For all candidates that successfully secure Pell Grants, there are a number of students that go away disappointed. This is only natural – after all, Pell Grants don’t have to be repaid, which makes them one of the most popular grants in the country.
The good news is that if you miss out one year, you can always try again the following year. There are also some things you can look out for to make sure your application stands a good chance.
The Early Bird Gets The Worm!
It’s true that applying for Pell Grants online has made the entire process faster and easier. But it’s still a good idea to get your application sent out as soon as possible. Many people end up making a mad scramble at the last minute, trying to get all the right documentation ready to be sent.
Often times, this leads to a shoddy application and this is one reason why some applicants miss out. Bear in mind that Pell Grants are sought after by thousands of people across the country, it’s best to get your application in soon.
It’s also interesting to note that many applicants lose out because they just don’t qualify in the first place. Pell Grants are given to only those applicants who are deemed to have the most need of financial assistance – this is decided according to the amount of money the family brings in each year, the number of dependants, whether the student also works and a number of other factors.
If your family’s annual income exceeds a certain amount, it will reduce your eligibility for the grant.
The Documentation Station
Ensuring that your documentation is correct is essential to a successful grant application. You will need to provide things like tax forms, financial documents and W2s so make sure that these are in proper order. If you are a student, it might be best to get your parents or your financial aid advisor to help you get your documentation ready.
Once you’ve got everything filled and ready, you can send it off, right? Not just yet – it’s always a good idea to make a copy of everything first, especially if you are sending the documents via post. This way, you can quickly send another set if the first application goes missing in mail.
Filling in the application can be a very overwhelming task for some students – however, there are a number of information resources that can help. The FAFSA website has a lot of helpful information on how to fill in the application. You can also approach your school counselor or financial aid officer to help you.
It’s also important to note that some colleges don’t come under the Pell Grant umbrella – if you are keen on attending a certain institution, make sure that it is compatible with Pell Grants. If you do get a grant, make sure that you don’t default on it. If you drop out of school, then you will have to repay the grant amount. This will also make it harder for you to secure a Pell Grant again in future.