Tag Archives: Pell Grant Requirements

What are Pell Grant requirements?

A college degree is needed to have a competitive edge in the workplace these days. However, getting a diploma is not that easy, paying for higher education is undoubtedly expensive. In order to make schooling accessible to everyone, there are now various grants and scholarships offered by different institutions. The government itself has taken steps to be able to support the educational ambitions of individuals by providing the Pell Grant.

Because those who are awarded the Pell Grant do not need to repay the money spent on their education, there are strict rules that dictate who the people eligible for this are. The Pell Grant requirements are the factors that prospective students need to satisfy in order to qualify for this.

There are several Pell Grant requirements that a person will need to fulfill in order to be given this.

Financial Need

The most important qualifier is that the individual will need to establish his or her financial need. The Pell Grant is specifically designed for people who have problems with their finances, so it stands to reason why this is the factor that they pay the most attention to. The level of need of the student will be measured by the expected family contribution (EFC). Those who have an EFC below the cut-off point become eligible for being given a Pell Grant provided they satisfy all the other requirements. In general, the awards are given to students whose family incomes are below $20,000, although there have been cases of those who have an EFC of up to $45,000 have been given financial support.

Dependency Status

A person’s dependency status can also affect his or her level of financial need. For example, a person who has applied as an independent will be looked at differently compared to the one who has applied as a dependent. Since independents do not rely on anyone but themselves for financial support, they will need to prove their financial standing by showing statements of account and such.

Schooling Status

Another criterion for the Pell Grant is for the applicant to have a high school diploma, a GED, or show that he or she has the ability to benefit from the program or training course. Individuals who can also prove that they went through a qualified homeschooling curriculum can also become eligible as long as they meet the other requirements.


The next criterion of the Pell Grant would be in terms of citizenship. The prospective student must be a United States citizen, a permanent citizen, or otherwise fit the eligible categories of a non-citizen by showing that he or she is able to live and attend school legally in the United States. The individual will need to present any of the following documents:

  • US Permanent Citizen (Alien Registration Card or I-551)
  • Conditional Permanent Citizen (I-551C)
  • Cuban-Haitian entrant with an Arrival Departure Record (I-94) from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)

Otherwise, the prospective student has to show that he or she is a refugee, an asylum grantee, or a parolee.

Academic Progress

The prospective student must also show satisfactory academic progress. To prove this, the person must have at least a C (or 2.0) grade point average by the end of the second year if the degree is longer than two years, or prove the equivalent for shorter courses.

Other Pell Grant requirements include the student presenting his or her valid social security number. For males between 18-25 years old, they need to register with a selective service. The student will also need to finish filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FIFSA) that will show that he or she can use the federal student aid funds solely for educational purposes and that he or she is not in default of any federal student loan and/or do not owe a repayment of any federal student aid grant.

Meeting these Pell Grant requirements should put you on the right path to getting your college education supported by the government.

Understanding Pell Grant Requirements

Among the scholarship options available today, Pell Grants are on everyone’s Most Wanted list. The reason for this is simple – these grants do not have to be paid back. In other words, they are free money for the lucky students that qualify! For students that normally wouldn’t have a chance at college education, this can be a real blessing. This also makes the entire process of getting a Pell grant rather competitive. In order to better understand how you can qualify, it helps to know the Pell Grant Requirements.

Can Anyone Apply?

Pell grants are not open to everyone – in fact, you need to be from a low-income family in order to be eligible. One of the biggest qualification criteria is called Expected Family Contribution or EFC – this calculates how much the family will be able to spend on their child’s college education. The lower the EFC factor, the more eligible you are for a high Pell grant amount. EFC is calculated on the sum of money earned by the student and parents combined. If this amount exceeds a certain amount, the student will not be eligible for a Pell grant.

Another factor that makes this grant so popular is that there are no caps on it – most grants allow you to only borrow a limited amount of money over your lifetime. The Pell Grant however allows you to take as much as you need, provided that the money is for the student’s first bachelor degree and they qualify for the grant. There is however a limit of one Pell Grant per student per year.

The Attendance Factor

Attendance also plays a key role in determining who qualifies for a Pell grant. There are two factors to consider here – one is the Cost of Attendance or COA. This refers to the cost of the student’s attendance to the university or college they are applying to. The higher the cost, the more eligible they will be to receive a sizable grant. The second factor refers to class attendance – that is, whether the student will be attending school on a full time or part time basis. It’s important to note that the Pell grant is one of the few funding opportunities open to students who attend school on a less-than-half-time basis. However, full time students are eligible for larger sums with the amount decreasing for three-quarter, half-time and less-than-half-time students.

There are currently 5400 schools that are part of the Pell grant program. Those students who qualify can be covered for 18 semesters – this money can go towards any aspect of student life, such as room and board or books. In order to apply for this grant, you will need to fill out a FAFSA form to find out if you qualify – even if you don’t qualify for a Pell Grant, chances are that you will be able to get some other form of funding. In general, the basic Pell Grant Requirements are that the student must come from a home that earns less than $20,000 annually and have a high school diploma or GED.