t have one, apply for pell grant first. Signing your application is very important, as it accelerates the application process.

You Must Be Aware Of The Deadline

Every year, there is a summer deadline, which you must meet in order to get Pell Grant. You can find the exact details about the last date of application submission on the FAFSA website.

Once you have submitted the application, the last step is to wait for the Student Aid Report. This report notifies the name of all those applicants who qualify for the Pell Grant. If you see your name in the report, you can find detailed instructions in the same report on how to receive the money of the grant. However, make sure that you follow the instructions thoroughly.

How To Get Money For Your Educational Expenses Through Pell Grants? | Pell Grant

In the US, the federal government offers several scholarships, grants, and loans to students to enable them to take care of their educational expenses. One such aid is Pell grant. This grant is available to students belonging to low-income group. It is given on first come first basis and hence students are advised to apply early.

Eligibility Requirements

To get any federal aid, you must be a citizen of the US. You should be enrolled in an undergraduate program to get Pell grant. In some cases, postgraduate students may also get this grant. If you have already completed 4 years of college, then you cannot get Pell grant for attending any other undergraduate program. The other important condition is that you must have regular college attendance and your academic performance should be satisfactory.

How To Apply?

You should obtain the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form that is available in schools, colleges, and federal aid offices. You can also download this form at www.fafsa.ed.gov or you can fill the form online. The last date for submitting the application form is June 30, 2012.

How Is The Grant Determined?

It is a need based financial aid given to the students to pursue undergraduate programs. The main factors on which the grant depends are –

• Family income (dependent students) or personal income (independent students)
• Size of the household
• Number of family members attending college
• Cost of attending the college
• Whether you are a student of full time or part time course
• Age of parents

What Is The Maximum Amount That You Can Receive?

There is a budget for Pell grant that is set each year by the US Department of Education. The maximum amount you can receive depends on the Pell grant budget. According to the legislation the students can receive maximum $5,800 as Pell grant. Last year, $5,550 was the maximum amount awarded for Pell grant. For 2011-2012, the maximum is $5,550.

How Can I Increase My Pell Grant Amount?

Pell grant offered is COA (Cost of attendance) – EFC (Expected family contribution). If your EFC is low, then you are eligible for a higher Pell grant. EFC is calculated using your personal or family income, investments, and assets. If you have fewer investments in your or your family’s name, your EFC will reduce. This may increase your grant amount.

Who Can Be Disqualified From Pell Grant?

• Drug conviction: If while getting a Pell grant, you are convicted of possessing drugs or dealing with drugs, then you are disqualified.
• Incorrect information: If any of the information given in the Pell grant application form is found to be incorrect, you will be disqualified.

In short, you should apply for Pell grant only if your personal or family income is low. You can also apply for other grants while receiving Pell grant like Academic Competitive Grant or Smart Grant. All these aids and grants can help you to continue your higher education without any financial burden.

Factors That Determine Your Pell Grant

Pell grant is one of the most useful grants for under-privilege students to help them pursue college education. If you are financially weak and want to take up a bachelor’s program, then you should apply for this grant. This grant is available to US citizens with family or personal income less than $20000. People interested in applying for this grant often ask ‘how much grant can I get?’ They should know that the amount of grant depends on their financial condition and the cost of attending the program. The maximum Pell grant in the year 2010-2011 is $5,550.

The factors on which Pell grant depends are –

Expected Family Contribution

Expected family contribution is the amount that the student or his / her family will pay for pursuing the program. There are fixed formulae for calculating the EFC. The students who have negative EFC are eligible for higher Pell grants. EFC is calculated based on the information given by the student in his/her FAFSA application. There are many websites that help you in calculating EFC. The calculated EFC will give you the approximate idea of how much grant you can get. For independent students their personal income is taken into the account while calculating EFC, whereas for dependent students, the family income is considered.

To qualify as independent student you should fulfill any one of the following conditions

• Your age is 24 years or above.
• You are married
• You have children or dependents
• You are orphan
• You are veteran of US armed forces

If you do not fulfill any of the above criteria you are considered as a dependent student, and in that case your family income will be considered for calculating EFC. For calculating EFC, the basic amount required by family to take care of their needs is subtracted from the total income. The amount required for contingencies is also subtracted from the total income.

EFC = Total income – Minimum amount required for basic family needs – Taxes – Amount required for contingencies + A portion of the assets (if they exceed certain limit)

Cost Of Attendance

The cost of attendance means the cost incurred towards attending the program. This will include tuition fees, expenses towards books, and other supplies required for pursuing program, boarding expenses, and other personal expenses. There is a minimum amount that is given to students irrespective of their actual expenses. In some special cases other costs may also be included. For e.g. single mothers may have to incur childcare expenses while they are attending college and this may also be included in the cost of attendance.

The final grant is calculated by deducting the expected family contribution from the cost of attendance. So, students who are financially weak will get more grant aid than other students who are financially better off as compared to them.

Apply For Pell Grants Through FAFSA

Are you financially weak and looking for a grant to pursue an undergraduate course? If yes, you can avail of the aids and grants offered by the government, educational institutions and other private organizations for students belonging to low income group. One such grant offered by the US Department of Education is Pell Grant. This grant is given to economically weak students for their undergraduate studies. Getting grants is a very good means to complete your education, as you do not have to return this money. Since government offers so many benefits to students, it is best to fulfill your dreams of higher education with the help of these grants.

Each year a fixed budget is set by the US Education Department to disburse as Pell grants. Some of the students have been granted up to $4500 as Pell grant in the past. But before you apply for this aid, you should check whether you are eligible for it. Generally Pell grants are offered to US citizens only. In some exceptional cases the grant may be offered to non-US citizens too. To get the Pell grant you should be a student of an undergraduate program in one of the approved colleges. Even if you have received the offer letter for admission to a bachelor’s program, then also you can apply for Pell grant. Pell grant is not only available to full time students but to part time students too. One of the most important eligibility requirements is that you should belong to a low-income group. Usually the grant is offered to students with personal income (if independent) or family income (if dependent) less than $20000. This condition may be relaxed in certain cases and students with personal or family income of $50000 may also get the Pell grant.

This grant is offered on first come first basis. Hence it is advised that you should not wait for deadlines to submit your application form. It is now very easy to apply for Pell grant through FAFSA (Free Application Federal Student Aid). The form is available online. You can fill the application online or you can take the print of the form, fill it and send it by mail. You should read all the instructions carefully before filling the application form. You will be required to give details of your education, name of the college, program you have enrolled in, future education plans, income and investments. You have to submit many documents with the application form like income proof, W-2 forms, income tax returns, bank statements, social security number etc. You can access your application and reports online by signing up at FAFSA. You will get a pin, which allows you to access or make changes to your application form. You can also view your student aid report online, which will be made available to you within three weeks after submitting the form. If there are any errors, you should report it immediately and get it corrected.

It is advised that you should give all the correct information for getting the grant. If at any stage, the department finds that any information furnished by you is incorrect, then you will be liable to return the entire grant with fine.

How You Can Get Pell Grants

Pell Grant is assistance provided by the federal government to the low income group students who want to pursue post secondary education. The government has given around $16bn in year 2008 as Pell Grants. The amount of grant changes every year depending upon the budget set by the US Department of Education. However, this grant is not available to all students. It is available only to those students who have enrolled in any of the 5400 educational institutions approved by federal government for Pell Grants.

Eligibility Requirements

Some of the basic eligibility requirements for Pell Grants are –
• You must be a US citizen
• Your total annual family income should be below $20000
• You must have enrolled for the undergraduate program in accredited colleges

Even if you do not meet these eligibility requirements, you can still apply for the grant. This is because the federal government gives Pell Grants to exceptional cases also. It is however not definite that you will get the grant. So you should apply for other educational grants too.

Application Process

The application forms for Pell Grants are available at different vocational schools and colleges. You can also download the forms from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website. The form can also be filled online. Since the number of students applying for Pell Grant is very high it is advised that you fill your application form very carefully and submit it well in time to increase your chances of qualifying for aid. Remember to keep the different documents like bank statements, income tax returns etc at hand as you need to submit them along with the application form.

Once you submit your application form, you will receive intimation from the concerned authorities if you qualify for the Pell Grant. You will receive a student aid report (SAR) which will give the details of the amount of loan granted to you. The grant offered to you depends on your financial condition and special situation, if any. To arrive at the grant to be offered to each eligible student, the federal government has fixed formulae. The formula used depends upon whether the student is independent or dependent on parents. The amount of grant is largely dependent on the expected family contribution (EFC), cost of attendance (COA), family size and whether you are pursuing full time or part time course. Once you qualify for the grant, the same is disbursed to you at fixed frequency by your school or college. In case you have doubts at any stage of the entire Pell Grant process, you can contact their customer service.

In short, Pell Grants are really useful if you wish to pursue undergraduate course but cannot afford it due to your weak financial situation. Unlike other educational loans, you do not have to repay this grant. So, you should try your level best to get this aid to pursue course of your choice.

Pell Grants – Do You Qualify For This Federal Financial Aid? | Pell Grant Eligibility

If you belong to a low-income family, you may find it very difficult to finance your higher education. In fact, this is the main reason why many undergraduates never get to earn a bachelor’s or a professional degree. Pell grants offer a great solution to this problem. It is a Federal Government grant, which may sound like a loan, but is different from loans in a way – you do not have to repay the amount ever. These grants are awarded to undergraduate students who are financially not sound enough to go for higher education. The Federal Government started offering this grant in the year 1960 with an objective to help financially poor undergraduate students receive college education.

Pell Grant Eligibility Criteria

There is certain eligibility criteria that you need to fulfill in order to qualify for Pell Grants. First and foremost, these grants are awarded to only those students who are making satisfactory progress with their studies but need financial support to continue their education. The family income of such students should not be more than $20000 per year. However, there can be some exception – subject to the sole discretion of the Grant Committee. You will also have to prove that you are educated enough to benefit from the higher education for which the Pell grants are offered. In general, you must have at least a GED or a High School diploma. Besides that, you must be a US citizen with a valid social security number. However, if you are already in default of another Federal student loan or grant, you will not be able to qualify for a Pell grant.

However, before the grant money is paid to you, you will be asked to fulfill a form (FASFA form) to certify that you are going to use the money only for educational purpose. There are 5400 participating institutions where you can enroll in a bachelor’s or a professional degree course.

Documentations

You can apply for Pell grants online by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. The information provided by you will be verified and if you meet the minimum qualifying criteria, you will be asked submit some documents to your financial aid office. The documentation may include the following –

  • Social security
  • W-2 information
  • Bank statements
  • Information about investment and mortgage
  • Business records, if any
  • Actual or estimated Federal tax returns
  • If applicable, the details of untaxed income e.g., veteran’s benefits

The complete process may take around two months. The period can be even longer in case there are some issues to be resolved during the verification process. The good thing is that a student can apply for Pell grant every year and be awarded – provided he/she meets the eligibility requirements thoroughly. However, a single student can be awarded only one grant per academic year.

It is also important for you to understand that Pell Grant is not considered an income or asset. Therefore, receiving the grant money will not affect your eligibility for other financial aid programs, such as the Social Security Disability Insurance program or Supplemental Security Income program.

Pell Grant Information Center