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Eligibility of Associate Degree Students for a Pell Grant | Pell Grant Eligibility

The higher education in the United States is expensive. The good news is that there are different source of financial aid available. The Pell Grant is a scholarship for students with low incomes available form the Federal Government. It is awarded to students based on a number of criteria. It should be noted that this is a grant that you do not have to repay after completing your degree. Hence, it is definitely worth applying, provided that you meet the eligibility criteria.

Students pursuing an associate degree are eligible for the Pell Grant. It is awarded to students from all higher education institutions, including junior and community colleges, four-year colleges and universities. The grant is available to associate degree students enrolled in both full-time and part-time programs. Another important thing is that it does not matter whether you are a dependent student or not. You are still eligible, if you are financially independent from your family. There are a number of additional criteria that you have to meet for eligibility no matter whether you are pursuing an associate degree or another type of undergraduate degree.

Firstly, the school you are enrolled in has to participate in the Federal Pell Grant Program. You have to be a US citizen or a US national. Some non-citizens are also eligible. The other important criterion for eligibility is the type of associate degree program you are enrolled in. The course must lead to the receipt of a degree, diploma or certificate.

As a student on an associate degree course, you can apply for a Pell Grant in the standard manner. You need to fill in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your expected family contribution (EFC) will determine whether you are eligible for the grant. Usually, your EFC has to be below $5,273 in order to get the scholarship. Still, it is important for you to apply even if you think that your expected family contribution may be higher. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant, you will receive it automatically. No further applications are required.

There is one important thing that students pursuing an associate degree should take into account when applying for a Pell Grant. You can receive the financial aid during both years of your study program, provided that you are eligible. It is also possible for you to receive a Pell Grant for another two years, if you decide to purse a 4-year bachelor’s degree after you have been awarded a diploma for your associate degree. It is definitely worth keeping this in mind. You should not miss any opportunity for external funding, if you decide to enroll for a bachelor’s degree.

You can apply for a Pell Grant if you are pursuing an associate degree. If you meet all the other criteria for eligibility, you should not miss to seize this opportunity. Just make sure you apply as early in the application cycle as possible. This is one way of getting a larger amount of funding.

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.