Tag Archives: Pell Grant Eligibility

Are You Eligible For Pell Grants? | Pell Grant Eligibility

In the present times, the cost of education is on the rise. On an average the cost of a private college is $20,000 per annum. Even the cost of education at a public university or college averages around $10,000 per annum. Thus students who belong to the lower income families find it difficult to pursue higher education. Statistics reveal that only about 1/2 the students from families with low income are able to earn a college degree. With a view to encourage the continuation of education, the Federal Government introduced the Pell Grant.

The Pell Grant is a need-based financial aid for students who belong to lower income families. The Federal Government earmarks certain funds for this grant each year. The quantum of funds varies from year to year. The grants are disbursed to the eligible students from this fund. However, there are certain criteria that one must meet in order to be eligible for the grant.

The criteria for Pell Grant Eligibility are discussed below.

Financial status: The U.S. Department of Education discerns if the student needs financial help by using a formula. This formula takes into account various factors and results in a figure (the Expected Family Contribution or EFC). This number helps to decide whether the student is eligible for the Pell grant. The factors which are used to arrive at the EFC are –
o The student’s income and assets (if the student is independent)
o The income and assets of the parents (if the student is independent)
o The size of the family
o The number of family members pursuing post secondary education

Citizenship: The student must be a U.S citizen or an eligible non-citizen. An eligible non-citizen is a person who fulfills any one of the following conditions –
a) Is a U.S. permanent resident with an Alien Registration Card (I-551),
b) Is a conditional permanent resident with an I-551C card or
c) Has an Arrival Departure Record (I-94) from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The designation in the Record must be that of refugee, asylum granted, parole or Cuban-Haitian entrant.

Pell Grant EligibilityCourse of study: The students should be pursuing their undergraduate studies. They should not have obtained a bachelor’s degree or a professional degree. Students pursing post-baccalaureate teacher certification programs are also eligible to apply for the Pell Grant.

Institutions: There are approximately 5400 post secondary institutions taking part in the process. The student must be enrolled in one of these institutions.

Registration with Selective Service: A male student must be registered with the selective service. Alternatively he must sign a statement of registration signifying that he need not register.

Educational criterion: The student must have earned a high school diploma or a GED.

The student should not already be receiving the Pell Grant. However he can be eligible for two grants if he is planning to undertake additional courses within that year to speed up his studies.

The Pell Grant is unlike a student loan because one is not required to pay it back. It has already helped millions of financially weak students in the pursuance of their studies.

Like student loans, Pell Grants are a very popular means of financing studies.

Will previous debt to any school affect my Pell grant eligibility in any way?

The Pell Grant is given by the government to provide financial aid to low-income students who are otherwise unable to pay for their education, either for their undergraduate degrees or certain post-baccalaureate programs that can be certified. While there are only certain schools that are participating, there are at least 54,000 of these, so students who have been given a Pell grant have a variety of options of where they can study.

The reason why a lot of students are vying for a Pell grant is because the money given to them need not be repaid. The money is freely given to them so that they will be able to get their degree or certification. Once a student is given Pell grant eligibility, the school will either credit the funds directly to his or her school account, pay him or her directly, or combine both methods. However, since the government is effectively giving the money freely to students, there are strict policies involving those who will be qualified for the program, the most important qualification being the economic student of the applicant. Furthermore, there are strict rules regarding the use of the money given by the Pell grant.

One such issue is regarding transferral of schools. Since the Pell grant is usually awarded per term (semester, trimester, or quarter), you can pay for your enrollment in the program using the money that you are awarded. However, if you suddenly transfer schools in the middle of the term, the money will not be carried over. You will only be eligible for the portion of the year that you haven’t enrolled in yet, since you’ve already used the money for that term in your previous school. You will also need to inform the Financial Aid Office of your new school with your records so that they will be able to determine your Pell grant eligibility and award you accordingly, since Pell grant financial aid does not transfer from one school to another, strictly speaking. The new school should be the one to determine how much you will be getting, so the grant you may get in your new school may be lesser or more compared to what you were previously getting, depending on your needs. You may also be asked to submit a new set of requirements so they can have their own records.

The situation becomes problematic if the student still has outstanding debts from his or her previous school. A federal grant such as the Pell grant cannot be granted to students if they still owe money to their former academic institution or have defaulted on a previous student loan. He or she will only be able to get his or her Pell grant eligibility if he or she has made satisfactory payment arrangements with the other school.

If you still have outstanding debts from your previous school, try to settle this as early as possible or keep the loan current so that it wouldn’t go into default. Make inquiries about whether deferring payment will affect your Pell grant eligibility.

Does financing a car affect pell grant eligibility negatively?

Nowadays, attending college and finishing a degree could prove to be difficult. Because of continually increasing tuition fees, most students coming from middle class to lower class families find it nearly impossible to finish college. There are a number of parents that cannot sustain their children’s schooling which is why these students still have to get part-time jobs for additional sustenance. College is not a simple walk-in-the park just like how we see it on TV and the movies. For those who are struggling to keep on studying but are hindered by financial difficulties, financial aids such as the Pell Grant are there to help. The federal government together with various educational institutions has come up with these aids and Pell Grant is one of the student financial aids that kids depend on.

To qualify for a Pell Grant, the student must pass a certain set of Pell Grant eligibility requirements. Basically, this financial aid is need-based, thus, the applicants must be able to prove that their income and that of their families are low enough for them to be able to receive a grant. Other factors such as how many children in the family are attending college at the same time are also considered.

Applying for a Pell Grant requires students and parents to apply through the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Applicants must fill up the online application form and prepare copies of necessary documents such as income tax returns, bank statements, social security number and the EFC which stands for Expected Family Contribution. Once the FAFSA application is approved, applications will be entitled of a Pell Grant.

Now aside from college fees, some students consider having their own car. For some of them, having your own car can actually be considered as a need rather than just a mere want. Obviously, as a student you cannot buy a new car by paying cash. So car financing becomes the most common option for those who wants to get a new car but cannot afford to pay for it at once. However, car financing works on commission and interests. It may seem lighter on the pocket because of the installment payment basis, but if you sum it up, you will be shocked on how much the price of the car has almost doubled.

Now, you are probably worried that financing a car will affect your Pell Grant application. Before you frown, think back as to why you are applying for a Pell Grant. That’s right, you are not well-off and you cannot pay for your tuition fully. Thus, given your financial situation, companies that offer car financing will most likely not pay any attention should you try applying for a car financing.

If you have acquired the car financing before you applied for a Pell Grant, then it will definitely imply that you can pay for your tuition fee without the need for any financial aid. However, your qualification for a Pell Grant is mainly based on your income and your family’s. If your income is considered as acceptable, then you still have a chance of being granted a Pell Grant because FAFSA has no business with your other payables. Car financing and any other financing has no bearing when it comes to your grant application as long as your income is low enough to qualify for the grant.

Pell Grant Eligibility – What Makes You Eligible for a Pell Grant

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.