There are various scholarships available to students with low incomes pursuing an undergraduate degree. The Pell Grant is available from the Federal Government. There is a wide range of criteria that you have to meet in order to be eligible for receiving this funding. It is worth considering them before you decide to apply.
You have to be a US citizen, a US national or an eligible non-citizen in order to apply for a Pell Grant. You have to have a valid social security number. You must not be incarcerated in a state or Federal prison. You must not have been convicted of the possession and sale of illegal substances while receiving financial aid.
In order to receive the Pell Grant, you have to be enrolled in an undergraduate course that leads to the awarding of a degree, diploma or certificate. You must have a high school diploma or GED. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree and associate degree are eligible for this scholarship. Those pursuing a professional degree, such as nursing, may also be awarded the grant. Students pursuing some postgraduate degree programs, like teaching, are also eligible for this type of federal aid. In order to be awarder a Pell Grant, the school you are attending must participate in the Federal Pell Grant Program.
This type of grant is designed to aid students with low incomes. For this reason, you or your parents have to have a total annual income of no more than $50,000. Still, you have to take into account the fact that in most cases a Pell Grant is awarded to students with total family income which is equal to or less than $20,000. Generally, you should apply, if you meet the standard criterion. Your expected family contribution (EFC) will be determined based on the financial information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you fill in. In most cases, a Pell Grant is awarded to students with EFC equal to or less than $5,273.
After you have applied for federal student aid using the FAFSA, you will be notified of your EFC and whether you are eligible for a Pell Grant. You do not have to apply for this scholarship additionally. You will receive it automatically from your school’s financial aid office. Still, you will be asked to submit a number of documents directly to the school.
The amount of funding you will be awarded depend on a number of additional criteria. Your expected family contribution is the main factor. The cost of your education and the size of your tuition fees, in particular, are also taken into account. The program you are enrolled in will also determine the size of the Pell Grant. Usually, part-time students will receive less than full-time students. Additionally, the shorter the program is the lower the amount of funding is.
It is important for you to apply for a Pell Grant as early as possible, if you meet the criteria for eligibility. The application and approval process can take up to ten weeks, so you might get the funding later than you have hoped. In addition, the early applicants usually receive larger grants.