The student financial aid known as Pell Grant is one of the best things that may happen to the life of students who want to finish college and their parents who are trying and working hard to send their kids to school. This school year, the deadline for application and disbursement schedule for Pell Grant 2016-2017 is still a subject of wonder. Educational institutions have never revealed a deadline or an ideal time to pass Pell Grant applications, leaving students and their parents almost clueless. Some colleges would set different schedules. Typically, the first day of February, March and April are given as the deadline. But one thing that most parents do not know is that there is actually an ideal date to pass the application.
But first, let us discuss what a Pell Grant is. This is a form of student financial aid that took its name from US Senator Claiborne Pell. This grant program was originally called as the Basic Educational Opportunity Program. However, the Pell Grant is not a loan. Since it is a grant, it does not have to be repaid. It is simply awarded to those who need the financial aid the most. For a student to apply for a Pell Grant, he or she must apply through FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The amount granted to the student is determined by the calculations based on the information given by the student upon filling up the FAFSA form and passing a copy of the family’s EFC or Expected Family Contribution.
Usually, parents think that the earliest possible date to pass their EFC for their child’s Pell Grant application is February 1st. However, they are mistaken. This date may sound early, but it is actually a little late already. The ideal date to pass the application for a Pell Grant is on the 1st day of January or any nearest day possible to it. Since there are a lot of students and parents rooting to get a grant, then the earliest you could pass the application requirements, the better. Today, not only families from the lower class apply for a financial aid, but also those from the middle class. This just proves how hard it is to send a child to school. So, parents and students must always be on their toes and pass their applications for the Pell Grant at the earliest day possible.
Submitting early may secure a bigger chance of receiving a Pell Grant and getting the right disbursement according to what is due depending on the calculation of your EFC. There are cases where parents pay higher tuition than they should because of shortage in aids. Meanwhile, parents should not be worried about giving a wrong calculation. Just try to calculate what you think is the most accurate figures. Do not exaggerate the numbers.
Disbursement schedules vary from college to college. Pell grant disbursements are often given per season, in batches. Those who were successful in their 2016-2017 application can get their Spring disbursements sometime in March to June 2017.